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Animal welfare
Dog breeding: welfare council lists priority health problems

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EIGHT priority health problems associated with selective breeding of dogs, and ways of reducing their impact, are discussed in a recently published report from the Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding.

The report sets out the problems that members of the council have initially identified as representing major welfare issues for dogs. Most are inherited and result from either a spontaneous, deleterious mutation or are secondary to an underlying physical characteristic. ‘All are considered to be a potential or actual cause of pain or suffering,’ the report says.

The problems highlighted are:

  • Ocular problems linked to head conformation;

  • Breathing difficulty linked to head conformation;

  • Syringomyelia (SM) and chiari-like malformation (CM);

  • Idiopathic epilepsy;

  • Heart disease with a known or suspected inherited basis;

  • Breed-related and inherited skin conditions;

  • Limb defects (including hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia); and

  • Separation-related behaviour.

Each of the problems is discussed in some detail in the report and recommendations are made for reducing their impact. Regarding separation-related behaviour, the advisory council says that it is highlighting this ‘because …

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