Dog health central to Kennel Club’s changes to Assured Breeder Scheme

(KC Release) Pedigree dog health and responsible breeding are still at the top of the Kennel Club’s agenda, as changes to the Assured Breeder Scheme are announced which will further benefit the health of dogs.

Among these changes, effective as of July 1st, is an adjustment in the scheme’s eye testing requirements and recommendations for all relevant breeds, which sees a change from eye testing being carried out ‘within 18 months of the date of registration of a litter’ to ‘within 18 months of the date of birth of a litter’.

In addition, it has been announced that, for clarity, ‘eye testing’ has been changed to ‘annual eye testing’ to fall in line with the advice issued to breeders by the British Veterinary Association.

In addition to these modifications, a number of breed-specific changes have been made, including health screening requirements and recommendations, and existing Assured Breeders have a period of grace of six months in order to comply with these new requirements and recommendations.

These changes have been introduced following extensive consultations with breed clubs and councils in a collaborative effort to ensure that health and welfare issues are kept at the forefront of everything the scheme does. This is mirrored in the continual addition of new DNA tests developed by scientists at the Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the Animal Health Trust and other research institutions.

Speaking on the latest changes to the Assured Breeder Scheme, Bill Lambert, Health and Breeder Services Manager for the Kennel Club, said: “One of the fantastic features of the Assured Breeder Scheme is that it was designed in such a way that it could evolve and develop to maximise its benefit for pedigree dog health.

“These changes will go even further in ensuring that dog breeding is carried out in a responsible way, with the health and happiness of the dogs as the priority every step of the way.

“The reason for the change to the eye testing timeframe is to encourage breeders to carry out eye tests prior to any mating taking place. Assured Breeders should take notice of these results and of course it is best practice to carry out matings only in the full knowledge of a breeding pair’s current eye status.”

Assured Breeder Scheme breed specific requirements and recommendations are updated twice a year to ensure they remain relevant and of maximum health benefit to all dogs bred under the scheme. The next set of changes will be announced in the new year.

Breed clubs and councils wishing to make a proposal for their breed should write to Assured Breeder Scheme, The Kennel Club, 1-5 Clarges Street, Piccadilly, London, W1J 8AB.

An updated list of all requirements and recommendations for the Assured Breeder Scheme can be found here.

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