What is a Breed Health Co-ordinator?
Breed Health Co-ordinators are individuals working on behalf of breed clubs and councils who are advocates for the health and welfare of their chosen breed. The main role of the BHC is to facilitate, over time, the communication and collection of data on the health of their chosen breed. The BHC acts as a spokesperson on matters of health and will collaborate with the Kennel Club on any health concerns the breed may have.
How are Breed Health Co-ordinators appointed?
BHCs are chosen and appointed by breed clubs and councils. Candidates for the position are usually nominated and then chosen by a majority vote. Breeds with more than one club must have a majority agreement before informing the Kennel Club of the newly appointed individual. A BHC may be appointed for a variety of different reasons, including their breed knowledge or their skill sets.
How to contact a Breed Health Co-ordinator?
If you have a health related questions concerning a particular breed, we recommend contacting the Breed Health Co-ordinator through the your local Breed club, a list of which is available via the "Find a dog club" link on the Kennel Club's Breed Information Centre.
Alternatively please e-mail your query to Health and Breeding Services and your e-mail will be forwarded to the appropriate BHC.
Resources for Breed Health Co-ordinators
The Kennel Club assist individuals within this role by offering them the tools and resources to help promote and improve the health of their breed where necessary.
Access to breed health reports
All breed health co-ordinators have access to bespoke KC breed health reports, free of charge. (This includes the reports generated on DNA tests, as well as the Hip, Elbow, Eye and CM/SM Schemes.) If you wish to request any reports, then please e-mail Nick Sutton.
Assistance with publicising and promoting health surveys and research
The Kennel Club is in a unique position to help assist BHCs with the promotion of any ongoing health related research, whether it is a survey instigated by a breed club/ council, or an official research body.
On your behalf the Kennel Club may be able to promote your study via:
If you would like the Kennel Club to help in any or all of these ways please e-mail Nick Sutton.
The Annual BHC Symposium 2016
The Annual BHC Symposium 2016 was held at The Grange Hall on Friday 23rd September. The day included a talk on VetCompass (Dr Dan O’Neill, RVC), a talk on the International Partnership For Dogs (IPFD) and DogWellNet.com (Dr Brenda Bonnett), and a talk on the Give a Dog a Genome project (Dr Cathryn Mellersh, AHT). Those who were unable to attend the symposium can view the lecture slides below. For more information please email Bonnie Abhayaratne.
The Annual BHC Symposium 2015
The Annual BHC Symposium 2015 was held at Stoneleigh Park on Wednesday 9thSeptember. The day included a talk on cancer (Dr Mike Starkey, AHT), and a talk on the trends in genetic diversity and effective population sizes (Dr Tom Lewis, KC), for which there is a scientific paper available in the Canine Genetics and Epidemiology Journal. Those who were unable to attend the symposium can view the lecture slides below. For more information please email Bonnie Abhayaratne.
The Annual BHC Symposium 2014
The Annual BHC Symposium 2014 was held at Stoneleigh Park on Wednesday 17th and was a great success. Topics included Vision: how breed histories provide the key to healthier futures (Philippa Robinson), VetCompass: how veterinary data can inform breed health (Dr Dan O'Neill) and The 2014 Pedigree Breed Health Survey (Bonnie Wiles). Those that were unable to attend the symposium can view the lecture slides below. For more information please email Bonnie Abhayaratne.
The Annual BHC Symposium 2013
The Annual BHC Symposium was held at Stoneleigh Park on Wednesday 18th September 2013, the outcome of which was incredibly positive. Topics included The Karlton Index (Philippa Robinson), Estimated Breeding Values (Aimee Llewellyn), Assured Breeder Scheme (Bill Lambert) and Breed Watch (Charlotte McNamara). Those that were unable to attend the symposium can view the lecture slides below. For more information please email Nick Sutton.
Health Strategy Guide
The Health Strategy Guide is a practical approach to developing, assessing, and monitoring a health plan specific to your breed. Every breed can benefit from a Health Improvement Strategy as a way to prevent health issues from developing, tackle a problem if it does arise, and assess the good practices already being undertaken.
Resolving Common problems Encountered by BHCs
This toolkit discusses the top 5 challenges and ways to manage them, that were discussed by the Breed Health Co-ordinators who took part in the Breed Health Co-ordinator Symposium workshop (held on 18th September 2013).
The Breed Health Survey Toolkit
This is a step by step guide to developing the right surveys for your breed. By carrying out good health surveys, you will be able to provide the evidence of how healthy your breed is and which areas, if any, require improvement.
Further tool kits will be developed to cover other areas, including computing resources, in the future.
Website Content Toolkit
The website content toolkit is a general guide on features that could be included on your website, to provide relevant information for breeders and owners about the health of your breed.
Website Enhancement Toolkit
This is a guide to create or enhance your website, which is one of the best platforms to promote and publicise the health and welfare of your breed. The toolkit includes some dos and don'ts, and information on how to build a website and the general design of your website.
We hope that you will find these tools useful in your role as Breed Health Coordinator. If you have any suggestions or recommendations, please do not hesitate to contact Nick Sutton, Health Information Officer, at Nick Sutton.
Managing the arrival of a new DNA test
This toolkit will guide you through the necessary and recommended actions to take following the arrival of a new DNA test for your breed, including how to tell if the test is reliable, how a DNA test is made an official Kennel Club testing scheme, and where to find a list of DNA tests available for your breed and the laboratories that carry these out.