Monday, 9 March 2009

And the winner is...

Just been sent this link to the Daily Mash, and I should warn you that their coverage of Crufts Best In Show is irreverent and puerile. I have to confess I'm ashamed of myself for laughing at some of the lines.

Click here.

Another email contained no laughs at all - but a lot to ponder about. It took me to a fascinating Swedish Collie site with English translation.

You know how the KC complained that I'm always moaning about boring old inbreeding and glorifying the Swedes. But just compare how safe our Rough Collie is in Swedish hands...

When Imperial did their research on effective population size the poor old Rough Collie was looking badly in danger with an inbreeding effective population size of only 33 - despite there being 4,650 dogs in two generations.

I quote from the Swedish collie website:

I asked Dr Sundgren to go over the figures for the British Rough Collies for me once more. Using a slightly different method for calculating the inbreeding effective population, he came up with a slightly different figure.


That is the kind of figure one hears about, when an expiring variety of land race goat is discovered somewhere out in the distant woods. That's when genetic rescue action is started to save the goats.

We all know that Britain is the Collie´s country of origin. It is also the cradle of a tradition of breeding, which we had better bury in a hurry. Or it will bury both our breeds and the public´s remaining faith in them beneath a mountain of brightly coloured plastic show badges and a thick layer of disrepute for real, emerging or feared-for disease.
The figures from the table in the Genetics article are absurd. They are preposterous.
But they are not incorrect.
They merely reflect absurd breeding practices and preposterous priorities among breeders.
Could this sort of thing change? Yes indeed, it can! And here is the surprising news.

The comparatively few Swedish Rough Collies during the five years between 2003 and 2007 produced 2,615 puppies.

The inbreeding effective population was 500! How is that possible?

Swedish Collie breeders – not all of them, but many enough – have caught on to the threat of inbreeding and either import unrelated dogs for stud, or take their bitches abroad.

They don´t make the headlines, of course. So let me at least give them this:

A big, sincere THANK YOU for trying to secure the health and survival of our breed!!

Just imagine if we had the same system as the Swedes. Wouldn't that be good.
Okay, I admit it - I'm not going to stop being boring about inbreeding!


Anonymous said...

"Just imagine if we had the same system as the Swedes. Wouldn't that be good."

Oh but we do...It's called breeder integrity.
As I said before, the KC are just our administrators...We ( the breeders) are responsible for breeding healthy dogs.
I can work out COI, can find suitably qualified vets to screen my dogs and assess good temperament. Why would I need anyone to supply me with software?

Anon again

Beverley Cuddy said...

But Anon, there are indeed hero breeders. But if you are one of them, why don't you want to raise the bar and make COI and health testing the norm like it is in Sweden. It patently isn't standard behaviour here yet is it?
Look at the inbreeding in Rough Collies as an example.
If you already do all these things what would it matter to you if our 'administrators' made this a requirement of using the system.
Administrators can set rules.
I ask you anon, why do you expect so little of our KC?

Anonymous said...

Because Anon, the answer is simple if COIs and Genetic Diversity are not taken on board and acted upon by the majority rather than a few then sadly there will be no way of finding a suitable mate for your bitch, the figures quoted are TRUE and to find a mate to bring COis down to an acceptable level will be impossible. Instead of simply saying "Im all right Jack" why not encourage others to follow suit, if the Diversity of the breed is published and momitored annually then everyone can see the way forward.It will for some breeds be too late already, dont let yours be one of them

Claire Sharp said...

You need to make your mind up. You can't moan about boring old inbreeding and then berate everyone in vizslas for all wanting to use a new bloodline when it is brought into the country!

Beverley Cuddy said...

Claire I still don't think you grasp the concept of the overuse of popular sires!
All wanting + all using = a big problem in a few years time.
New blood is good, but in moderation. Diversity is the key.