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According to an April 15, 2015, article published by the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Department of Agriculture is supporting an effort to create dog care standards that could eventually lead to development of a privately operated dog breeder accreditation program. Since publication of this article there have been developments in many countries to address dog welfare issues. At the 4th Dog Health Workshop the Theme "Supply and Demand" resources speak to issues raised in the 2015 article.
Th Kennel Club in the UK has posted information on a "New Dog Breeding Regulation". This relates to regulations from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) for breeding operations and related to members of The KC Assured Breeders Scheme. "Changes to breeding regulations in England New regulations on dog breeding in England will be live from 1st October. There are no changes to breeding regulations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. A number of significant changes are being made," which include requirements for a dog breeding licence. In addition, there is a defining of minimum welfare standards. "Risk rating Alongside welfare, the breeder’s compliance history will also be assessed, to determine whether the breeder is either a low risk or high risk operator, i.e. whether it should be expected the breeder will maintain their standards for the duration of their licence period." And DEFRA has a matrix to assess risk. And you can also download the notice by the Kennel Club. UK dog breeding regulation.pdf Information on the Assured Breeder Scheme requirements and recommendations here.
The great juggling act...Ask any long time dog breeder and they'll tell you, exploring the subject of dog breeding and looking at how to define 'best practices' that lead to production of healthy, functional dogs is getting more complicated by the day! A COMPLEX BALANCE: What are You Measuring? How do you define and verify successes or failures? Health status (current or long-term) is but one part of a breeder's evaluation of a dog's suitability for breeding. Assessing a dog's health and any other quality or characteristic goes hand-in-hand with the breeder's goals and reasons for breeding/keeping dogs. A breeder's evaluation of the dog's conformation/structure, breed type, temperament, personality, working ability and serviceability is combined with health considerations at the time of breeding and beyond. Juggling all the different 'balls' of whether a dog is to to be included or excluded from a breeding program, a pairing is likely to produce quality offspring or developing a workable breeding strategy for an entire breed is an extremely difficult task. Screening for hips, elbows, heart and eye examinations by veterinarians, expert evaluators, and a myriad of schemes developed to govern those types of non-dna evaluations have long been considered by health-conscious breeders as essential components of quality breeding programs. Enter the explosion of research on DNA and the dog genome - scientists are in the process of examining the genetic components of everything - health conditions and diseases, predispositions to manifest diseases, physical characteristics, longevity, genetic diversity, behaviours - in people, dogs and other species. DNA tests and direct to consumer sales of DNA tests has opened up a whole new world of 'evaluation tools' for dog breeders. Understanding genetic testing and applying results of tests to breeding decisions and management of individual dogs and breeds is clearly no simple matter. The science is relatively new - but its effects are already widespread - for the better in some cases - but challenges exist. For insights... Check out Finnish Kennel club Breeding Experts, Taina Nygård and Katariina Mäki's writeup, Gene tests for consumer advice