Following consultation with the Eye Panel Working Party, the Kennel Club (KC) and British Veterinary Association (BVA) have announced the following changes to the Canine Health Schemes (CHS) BVA/KC/International Sheepdog Society (ISDS) Eye Scheme, effective from 1st January 2020:
Removal of Schedule B
- Schedule B will be removed. The CHS ‘sightings report’, which records and monitors evidence of conditions and abnormalities, will be used to add and remove breeds to and from Schedule A. These reports have been collated by the Eye Panel Working Party alongside Schedule B for five years and will now be reviewed annually, allowing continued monitoring of the incidence of any conditions across all breeds.
- Where evidence of new and emerging conditions has been noted via the sightings report, breeds may be considered for addition to Schedule A, and where no reports of affected dogs have been noted for a period of five years, breeds may be considered for removal from Schedule A.
- Due to evidence of an established condition, the following breeds currently listed on Schedule B will be added to Schedule A: Border Collie (Goniodysgenesis/primary glaucoma), French Bulldog (Hereditary cataracts early onset), Hungarian Vizsla (Goniodysgenesis/primary glaucoma), Papillon (Generalised progressive retinal atrophy), and Golden Retriever (Goniodysgenesis/primary glaucoma).
- Remaining breeds currently listed on Schedule B have had very few reports of associated eye conditions and so will no longer be listed, as evidence suggests that the breed is not, at this time, predisposed to the condition.
- Wording on the eye certificates, which have recently been redesigned, will be amended to more accurately reflect the heredity of eye condition. This will enable any dog to now participate in the Eye Scheme and, in the case of KC registered dogs, have the result recorded in the Breed Record Supplement (BRS) and on the KC Health Test Results Finder online.
Change to recommended frequency of eye screening
- For KC Assured Breeders, all breeds on Schedule A must be eye screened within 12 months prior to the date of mating. The Assured Breeder Scheme rules will be altered to ensure that they accurately reflect this.
Publication of Multifocal Retinal Dysplasia results
- Multifocal Retinal Dysplasia results will be published in the BRS and KC Health Test Results Finder online, rather than on an open register. Health test results will no longer be referred to as ‘pass’ or ‘fail’, but rather ‘affected’ or ‘unaffected’.
Bill Lambert, Senior Health and Welfare Manager at the Kennel Club commented: “Collaboratively with the BVA and the Eye Panel Working Party, we have agreed that Schedule B is removed as it no longer serves a reasonable purpose. We now have improved ways to more effectively monitor eye conditions in all breeds with an annual sightings report, which has run alongside the scheme for five years now.
“Many breeders will welcome the opportunity to participate in the scheme and have the results published on the Kennel Club Health Tests Results Finder regardless of whether their breed appears on Schedule A. Any abnormalities collated in this sightings report will be reviewed annually by the Eye Panel Working Party, providing continual surveillance of the incidence of any new and emerging conditions in any breed, and assisting breeders in making sensible breeding decisions that promote good dog health.”
BVA President, Daniella Dos Santos said: “The annual sightings report means we now have five years of data on which dogs are most affected by hereditary eye diseases. We hope the removal of Schedule B will make it easier for breeders to recognise and test the breeds that are most likely to be affected by these diseases and we’ll continue to encourage routine eye screening for dogs of any breed, both purebred and crossbreed, both to ensure we have the most accurate data possible and to safeguard the health of the dogs involved.”
FAQs about the changes to the scheme can be found at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/eye-scheme-questions.