BTHG Report 2012

Meetings.


A meeting of the Bedlington Terrier Health Group was arranged for Sunday, 6th February 2012 when the main item on the agendas was to be a discussion about the content of a recently posted website relating to canine health matters (www.dogbreedhealth.com ).  This website, according to press reports, had received good reviews but the BTHG felt that it contained information, particularly in relation to copper toxicosis, that gave rise for concern.


Unfortunately, the severe wintry weather conditions meant that this meeting had to be cancelled.  However, an impromptu meeting of those BTHG members attending the MBTC Open Show was held following the show at Tollerton Canine Academy on Saturday, 25th February.


Click Here to view the minutes of that meeting.


Action:   As minuted at the meeting.



Regrettably, for a variety of reasons, no other meetings were held during 2012.  Fortunately the year proved, in many respects, to be a somewhat uneventful from the point of view of Bedlington terrier health matters and the Health Group were able to deal with matters that did arise via the telephone/email.



Matters of Importance receiving Attention.



Publication of COMMD1 Results (Summary).


The BTHG have continued to receive results of COMMD1 tests on a monthly basis from the AHT.  A summary of these results is maintained on the BTHG web site.


Click Here to view this summary.


Action:  To continue to enter these results in the summary table on the BTHG website as they are received.


There are two points to note with regard to these results:


1.    The number of registered dogs tested represents only a very small proportion of the number of Bedlington dogs that are registered.


2.   It is known that the COMMD1 test has given anomalous results.  Vetgen (USA) considers the frequency of these anomalous results to be less than 10%.



Copper Toxicosis Research.


Following the transfer of the research from Liverpool University back to the Animal Health Trust early in the year, the BTHG has received a further two progress reports from Dr Susan Haywood, the Research Project Coordinator.


In the first of these, received on the 21st June, Dr Haywood stated that “the genome sequencing had been completed, that detailed analysis of the data from six of the dogs had been carried out over the summer and that Dr Cathryn Mellersh and the geneticists at the AHT would now be extending the analysis to cover the remaining twenty-nine dogs”.  Dr Haywood stressed that there was still a considerable amount of work to be done before the data could be meaningfully interpreted.


The second update was received on the 9th December when the BTHG was informed that “the work of analysing the genomes across all the dogs in the project to identify and check out possible candidate genes was progressing satisfactorily”.


Action:  No action is required.  The BTHG will be notified as and when there is any significant progress to report and this will be posted on the BTHG website.



The Dog Advisory Council (DAC) Report.


In his report (An Independent Inquiry into Dog Breeding), Sir Patrick Bateson stated that “the challenge of identifying high welfare standard breeders reliably could be addressed through the application of a rigorous, robustly policed and well respected quality assurance scheme. No current scheme presently matches those criteria”.


As a direct consequence of this observation and following consultations with key stakeholders including the veterinary profession, major animal welfare charities and the Kennel Club,  the Dog Advisory Council published a report detailing what it considers to be the standard to be adopted by ALL breeders in relation to the “management” of both breeding dogs and their puppies.


Click Here for further information about how to download a copy of this report.


Action:  The BTHG feel that no action is necessary other than to draw the attention of the   Bedlington terrier fraternity to the report.  It is felt that most of the recommendations   are “common sense” and that responsible breeders will already be adopting   practices that meet the suggested criteria.



The EFRA Committee Report on Dog Control and Welfare.


On the 24th October Dog World published a report on a meeting of the Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs Select Committee to which Professor Steve Dean, Chairman of the Kennel Club, had been called to answer questions about the KC’s views on registration of what may be considered “unhealthy” dogs.


There appeared to be differences of opinion between Professor Dean and the Committee about what was perceived as “health/healthy” and “ill-health/unhealthy” and  he was forced to attempt to clarify his own interpretation of these terms.


Members of the BTHG felt that the example about Bedlington terriers that he used to “make his point” was ill-founded and that if taken out of context of the general discussion it was misleading.  This was likely to reflect adversely on Bedlingtons, particularly when he quoted a figure of 70% as the level of CT “carriers” within the breed.


The BTHG are not aware of any documented scientific research that quotes a level of this magnitude - certainly, the results of the COMMD1 carried out by the AHT indicates a level of only 24.25% since the test was introduced in July 2005.


Action:  To contact Professor Dean to ask the source of the data from which the figure of 70% “carriers” was obtained and to inform him of the results obtained from COMMD1 tests carried out by the AHT.



Email Requests for Advice.  


During the latter part of 2012 the BTHG received several requests for advice via its website email facility.


Action:  An appropriate “consensus” reply was generally given with the additional proviso that,  when the query referred to a veterinary problem, the correspondents were informed   that they should contact their veterinary surgeon for specific advice.






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