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The objects of the Council, as recorded with Companies House, are as follows:

1.1    To provide independent, expert advice and make recommendations on methods and priorities for improving the welfare issues of dog breeding
.........with particular regard to:
  • Surveillance, research and development
  • Breeding strategies
  • Legislation and regulation
  • Education and publicity
1.2    In furtherance of its purpose but not otherwise, and subject to the relevant Rules of Procedure, the Council shall, within the UK, provide advice to ........governments and other parties as appropriate regarding improving the welfare issues of dog breeding.
........In furtherance of these objects, the Council has agreed the following programme of work for 2011:

PROJECT:
OBJECTIVE

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Outline of project, objectives and comments

To develop clear and succinct guidance for the public on how to buy a dog and to ensure that the guidance links with that of other trustworthy organisations.
  • distinguishing between the issues to be considered in buying a puppy and in buying an adult dog.
  • addressing the issue of how to help people obtain a dog that is fit, healthy, and in all ways suitable for the environment in which it will live.
Comment:
Many of the welfare problems experienced by dogs have their origin in the decisions taken by people who decide to acquire one. It is widely accepted that many decisions drive selection for poor conformation, fail to take account of the precise requirements and circumstances of the potential owner, and are taken in ignorance of the pros and cons of particular breeds and crosses. The aim is to develop user-friendly, interactive (linking stakeholders) web-based guidance which will direct a potential purchaser through a decision tree and point them towards other appropriate sources of information. The prime objective of this project is to consolidate, underline and support the importance of purchasers making the right choices for the right reasons.

Progress to date
The draft decision tree, the information contained in it and the structure of questions has gone through several iterations. A web-tool has been developed.

Next steps:
  • revise the draft tool in the light of comments at the joint meeting in April and make more attractive/user friendly
  • upload onto Council website for comment by stakeholders and feedback from initial users
Timeline
24/4/12 comments from stakeholders received at joint meeting.
12/05/12 tool revised and made available to stakeholders and trialled with users
31/5/12 stakeholder responses collated.
11/06/12 Live site launched

Measures of success:
  • take up by stakeholders
  • feedback from users
  • increasing number of hits on website(s)
Outline of project, objectives and comments

To develop a minimum specification for any breeder assurance scheme intended to provide assurance of high standards of health, welfare and customer service.

Progress to date
Final standard circulated to stakeholders 24/4/12.
Copied to Defra Minister on request (Lord Taylor) 26/4/12
Gap analysis between Kennel Club scheme and council standard agreed by KC 24/4/12

Next steps:
Work with stakeholders to achieve uptake by breeders..

Timeline
Load to Council website and alert the press by mid May 2012
Follow up with the KC by end May 2012
Measures: degree of take up by breeders and purchasers.
Outline of project, objectives and comments
Objective:
To develop a clear specification of the data which need to be collected (in order to develop a sound epidemiological database) and to give guidance on how basic data could be collected accurately.

Progress to date
These projects were merged. A proposal for a 3 year project by a Post-Doc is with Dogs Trust and other potential funders for consideration.

Next steps:
Finalise funding, launch project and monitor progress.
If project not funded or not funded in full by Dogs Trust, a series of other potential providers including other canine charities, PFMA, insurers and private benefactors will be approached.


Timeline
30/5/12 Initial funding position known: project launched if at least one year’s funding in place
30/12/12 – three years funding in place
2012-2015 – progress

Measures: peer review
Outline of project, objectives and comments

Objective:
To obtain retrospective data from, for example, insurance databases (if possible including their risk decision-making models), the British Veterinary Association/Kennel Club Canine Health Schemes and breed clubs.
To analyse the available data in order to produce a list of the top welfare issue / breed priorities.

Progress to date
These projects were merged. A proposal for a 3 year project by a Post-Doc is with Dogs Trust and other potential funders for consideration.

Next steps:
Finalise funding, launch project and monitor progress.

If project not funded or not funded in full by Dogs Trust, a series of other potential providers including other canine charities, PFMA, insurers and private benefactors will be approached.


Timeline
30/5/12 Initial funding position known: project launched if at least one year’s funding in place
30/12/12 – three years funding in place
2012-2015 – progress

Measures: peer review

Outline of project, objectives and comments
Objective:
To review existing legislation and the enforcement of it, and to make recommendations
i) for improving the enforcement of existing legislation; and
ii) for new regulations if required

Comment:
The Council’s view is that the key regulatory issue is the supply of dogs and the review should embrace the full spectrum of controls over the breeding and supply of dogs.
The Council notes that the existing legislation covering dog breeding and the sale of dogs is old and outdated.
Noting that dog ownership is a public good, the Council will aim to produce a specification for new regulations under the Animal Welfare Act which could replace both the old Acts.

Progress to date
The review encompasses all UK legislation covering the breeding, sale, supply and advertising of dogs.
The Council has discussed the scope of the review and potential routes for solutions.

Next steps:
Discuss draft proposals, set out in consultation paper and circulate to stakeholders.
Assess degree of consensus and develop recommendations for government Ministers.


Timeline
Draft discussed at Council 15/5/12

30/6/12 draft proposals circulated to stakeholders for comment.

15/10/12 recommendations made to Ministers.

Measures: response from Ministers

Outline of project, objectives and comments
Merged projects: -
Objective: to identify the first eight priorities to be addressed by the Council by reference to the welfare impact on the individual dog and on the dog population
: to develop an initial expert assessment of each of these issues, identifying the welfare impact and including initial comments on potential solutions.
Progress to date
Lead drafters were identified (including both Council members and external experts) and their short statements setting out the nature and extent of the specific problems and making suggestions as to action to resolve them were publishd on the council website in November 2011.
Next steps: for each of the eight priorities, develop the initial statement by adding detailed recommendations for action.
In the context of the proposed working group on Breeding Strategies, engage with stakeholders, and breeders to develop action plans.


Timeline
Revised draft of the “eye” paper provided April 2012 and circulated for comment.

15/5/12 proposals for “Action” working groups, (including that on Breeding Strategies) circulated for comment.

30/5/12 –drafts revised and circulated on seizures and epilepsy, syringomyelia and separation related behaviour.

30/7/12 – first meeting of the Breeding Strategies Working Group maps out work programme

30/12/12 - drafts revised and circulated on Brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome, Limb defects (including hip and elbow dysplasia), and Heart disease with a known or suspected inherited basis.
Measures: take up of action plans by breeders.
Outline of project, objectives and comments
Merged projects: -

Objective: to identify the first eight priorities to be addressed by the Council by reference to the welfare impact on the individual dog and on the dog population
: to develop an initial expert assessment of each of these issues, identifying the welfare impact and including initial comments on potential solutions.


Progress to date
Lead drafters were identified (including both Council members and external experts) and their short statements setting out the nature and extent of the specific problems and making suggestions as to action to resolve them were publishd on the council website in November 2011.

Next steps: for each of the eight priorities, develop the initial statement by adding detailed recommendations for action.
In the context of the proposed working group on Breeding Strategies, engage with stakeholders, and breeders to develop action plans.


Timeline
Revised draft of the “eye” paper provided April 2012 and circulated for comment.
15/5/12 proposals for “Action” working groups, (including that on Breeding Strategies) circulated for comment.
30/5/12 –drafts revised and circulated on seizures and epilepsy, syringomyelia and separation related behaviour.
30/7/12 – first meeting of the Breeding Strategies Working Group maps out work programme
30/12/12 - drafts revised and circulated on Brachycephalic airway obstruction syndrome, Limb defects (including hip and elbow dysplasia), and Heart disease with a known or suspected inherited basis.
Measures: take up of action plans by breeders.
Outline of project, objectives and comments
Objective:
To design and deliver a seminar for breed health coordinators, to engage them in dialogue, to brief them on the nature of the welfare problems facing dogs and to engage them in addressing the problems.


Progress to date
An outline seminar programme has been drafted and circulated to the Kennel Club.

Timeline
15/5/12 discussions with the Kennel Club

30/12/12 – run seminar in partnership

Measures: feedback from participants.

Outline of project, objectives and comments

Objective:
To assist non-specialist veterinary practitioners to deliver informed services with regard to the reporting of the surgical correction of conformation problems.
To assist non-specialist veterinary practitioners on the completion of puppy health checks by providing advice.

Progress to date
First drafts prepared and circulated to BVA, BSAVA and Veterinary Defence Society.
Next steps: circulate to other stakeholders, amend and publish..

Timeline
Circulate draft to RCVS 30/4/12

Revise drafts 30/5/12
Publish 30/7/12

Measures: uptake comparable to BVA AWF/RSPCA PIP


Outline of project, objectives and comments

Objective:
To consider the potential for a research project on the heritability of temperament and develop proposals, in order to inform advice on the selection for temperament suitable for specific end uses eg as pet.



Timeline
30/7/12 initial discussion in Council

30/9/12 – circulate first draft to stakeholders and experts for comments

30/12/12 – begin to seek funding

Measures: peer review


In addition the Council will from time to time, both when requested and proactively, respond to consultations and provide guidance on public issues within the terms of reference.
The Council responded to the Welsh Assembly consultation on proposals to regulate dog breeding in January 2011.
A Council Opinion is being prepared on the issue of the permanent identification of dogs.

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Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding

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Donation

For anyone wishing to make a donation: either send a cheque to the address below made out to “WFCA Canine Advisory Account; or (preferred) make the payment by deposit to a Barclays bank or by BACS to WFCA Canine Advisory account, Barclays Bank, Exeter, Sort code 20-30-47, A/c No 90782173.

Address: Secretary of the Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding
Scotland Farm, Dry Drayton, Cambridge, CB23 8AU.