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10 May 2011

The 19th Breed Council AGM was held on Tuesday 10th May 2011 at the Kennel Club, London W1, followed by a Meeting of the Breed Council.


Chairman Peter Mills gave his final report to the Council, remarking on how events in the canine world had happened with unprecedented speed during that time: largely triggered by pressures generated by the “Pedigree Dogs Exposed” TV programme. Significant for the Council had been the establishment of a Health Sub-committee led by a Breed Health Co-ordinator: which has met twice so far and is undertaking a review of health issues within the breed. In coming together at Council and “speaking with one voice”, the influence of individual Clubs is strengthened and some significant successes had been achieved during the last three years. Mr Mills thanked his fellow Officers and the Delegates for their support during his time in office: he is succeeded by Ms P Gowland, who was elected unopposed for the three year term 2011-2014.

MEETING Breed Standard: discussions have been ongoing for some time with respect to possible amendments to the Standard. However, the emphasis had switched more recently to considering ‘points of concern’ potentially for addition to the KC “Breed Watch” for Golden Retrievers. In a close vote, items relating to rear angulation and to temperament failed to receive sufficient support: however, it was noted that such issues equally could be addressed at Breed Seminars.

Accredited Breeder Scheme (ABS): further to discussions at the last meeting, Delegates considered a proposal from Southern GRS to request the addition of two breed specific parameters to the KC ABS for Golden Retrievers: that 1) Bitches under 18 months of age should not produce a litter; and that 2) A bitch should not produce more than one litter within a 12 month period. Both items received significant support in Council and an application will be made to KC to have these parameters added to the ABS for the breed.

Health matters: Mrs Woods reported on several topics: the pilot study to better quantify the incidence of “GR_PRA1” in the UK is well underway. It is hoped to complete the collection of ~200 samples within the next few months as the Animal Health Trust (AHT) will run the tests together in a single batch. Regarding Multifocal Retinal Dysplasia (MRD), there is a general feeling that the mild form of folds is developmental and disappears with time but this is not confirmed. With respect to MRD being on Schedule A (certified conditions) of the BVA/KC Eye scheme, it was agreed that this will be pursued with the KC and BVA Eye Panel Working Party with a view to asking for this status to be changed. Information is being collated on Epilepsy in Goldens; although this is difficult as accurate diagnosis is not simple. Contact has been made with Dick White Referrals, specialists in this area; and also with the AHT. For Ectopic Ureter, it is felt that this might be becoming more prevalent in the UK. The AHT could initiate a study if 50 DNA samples from affected puppies could be provided; but it is likely that collection would not be easy as many are simply euthanised at an early age. Mrs Woods also has been in contact with a specialist who performs repair operations.

Judges from overseas: Delegates discussed the situation whereby Judges from abroad (not always from countries with FCI recognition) are applying to Clubs for inclusion on their Judges Lists. It was felt in general that it would be desirable to recognise more overseas judges; and Clubs were requested to consider how this best might be achieved.

Judges new “Working” criterion: clarification from the KC is still being sought on the implementation of this new criterion: there is some confusion over how it should be written into criteria; when it will be required by Judges undertaking the A2 process; and which events are acceptable to have attended.

Working Gundog Certificate: Midland GRC raised the question of whether this should be put on a par with the SGWC and become another means by which a Show Champion could qualify as a gundog ‘Champion”. Delegates felt that this would be acceptable provided the WGC had been obtained only on game and not on dummies.

InterClub WT rotation: the current cycle ends next year with Yorkshire GRC as hosts. The next rotation has been drafted and will commence with the Golden Retriever Club hosting in 2013, followed by Berkshire Downs & Chilterns in 2014; and thereafter in roughly an alphabetical order.

Date of next meeting: Tueasday 4th October 2011

Christine Morrell - Secretary