- Mission and Vision
- Our Beliefs
- Our Focus
- Executive Board
- Expert Panel
As a global multi-stakeholder group, ICECDogs will work together with our members and collaborators to minimize welfare issues resulting from extreme conformations in dogs by seeking out and applying evidence-based canine and human approaches.
A world where no dog experiences health-related welfare problems attributable to having been selectively bred for an extreme conformation.
We as ICECDogs have a shared belief that…
1. Our area of concern covers the actions of humans, and their consequences for dogs, in relation to extreme conformation
2. At a population level, extreme conformation is frequently associated with health problems in dogs
3. When present, health problems associated with extreme conformation:
a. Reduce quality of life
b. Compromise a dog’s welfare
c. Can cause dogs to suffer
4. Suffering, and poor quality of life/welfare in dogs, are important attributes of a dog’s life to assess and recognise
5. The animal health and welfare problems linked to breeding for extreme conformation are a leading canine welfare priority
6. There is a societal ethical obligation to promote a good life for dogs under human stewardship
7. Therefore, the members of ICECDogs – by virtue of our shared responsibility, opportunity, and mandate – must work to promote a good life for dogs and to eliminate breed-related health and welfare problems, especially in relation to extreme conformation
8. Rising populations of certain breeds with extreme conformation, because of high current appeal of extreme conformations to many people, are exacerbating the overall health and welfare problems related to extreme conformation
9. Addressing the animal health and welfare problems linked to extreme conformation is a priority for all our organisations, multistakeholder groups and countries
10. Reduction in suffering attributable to health problems associated with extreme conformation in dogs is achievable
11. The suffering attributable to health problems associated with extreme conformation can eventually be eliminated
The current focus of the ICECDogs is to support national/regional multi-stakeholder groups engaged in the issues raised by extreme conformation in dogs, and to act as a leader in the development and dissemination of policy and guidance on minimizing extremes of conformation and promoting moderate, healthy conformation in dogs.
In Stockholm (SWE) 2012, the 1st International Dog Health Workshop highlighted problems with exaggerated anatomical features. In Windsor (UK) in June 2019, the 4th International Dog Health Workshop took place. It was organised by The International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD), an international non-profit organisation, whose mission is to facilitate collaboration and sharing of resources to enhance the health, well-being, and welfare of pedigreed dogs and all dogs worldwide. At the meeting, it was suggested it would be helpful to start a multi-stakeholder International Brachycephalic Working Group.
Although the early focus was on brachycephalic dogs, the group soon decided to broaden the scope and include all extreme conformations in dogs.
Monique Megens (chair), Dan O’Neill and Åke Hedhammar took the lead with this initiative and were later joined by Paul Eckford.
Dr. Monique Megens, Chair
Monique started her career as a companion animal veterinary practitioner (Utrecht 1998). After 10 years she continued to work as an independent project manager and consultant. Monique is the former President of the Federation of European Companion Animal Veterinary Associations (FECAVA). On behalf of FECAVA, she was a member of the joint Union of European Veterinary Practitioners (UEVP) & Federation of Veterinarians of Europe (FVE) Animal Welfare Working Group. She was responsible for the European veterinary position paper on stray dogs, the position paper on (il)legal dog trade and the position paper on the responsible breeding of dogs.
Currently, she is a member of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Hereditary Disease Committee, a consultant to the Dutch Kennel Club and a consultant to the International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD).
Dr. Dan O’Neill
After 2 decades in general practice, Dan moved to the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) to develop the VetCompass Programme. He is now Senior Lecturer in Companion Animal Epidemiology and co-leads the VetCompass Programme at the RVC. Dan has authored over 95 papers from 2012 to mid-2021. He co-authored the books ‘Breed Predispositions to Disease in Dogs and Cats’ and ‘Health and Welfare of Brachycephalic (Flat-faced) Companion Animals’. He chairs the UK Brachycephalic Working Group and is co-leads the RVC Brachycephalic Research Team.
Dr. Åke Hedhammar
Åke Hedhammar DVM, M Sc, PhD is senior Professor in Internal Medicine – Small Animals and Dipl. in Internal Medicine –CA (passive). His research is on the epidemiology and genomics of spontaneously occurring complex traits in dogs (diseases and behavior) and their use as models for human medicine. He is senior scientific advisor and veterinary consultant to the Swedish Kennel Club and member of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Hereditary Disease Committee, Dr. Hedhammar was the initiator of 1st International Dog Health Workshop in Stockholm 2012.
Dr. Paul Eckford
Paul holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Guelph and is a scientist studying Cystic Fibrosis, the most common genetic disease in humans. Paul is also a breeder and past member of the board of Directors of the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC). In addition to his role on the executive of ICECDogs, Paul currently serves as the CKC Liaison to the International Partnership for Dogs and Chair of the CKC Genetics & Medical Committee.
The issues surrounding extreme conformations in dogs are complex and involve many stakeholders. Therefore, an international multi-stakeholder approach is needed to make real progress. The ICECDogs believes the most sustainable way forward will be achieved if the main stakeholders act at the national level with multi-stakeholder collaboration and cooperate internationally.
The ICECDogs is currently admitting member organizations to progress these efforts. Member organizations ideally should be national multi-stakeholder organizations, committees or initiatives. Multi-stakeholder groups are anticipated to broadly represent the consensus views from the country they represent. Prospective member organizations should represent not just one stakeholder group in a country such as veterinarians or breeders, but rather have broad representation from at least two and ideally three or more stakeholder-groups such as veterinarians, kennel clubs/breed clubs, government and regulatory, animal welfare, pet food/pet health industry, advertising, public and other stakeholders. ICECDogs will consider single stakeholder groups at the current time, provided there is a commitment to work openly and collaboratively with others to develop such national multi-stakeholder groups over time.
The following list of will be updated as new member organizations are confirmed:
National Companion Animal Coalition
2022 Canadian National Report: ICECD 2023 national report Canada.pdf
Danish Brachycephalic Working Group
Danish National Report: National report Denmark april 2023.pdf
- Veterinary Ireland
New Zealand Veterinary Association
New Zealand National Report: ICECDogs_NationalReport New Zealand.pdf
- Swedish Collaborative Committee on Canine Health and Welfare
- Contact Helena Skarp Helena.firstname.lastname@example.org
- UK Brachycephalic Working Group - The BWG comprises leading UK dog welfare organisations, veterinary organisations, the Kennel Club, scientific & social researchers and relevant breed club representatives. The group aims to improve the health and welfare of brachycephalic (flat faced) dogs by working to improve the conformation-related health of individual dogs as well as also reducing the current trend towards rising demand for these dogs.
United States of America:
Barry Skipperman (UC Davis/HSVMA)
USA National Report: ICEC 2023 report-News from the United States.pdf
We are developing a network of partner organizations that, while not multi-stakeholder groups, are stakeholders in their home countries and are engaged in the issues we are addressing. We will maintain communication with our partner organizations and will collaborate on specific issues with these organizations from time-to-time as appropriate.
Expert Panel Members
We are currently developing a panel of experts on Extreme Conformation to advise and assist the ICECDogs on specific topics and issues. Members of the expert panel are knowledge leaders in specific areas or a number of areas related to one or more aspects of the Extreme Conformation issue, and would be expected to contribute their knowledge and expertise from time-to-time to assist the ICECDogs.
The board, member organizations, expert panel and partner organizations are involved in the ICECDogs on a volunteer basis.
Support for the ICECDogs website and certain initiatives is provided by Royal Canin and IPFD
- National Companion Animal Coalition