The case for health tests being mandatory

A few blogs ago a chap called Stan Berry challenged me...

"Come on Beverley, you say "the majority of breeders simply don't health test" what evidence/figures from a RELIABLE source do you offer to substantiate this claim, we can all make a statement as if it's fact."
Stan Berry
Here's my reply - thought I'd pull this out in a new thread as few people will go back and re-read the comments from a few days ago and this is an interesting topic:
"Okay Stan.
Let's look at Hip Dysplasia. Since 1984 only 100,000 dogs have gone through the official BVA/KC scheme (source KC website). In that time approximately 4.8 million dogs have been registered by the Kennel Club (assuming a fairly low average figure approx 200k dogs a year - real figure for 2008: 271k).
I'd love to see the spin doctor that can make those figures equate to a majority testing! Remember too that not all pedigree dogs are KC registered. And it's highly unlikely that many of the unregistered Labs etc are going to be health tested.

Stan, the people you know may test - but the majority of pups produced are from completely untested parents. It's got to be the case - those figures are from reliable sources. The GSD people say that 70% of the KC registered pups produced in their breed are untested - and they want the KC to start being fussier as they have been asking for mandatory testing for almost as long as me!"


RottieGuy said…
Those statistics seem really profound at first glance. I wonder what percentage of those 100,000 tested dogs were owned by or bred by breeders involved in dog shows? I would guess an overwhelming majority.

To compare the number of dogs tested for HD vs. ALL dogs registerd by the Kennel Club is unfair as not all breeds are affected by HD or at least not profoundly enough to warrant regular testing.

That said it is appalling that in a breed like GSDs that more are not being tested at the highest possible rate. Assuming ''the GSD people'' have their facts right. One of the problems I had with the Ped Dog Exposed broadcast was that it offered no solutions, only laid blame. If the message in Jemima Harrison's piece had been for prospective puppy buyers to DEMAND to see hip scores for both parents, even grandparents, then imagine the pressure placed on those breeders who won't test....imagine the dilemna of being left with a litter of 13 large breed pups that you can't sell because of more educated consumers.
Beverley Cuddy said…
Hi Rottie Guy

It's interesting what you say, yes I do believe that most of the dogs tested are show stock, people within the dog show world. And that's why the show people have the perception of there being a majority testing.
But truth is the majority of dogs bred are nothing to do with the show world. Most litters registered at the KC are from people breeding one litter in a lifetime.
It is therefore essential to have rules.
These rules may dissuade the passive breeder from breeding - or they may educate them to test.
If we have a legal sales contract that makes it the breeders responsibility to try to avoid hereditary diseases I think we'll probably see the end of puppy farming as it will simply prove uneconomic.
Yes I would like to see the day when testing is the norm and people breeding casually for pin money find another money making scheme that's much less bothersome.
I've got two cases in my in-tray of Cavaliers with HD. The list of breeds affected is a long one - but even if we cut the number of breeds in half - remembering that many of the top 10 breeds are HD prone breeds the stats for numbers tested look poor to me.
And we're not looking at hearts, eyes, deafness and DNA... many breeds should have lots of tests.
I think anyone who believes that most dogs are tested nears to look outside their immediate group.
Even with the show world there are pockets of science phobics who won't do this or that test for some personal reason.
Outside that world and you are really fortunate to find a health screened litter.
Hate to be boring, but in Sweden all pups parents are health screened before breeding and that has been the case for decades.
We've got to stop the passive people breeding badly, stop the puppy farms intensively breeding badly.
Show world needs to stop wearing blinkers and saying I'm alright jack, I don't need rules to be good.
See the bigger picture. Rules would help, puppy contracts legally enforcable would help.

We n
RottieGuy said…
I agree...all breeders should be testing for the conditions that correspond with their breed, in some cases 1 or 2, in some more.

I hope that the Kennel club is able to figure out how to fix this situation before the likes of the RSPCA and government get too involved. I can only imagine the potential lawsuits, and the nightmare in separating the frivolous from the deserving.

I am not really defending the show lot per se, as being critical of the message that was spit out at us from Jemima H.

You agree with me that the majority of HD tests carried out were likely from breeders of show dogs. I still don't understand why went overlooked by the Ped Dog program...not only HD, but Optigen, CERF, etc....these have used by show breeders for a long time.

So no, Im not saying that all show breeders are doing everything right, but give us a break as without us, the rest of the lot don't give a damn.

I am glad to see the depth, insight and passion behind your ideas. They are something lacking in JH's sensationalist, indulgent programs and journalism pieces.

It is a shame that she has surpassed you in the media and public eye as the champion of dogs, because I think you have a more balanced and beneficial message to offer.

That said, WHAT was up with that Manda Scott piece in this months issue of your magazine??? The blatant generalazations bordered on downright lies, and once again do more damage to those that ARE doing things right and trying to get others to do so.

Anonymous said…
Hi Fluffykins I know its been a while since I have posted anything on your site but, been busy on putting up a new garden fence ( I could make a quip about watching the paint drying on it, being more entertaining than reading your blog......but of course you know I am far too polite to say that!!). Well I see those office gremlins have been at work again and you have quoted more inaccurate figures again (despite all those highly paid journalist you told me about to do some fact checking for you), this time about the number, saying that Since 1984 only 100,000 dogs have gone through the KC/BVA hip scoring scheme. Well as at October 2008 the actual number was 221,880 dogs had gone through the scheme so ONLY 121,880 dogs out (or approx 121%) inaccurate figures, yes I know you quote your source as being the KC, but to be fair they did say the figure was OVER 100,000 and I think they will be updating their site soon, my source well thats the BVA of course I doubt if that figure includes the old Pass, Fail, Breeders Letter scheme and the thousands of dogs which went through that one.
I thought it must of been I thought must of been a very late April fool when I saw this reply from Jemima Harrison with regards to the editing of overseas version of PDE and how they have taken out many of the inaccuracies (I am far too polite to say lies...Ooops) “Broadcasters do often make their own cuts of course - although if they are substantial (as they were in New Zealand where they cut it to 30 minutes) I get script approval. Good job too in NZ's case as they sent me a script with every single bit of KC balance stripped out of it which I had to insist was reinstated.”, Does any one have a copy of the NZ version as I must of missed all those balanced bits re-instated, that I didn’t see in the UK version!
Beverley Cuddy said…
Oh Sirius I do really think you must be Caroline Kisko! I know she finds all talk of inbreeding boring, too! But if this blog bores you do you actually like dogs? We have puppy farming, lost dogs, dogs fighting cancer, saying goodbye to the most famous dog on the planet... and that bores you does it...?
Perhaps you should stick to reading the small print and lists in the weekly dog papers.
And do get your own website sorted out - but if you still think enough people test, I really do despair.
Silly me quoting the Kennel Club and their inaccurate figures!
And how can you justify 20 years of inactivity? Jemima is a factual documentary maker - you'd need someone with CGI world to depict the reality you claim to represent!
Beverley Cuddy said…
Asd a retort to Sirius from Jemima:

"Not quite sure why you're hijacking this thread with this, Sirius - or, indeed, why you yourself are resorting to inaccuracy in reporting what you were told regarding the shorter international version of the film. To repeat: our contract with BBC Worldwide demands that we deliver a 52 minute version of the film for international (the UK version is 59 minutes). Various cuts were made for various reasons - none of which were to remove "inaccuracies" or "lies". And are you sure you meant to say that PDE was the catalyst for problems in cavaliers? Because I think many people would argue that the problems in cavaliers are MVD and SM and the fact that some breeders are not doing all they could to tackle these two diseases. PDE was certainly the catalyst for problems in the cavalier CLUB, but that's a different thing."
Anonymous said…
"Jemima is a factual documentary maker " now that really is an April Fool joke................. but prhaps as your new Canine Romantic Fiction writer you are having a problem working out what is fact and what is fiction!?!


Still hung up on who I am, no not CK, RI or anyone at the KC
Beverley Cuddy said…
If you're not someone who shouldn't be saying what you're saying why the need for anonymity? You'd have so much more credibility if you had the courage of your convictions and actually said who you are rather than who you aren't.
What have you got to be afraid of?
You're attacking people who don't need to hide behind a cloak of invisibility.
Sirius, I'm afraid the word chicken comes to mind.
Anonymous said…
Gosh BC what very grown up retort to call another person a chicken.......well those who control/manipulate the media but fail to answer valid questions should take care they don’t fall fowl (pun intended) of their own words. I would be happy to tell you just who I am and what I have done in dogs over many years, but you would not know me at all, I don’t look to have my face in a paper each week or do “twitters”(or whatever that might be). I do however notice that as person you keep on alleging there is fence between the KC and others yet I and how we must all work together, but your action and previous comment seem to show you quite like having such a fence as it allows you to chuck bricks over it without any chance of one being thrown back, the way you belittle and snipe at people within or connected to the KC (just look at your recent post for the way you take any chance to rubbish Ronnie Irving, Caroline Kisco or Marc Abrams, do serious journalst always behave in such a manner?) yet you hero worship others or fail to judge their credential, (can you really trust and RSPCA vet who gift to the world of broadcasting is his DVD “How Clean is Your Car” ?!?!) You make the claim that Jemima is “is a factual documentary maker” and your a journalist, ok then ask her this one “Closed” question ( I assume you know such a question only requires a yes or no answer, it’s the type politicians hate being asked) Q: Is the statement made in PDE about the creation of the Kennel Club in 1873 and I quote ““lies a dark and dirty secret, the Kennel Club was BORN out of the eugenics movement” based on FACT yes or no? Sirius
Beverley Cuddy said…
Morning Sirius, guess you've been up early doing your cock-a-doodle-doo stuff, Easter being a apt time to be a chicken.
Until you reveal who you are I'm not taking you seriously - siriusly.
Anonymous said…
So what did come first the chicken or the egg? or in BC case to call chicken and to chicken out of asking JH THAT question.............well let you cluck on about that one shall I. Sirius
Beverley Cuddy said…
This comment has been removed by the author.

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