Dog breeding defects a top concern for vets
Vets are being encouraged to speak to clients about responsible dog breeding and buying as new figures show a huge rise in concern for conformational deformities and pedigree breeding.
According to BVA’s Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey, which polled almost 700 vets across the UK, more than half (52.5%) of all the vets cited breeding and hereditary defects as the most pressing animal health and welfare issue - more than double the proportion expressing concern just two years ago.
The survey also revealed particular concern for vets working in companion animal practice, with around two-thirds (66%) citing breeding and hereditary defects as a major issue.
British Veterinary Association President Gudrun Ravetz said: “With breeding and hereditary defects emerging as the number one animal health and welfare concern for vets, it is more important than ever to screen before breeding dogs. Vets in practice regularly see cases of inherited conditions such as hip dysplasia and eye problems that are debilitating and distressing for dogs.
“The good news is that we have schemes and tests in place that help breeders and owners make sound judgements about responsible breeding. The BVA/KC Canine Health Schemes and Kennel Club DNA testing services are critical tools for breeders. Anyone thinking of breeding from their dog or thinking about buying a puppy should ask their vet about available health schemes and how they can be used to inform their decisions.”
This Puppy Awareness Week (4-10 September), BVA is teaming up with the Animal Welfare Foundation to promote the use of the Puppy Contract, which contains a section for the breeder to fill out about any health screening or DNA results to offer reassurance to owners.
The BVA has also produced a four-minute film on responsible dog breeding and buying that can be placed in practice waiting rooms or on social media channels which also explains the process and benefits of the Canine Health Schemes.
For more information about the BVA/KC Canine Health Schemes visit https://www.bva.co.uk/Canine-Health-Schemes/