Most will know that I have been putting a link on my blog lately to a petition to the Kennel Club (KC) for the mandatory screening of Cavalier parents for CM/SM and MVD. The KC gave a reply to the petition back in November 2014 and I thought it might be interesting to take a closer look at the reply. The KC's reply to the petition can be found here www.thekennelclub.org.uk/press-releases/2014/november/kennel-club-response-to-cavalier-petition/ and the petition link can be found at the end of this blog.
Now this is my dissection of their response.
Well, there you have it Cavalier owners, the onus is on you to health screen. So the problems in this breed which the KC has been aware of for several years and had done next door to nothing about until they became epidemic in the breed and basically they had an arse whipping in Pedigree Dogs exposed with, the problem is you terrible Cavalier owners that are not doing your bit. Shame on you. Lol
Let's actually see if breeders are doing their bit ? With 90,000 Cavalier pups being registered with them over ten years, so lets take the breed average for litters of 4, which makes around 22,500 litters born and registered with the KC. Now lets say each bitch had 4 litters over the 10 years, so divide 22,500 by 4 and then we have the figure of 5,625, so I think we can say that over the period of 10 years the KC has taken registery of litters from around 5,625 Cavalier bitches, so an average could be arrived at over 10 years around 563 Cavalier bitches have puppies registered with the KC each year. In 2012 only 200 Cavaliers had been screened on the CM/SM scheme and now in 2014 only a further 22 Cavaliers have been scanned on the scheme, so I would pretty much say with confidence that the problem is with breeders not the public in health screening. Four of the Cavaliers since 2012 screened on the scheme are mine, so I know only 18 other Cavaliers were screened on the scheme amongst other breeders in the last two years. The KC tells us, " The CM/SM test costs around £500, and is complex in inheritance, so the Kennel Club needs to work collaboratively with breeders who are passionate to improve their breed's health, to ensure that EBVs and more health data can be generated in the future." Could the KC tell me (taking me out of the equation), with only 18 Cavaliers scanned on the CM/SM scheme in the last two years, where are all the breeders they are working collaboratively and passionately with for the breed ? I think the answer to my question above is, "No, breeders are not doing their bit."
The KC also says, "The Kennel Club can only consider making a health scheme mandatory if the disease and its inheritance are understood, so that the results can be usefully used by the owner, and advice on how to reduce the risk of inheritance can be given." and "In addition to requiring an understanding about the mode of inheritance, the Kennel Club can only make health tests mandatory when it officially records the results, and the breed club scheme for MVD does not fall into this category." Bullshit, you are a club, you can make the rules, as long as they are not against the law, so you can make tests mandatory for what ever reasons you see fit and the reasoning would be to collect badly needed data to help improve understanding of the conditions and help towards improving them in the breed. You even tell us you need more data to improve things. Duh ! The two eye conditions that are mandatory to examine Cavaliers for on the Assured scheme. The examination only tells us the dog at that moment in time shows no clinical signs of the condition, but does not tell us if the dog will develop it in later life, or if the dog is carrying the genes to pass the condition on, also we do not know the genetic markers for each condition. If you apply the KC's logic above, on you need to understand the disease and it's inheritance, then why are eye testing Cavaliers on the Assured Scheme mandatory ? Hip Dysplasia is also mandatory for some breeds on the Assured Scheme and it's genetic markers or mode of in inheritance is not understood ,and how much is inheritance and nurture is very much debated, but the KC have made it mandatory in certain breeds, so really counter their reasoning with this condition as well.
The KC then tells us"In the last ten years the Kennel Club has registered around 90,000 Cavalier King Charles Spaniels but so far we have only had 700 surveys returned to us." They also say "The Kennel Club Charitable Trust has invested more than £30,000 on projects that will help us to improve diagnosis of CM/SM and of other ways to collect data about its prevalence,"
Now lets look at the figure of 90,000 Cavaliers registered with them over ten years. The registery fee for pups is £15 per pup, so we are looking at just from pup registering a figure of around £1,350,000, then we say around a fifth of pups are kept by breeders (Which is probably much more than are kept back by breeders), so that leaves a figure of around 72,000 pups being sold and then if all those pups then have their ownership changed with the KC at £15 a puppy, we are looking at a further £756,000 over ten years. Thus making a grand total of around £2,106,000 in registering and change of ownership of Cavaliers with the KC. The KC also has other products they sell. If changing ownership for another £6 on top of the £15 for change of ownership you can get an official KC 5 generation pedigree, so the figure I have is more likely to be under than over from what they take from the registering of Cavaliers with them.
That £30,000 they brag they have invested on projects to improve diagnosis of CM/SM starts to look pretty bloody paltry, when they have been taking over £200,000 a year at least from this breed in registery fees alone. 'Just adding this bit after publishing. The KC are a registered charity (They obviously worked out giving a bit to research and dog welfare charities amounts to less than the tax they would have to pay), so they pay no tax. They are a club not a bloody charity and the money they give to research and dog welfare charities is mostly to sort out problems that have been caused by encouraging irresponsible breeding, by happily registering the pups from it.'
Yes, KC we know that you care so much about Cavaliers, so much that you allow the registering of three litters in fifteen months from Cavalier bitches ( Read my blog on the 4/02/2015 ) and the bitches are only just over the recommended age for breeding from a Cavalier, which is 2.5 years old after having the third litter being born. Could you explain exactly where your care starts and ends with a breed ? I'm a little confused !
Please keep signing the petition at :
Now I'm a realist and as much as I would like to see both CM/SM screening and MVD screening for Cavaliers made mandatory by the KC, I think that realistically the one to go for is MVD first and to get MVD screening mandatory and then go for CM/SM screening. Just to make a start, I would like the KC, to say, " A Cavalier litter registered with them can only be from parents that are at least two years old and have been examined by a cardiologist vet within 6 months prior to the litter being born. Is that really to much to ask ? I have asked them a few times now, but the same old, "I will put your suggestion forward." Guess what happens then ? Bugger all (nothing) !
Time for the darkened room again !
“The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with him, and not only will he not scold you,but he will make a fool of himself, too.”
― Samuel Butler
Me with Bumble and Blottie, waiting patiently to be unleashed, November 2018
Hello, I am Jane, you might of guessed, I love dogs. We are situated in the North Devon countryside, England, United Kingdom. Our home is occupied by my husband, David, our children, pack of dogs and me.