The Kennel Club (KC) is launching a new resource designed to protect and maintain dog health – the Breed Health and Conservation Plans (BHCP) project.

Tibet terrier.
BHCP’s aim is to facilitate clear prioritisation of health concerns, said the KC.

The purpose of the project, says the club, is to ensure all health concerns are identified through evidence-based criteria. It is also hoped breeders will be provided information and resources to ensure they are “supported” in tackling health problems and achieving positive health goals for dogs.

Collaboration

The BHCP, says the KC, will take a holistic view of breed health with consideration given to:

  • known hereditary conditions
  • complex hereditary conditions
  • conformational concerns
  • population genetics

Among the resources dedicated to the project there will be a team with experience in veterinary science, quantitative genetics, epidemiology, dog breeding and bio-veterinary science.

The project, part of the KC’s wider work to improve dog health, will involve collaboration across a broad spectrum of stakeholders, including breed clubs and the veterinary and research community. Breed health coordinators will continue to be central collaborators in the identification of health concerns and risks, said the KC.

‘Clear and defined prioritisation’

Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi, head of health and research at the KC, said: “Our aim is to facilitate a clear and defined prioritisation of health concerns, and the project will be fundamental in setting health goals, based on scientific and veterinary literature and health research.

“Prioritisation will take into consideration a spectrum of evidence-based measures, recognising the impact of individual health concerns on welfare, and maximum benefit for positive change to a breed.

“The bespoke nature of the breed-specific health plans will include monitoring and review, so we can ensure ongoing health needs are accommodated and reflect progress and achievements.”

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