Hello IPFD Community,
My name is Kelly Arthur and I am a third-year veterinary student at Colorado State University (for more background see my introduction page). I’m very excited to announce my participation in IPFD through the newly created veterinary student projects. Projects are being initiated in various countries to educate students on the need for an international perspective and multidisciplinary approach to the issues facing pedigree dogs. Projects involve gathering, evaluating information, and creating educational resources for dog breeders and owners, veterinarians/veterinary students, as well as other stakeholders. My project is generously supported by the Skippy Frank Fund.
My project specifically will focus on welfare and ethics of breeding dogs, with an emphasis on veterinarians and veterinary students. See an overview of my project, A Veterinarian's Role in the Ethics and Welfare of Breeding Dogs, for an ongoing list of my work.
When I first heard about this project, I could think of the following as important issues in ethics and welfare of breeding dogs, from a veterinary perspective:
- What are veterinarians doing to improve breeding genetics?
- Is selective breeding detrimental to decreasing diversity in certain breeds?
- Does breed specific regulation really help in protecting the public from dog bites?
- What is the influence of the breeding dog supply on the overall dog populations around the world?
While it is easy to come up with quick opinions on these issues, the more I read, the more I realize that these issues are highly complex. For example:
- Veterinarians can play a role in breeding dog education, however there may be economic disincentives to decreasing the number of dogs born with inherited disease.
- Selective breeding has allowed us the great diversity that we have from dogs that serve in the military to assisting people with disabilities.
- Even if breed specific regulation can decrease dog bite incidents, the ability of people to prove the genetic makeup of their dog can be challenging legally.
- While some may say that only rescue is an appropriate way to get a dog because of pet overpopulation in some countries, there is still a great demand for purebred dogs.
I hope others will join me on this journey. There will be opportunities for your participation and comments as we go. If this project interests you or you have a perspective you would like to share, I would love to hear from you. Please register at DogWellNet.com so you can follow not only my blog, but other resources I will be developing!
I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with a collaborative group invested in the health and well-being of pedigree dogs. I hope it has overarching appeal both for veterinarians and breeders to encourage cooperation.