The consent of the Kennel Club registered dog owner releases the veterinary surgeon from the professional obligation to maintain confidentiality (vide the Kennel Club General Code of Ethics (2): Will agree without reservation that any veterinary surgeon performing a caesarean section and/or an operation on any of their dogs which alters the natural conformation of the animal, may report such operation to the Kennel Club.). All data received will be retained and processed securely. Any form received where the dog is not identified as a Kennel Club registered dog will be securely destroyed.
This information is collected by the Kennel Club to:
- Provide information regarding breeding lines appearing to perpetuate certain defects.
- Help to deter breeders from breeding from animals displaying evidence of hereditary problems, or whose natural conformation has been altered, or where breeding routinely relies on caesarean operations (vide Regulation B22c (5)).
- Assist dog show judges to be sure that they are not being called upon to assess dogs with hereditary defects which have been so well corrected by surgical intervention that these cannot be detected.
- Collect and utilise clinical data over time, to assist in inferring prevalence and monitor changes and trends to support health and welfare.
The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, British Veterinary Association, British Small Animal Veterinary Association and the Kennel Club consider that in the interests of animal welfare, reports should be made to the Kennel Club in appropriate cases, to help correct some of the problems identified in the breeding of dogs.
For the present, the removal of dewclaws may be excluded from operations to be reported, since, of course, the results of such procedure will be self-apparent.