Thursday, 31st May 2007

National Eye Scheme Information Night

Sarah Strang reports on the National Eye Scheme Night

I thought I would report on the info night held last night [30th May]. It was great to see that about half the room was represented by English Cockers. I think that shows that as breeders we wish to be educated and do what is best for the breed.

Karen Hedburg spoke about differing diseases and conditions affecting the breeds. She discussed how the GSDs (she breeds GSD) introduced hip and elbow registers and how it needs to be accepted by the breed clubs nation wide and used before rules regarding breeding restrictions. The ANKC regulations stipulate the process for implemented such registers Eg. each breed national club needs to "survey" all members. Perhaps we all need to have a look at the ANKC regs to get the ball rolling. It will take significant time to establish. The GSDs took almost a decade to get everything in place and it has now been running for almost a decade. This is a significant investment of time!

Karen advised that DNA testing is a great tool as it allows for every dog to be continued to be used regardless of whether it is A, B or C. She highlighted that if there is a fabulous dog with bad hips or is affected by PRA PRCD, this means that you can (if you choose) continue to use it so long as you use it to a clear dog or one with the best hips you can find! It allows for selective breeding and continuing to use the best dogs but using the tool of DNA means that we can breed out the problems. It won’t happen overnight - but by using DNA in breeding considerations, you can breed out problems in only a few generations.

Karen has allowed us to publish an article regarding breeding using DNA as a tool which should go in the CSSNSW gazette soon.

Thanks to Roslyn Thomas for making the necessary arrangements and to Karen Hedburg for taking her time to talk to us.

Regards
Sarah Strang
Showfield Spaniels


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