June 12, 2020
The prevalence of health problems in Brachycephalic breeds is an ongoing concern to the Irish Kennel Club, which takes its responsibility towards the welfare of dogs very seriously. The Irish Kennel Club recognises that the Brachycephalic breeds have problems with regard to respiratory function and temperature regulation and these conditions related to BOAS can result in a serious welfare problem.
The Irish Kennel Club partnered with the IPFD (International Partnership for Dogs) to share knowledge of international advances and we were represented at a number of international conferences on Brachycephalic breeds and exaggerations in conformation dogs. The Irish Kennel Club’s Health and Welfare Committee had hosted meetings with VICAS (Veterinary Ireland Companion Animal Society) and related breed clubs to discuss the way forward in addressing problems. A member of the Health and Welfare Committee is a representative for Ireland on the research work being undertaken by the University of Cambridge into BOAS (Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome).
In light of the concerning developments in the Netherlands, the Irish Kennel Club welcomes the agreement between the Kennel Club London and the FCI in a united approach to promote the Respiratory Function Grading Scheme as developed by the University of Cambridge. The Irish Kennel Club will now enter discussions immediately to licence the scheme for use in Ireland. This is a commitment to improving health among the BOAS affected breeds and sharing worldwide knowledge using a collaborative and evidence based approach. A number of Irish Kennel Club members have already undertaken the tests in Cambridge with their dogs, a clear indication of the desire of the Irish breeders to produce healthy fit puppies.
The Respiratory Function Grading Scheme advises owners if their dogs are affected by BOAS and gives guidance to breeders on how to lower the risk of producing affected puppies. Dogs will be assessed by a specially trained vet, who will initially use a stethoscope to listen to the dogs breathing while they are calm and relaxed and then following a period of exercise, the dog will be assessed again, at which time the vet will use a list of criteria to give a grading.
Irish Kennel Club Health & Welfare Committee