Minutes - 15.02.2009

Members present.

David Taylor (NBTC, Chairman), Norman Ames (BTA), Dr Hefin Jones OBE (MBTC), Derek Owen (NBTC), Mrs Dorothy Owen (MBTC) and Stuart Yearley (BTA)

Apologies for Absence.

Apologies for absence were received from Frank Bebbington, Mrs Christine Bell, John Holden and Garry Hurley.

Minutes of the last Meeting.

Minutes of last meeting, previously circulated, were accepted.

RSPCA Report.

The attention of the Group was drawn to the report prepared by the RSPCA entitled “Pedigree Dog Breeding in the UK; a Major Welfare Concern”.  This can be accessed in full via www. rspca.org.uk/pedigree dogs.

Breed Standard.

It was reported that the Kennel Club’s new interim breed standards had now been published on their web site.  It was pointed out that that the clubs had written to the Kennel Club to ask why “deep set” with reference to ‘eyes’ had been removed from the standard.   The Health Group agreed that it would review this matter again if/when a reply was received from the Kennel Club.

The BTHG Constitution.

It was agreed that the three Breed Clubs be asked to include ‘the revised constitution’ on their AGM agendas as an item for discussion.

The Kennel Club Health Representative Co-ordinator.

Each of the breed clubs had proposed their own Health Group Representative.  After some discussion it was agreed that the Co-ordinator ought to be the Secretary of the Health Group and this should be recommended to the three breed clubs.  The Secretary would bring all correspondence from the Kennel Club to the attention of the Health Group and the Club Secretaries.  However, at present the Health Group has no official Secretary.

Action - This matter to be addressed after the Breed Club’s AGMs.

Copper Toxicosis Seminar.

Feedback from the seminar had been positive and although people realised this was a complex issue they were disappointed with the lack of outcome.

The conclusions from the seminar were (a) don’t throw out the COMMD1 test and (b) as a numerically small breed we cannot afford to restrict the gene pool.

The Group supported the point made at the Seminar and in the Kennel Club Code of Ethics that breeders must advise purchasers of the current position on CT and other health issues affecting the breed and not just answer questions.

It was reported that Harvey Bell had made a DVD of the Seminar and 50 copies were now available for purchase. David Taylor has agreed to co-ordinate sales – details, including David’s address and telephone number, are available on the Health Group web site.  The DVDs will also be made available at the 3 club open shows and at Crufts.  It was agreed that Linda Freeman to be asked to co-ordinate sales in USA.

We have received no updates about the current research on copper toxicosis since the Seminar.

Action - Dr Hefin Jones to try again to get in touch with Dr Susan Haywood, Derek   Owen   to contact Cathryn Mellersh for an update and David Taylor to approach Pam Dickerson (following BTHG donation) for an update from America.

BTHG Finances/Fund Raising.

Finances of the Seminar, already circulated, were approved.

Recently a request had been made from Bedlington Rescue for money for a biopsy.  In this instance money was given but it was agreed that in future more knowledge on the parentage of the dog etc. was needed

Currently, the Health Group finances are in a reasonably healthy state.  After some discussion it was decided that whenever the BTHG finances fell below a threshold of £2000 the Breed Clubs should be asked for more funds.

Annual Report.

The items to be included in the Chairman’s annual report were discussed.  It was agreed that the following items should be included within the report.

The BTHG Website.

Although the counter had not been installed from the start of the site, it indicated that the site did not have a lot of hits.  

Members were reminded that anything for inclusion on the web site should be produced in Microsoft Word format. Anything to go on the site should be sent in Word to Mr Frank Bebbington who is liasing with the Webmaster.

It was asked if it was possible for the webmaster to alter the amount of space for the bottom of the page which at present looks squashed and is difficult to read.

The inclusion of a “Problem Page” was discussed where a professional view could be given.  It is not clear how feasible this would be, nor its legal implications.

An “In Memoriam” page was also considered.  This could allow Bedlington terrier owners to register the date of death of their dogs, name of dog, parentage, and cause of death. This could also give the Group some insight into the main causes of death other than old age.

Any Other Business.

Date of the Next Meeting.

The next meeting will be held on Sunday, 14th June 2009.

The meeting closed at 14.50 pm.

BTHG Minutes

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