This is a joint letter to the Kennel Club from the King Charles Spaniel Association and the Northern King Charles Spaniel Club
This is in regard to the matter of the Dutch Kennel Club (Raad van Beheer) banning the breeding of brachycephalic breeds. Long term dedicated breeders have had their hearts ripped out knowing that their beloved breeds will very soon no longer exist. It is now illegal for the King Charles Spaniel, as well as other short nosed breeds, to be bred and no puppies to be registered from these breeds. Other breed clubs are taking a stand and showing their support and lobbying the UK Kennel Club.
We believe that we have a duty to protect and ensure that the historical relevance of our breed plus the breed’s future health and wellbeing is preserved. We are the caretakers for our breed. We offer our support to the Dutch breeders of all brachycephalic breeds that will be affected by the decision of the RVB to change these breed standards. We cannot agree nor support the decision of the RVB to ban the registration of King Charles Spaniels purely based on regulations which use the length of muzzle as their justification for their actions. It is of concern that this proposed legislation will enable indiscriminate breeding by those motivated by factors other than the betterment and health of the breed. This will lead to irresponsible cross breeding and will become uncontrolled meaning there will be no health schemes to protect the future of any progeny from this cross breeding, which every dog deserves. The regulation, as such, will be hugely damaging to the future of ours and other brachycephalic breeds.
We must protect our breeds at all costs and trust that our Kennel Club will protect them. We are, at the moment, classed as a vulnerable breed and our current breed standard must be protected as the UK is the origin of our breed.
The remit of the Brachycephalic Working Group formed by the Kennel Club in 2016 specialises in brachycephalic and breed club representatives and continues to research brachycephalic health and they urge breeders of pugs, French bulldogs and bulldogs to make use of the Kennel Club facilities. This includes a grading system enabling vets to identify dogs at risk of BOAS Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome. Our Breed Health representative is fully aware of this group and, if necessary, will work with them to ascertain the necessity of testing for BOAS in King Charles Spaniels.
We hope that the actions of the Dutch Kennel Club will not in any way influence any decisions taken by our Kennel Club in the way that the brachycephalic breeds are treated in the United Kingdom.
Health statement from the Breed Health Representative, Dr Andreas Schemel, received with many thanks
“ Further actions on health testing were discussed earlier in the year with the Chairman of the King Charles Spaniel Club and at their last committee meeting. It was planned to continue offering free health testing at their championship show and they were also planning to ask the other clubs to do another one later in the year, potentially at the open show to cover a wider area.
It was also discussed to organise some BOAS (Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome) testing with Jane Ludlow at the Animal Health Trust provided the finances could be sorted out Unfortunately, due to the Corona situation, all of this has come to a grinding halt.
The Animal Health Trust is still working but, obviously, under Corona restrictions. I have made my enquiries and I am waiting to hear and will keep members informed. However, hopefully, there is light at the end of the tunnel. At the moment, together with Hanna Janes at The Kennel Club, we are working out a strategic plan how to proceed with further testing to protect our breed “.
Dr Andreas Schemel