ANKC to improve the health standard for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels in Australia

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Health standards for breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels need to change.

Breed Standards focus on appearance rather than selecting traits that are best for the dogs’ health and well-being. Unfortunately, the Peak Body ANKC who maintain the registry requires a dog to meet the Breed Standards to be put on the main register that allows this dog to be breed from.

Health testing should be the primary focus for breeding; however, there are no current requirements nationally to enforce testing before breeding.

The gene pool and health are being driven by rules designed for a show ring.

Healthy breed gene pools require expanding or large stable populations. A lack of genetic variation increases the chances of inherited disorders, compromises the immune system and may lead to infertility.

We ask the following:

To change the main registry to be inclusive of all healthy Cavalier King Charles Spaniels regardless of colour, size or length of fur.

To allow other colour cavaliers to that do not conform to the current four colour rule be included on the main register.

To have health testing, genetic testing and genetic diversity to take precedence over appearance, including in showing of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

ANKC to initiate an accessible breeder register for all breeds to record results and enforce health testing and DNA compliance before breeding.

A committee of health professionals to be formed to define an acceptable baseline for the results of all tests and optional results as per breed requirements.

DNA results to be recorded on Pedigree papers.

For pet owners to be able to contact the register to ensure that the breeder has been compliant to the health check policy.

To remove, revise or include an appendix the reflect the current law for docking of tails.