A Challenge for the new age

Modernisation, communications and innovation are now a reality and an integrated part of our everyday life at the office of the FCI. In response to the many solicitations that reach us daily from every part of the globe, we supply information and try to provide the best possible services to our member countries and to the world of organised dog-related activities.

In fact we continuously strive for excellence.

Suddenly the world has gone global in many respects and all of us feel the need to be in full and immediate contact at all moments. Consequently, the need to communicate within the major areas of our activities has increased and so have the demands for immediate responses. For this reason also, the requests that are forwarded to our Organisation at management level have increased tremendously and almost instantly.

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Carla Molinari
Treasurer of the FCI
Action plan for enhancement of genetic health in dogs – proposed by FCI and other international stakeholders at the Dog Health Workshop

An international action plan for increased health and well-being in pedigree dogs have been compiled in collaboration between FCI and other cynological organisations, geneticists, veterinarians and welfare organisations. The proposals were developed at the 1st International Workshop on Enhancement of Genetic Health in Pedigree Dogs in Sweden in 2012, commonly referred to as the Dog Health Workshop. FCI was well represented at the workshop and have been appointed to lead the work on several key issues. Representatives from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) and the Swedish Kennel Club (SKK) were asked to take the lead concerning other important issues. Working groups, representing different stakeholders, will now be formed to carry the suggested actions from the workshop forward.

Dog Health Workshop 2012

The 1st International Workshop on Enhancement of Genetic Health in Pedigree Dogs, or the Dog Health Workshop 2012 which has become the common name for the event, was arranged by the Swedish Kennel Club in Stockholm on June 2–3, 2012.

The overall aims of this workshop series are to provide an opportunity to exchange experiences and views on the enhancement of canine genetic health and to create an international platform for various stakeholders, e.g., geneticists, veterinarians and representatives from cynological and animal welfare organisations.

About 150 stakeholders from 24 countries attended the Dog Health Workshop 2012. FCI was exemplary one of the most represented organisations. The board was represented by Kari Järvinen and Marie Luna Durán represented the General Secretariat. The Breeding Commission, the Scientific Commission and the Standards Commission were all well represented and Zeev Trainin from the Scientific Commission successfully lead one of the workshop sessions.

A major challenge stressed by the workshop participants was the urgent need to increase the collaboration between different stakeholders and countries. Seven key issues with relevance for the genetic health in dogs were discussed in detail and prioritised actions that need to be taken were compiled.

Suggested actions

The participants at the Dog Health Workshop 2012 suggested the following actions to enhance the genetic health in dogs.

Recognition of breeds and varieties

Stricter regulations for international recognition of breeds shall be developed.

Harmonisation of screening procedures

New screening procedures need to be initiated and existing procedures shall be harmonised and validated.

Genetic tests

Procedures for technical validation of DNA-tests and testing laboratories and recommendations for proper use of DNA-tests in different populations shall be outlined.

Anatomical soundness

Regulations and breed standards shall be reviewed, and the education of breeders and show judges need to be developed to avoid extreme phenotypes.

Breed-specific breeding programmes

Breed-specific breeding programmes shall be developed on national and international level.

Selection for behavioural characteristics

Guidelines for terminology and evaluation of mental characters in dogs shall be established.

Platforms for collaborative efforts

An international platform for collaboration between different stakeholders interested in, and responsible for, dog health and welfare shall be developed.

Work in progress

Work has already been initiated internationally within all seven issues but a major effort is now needed to boost the process. Working groups are therefore created to pursuing this work.

Dog Health Workshop 2014

The 2nd International Workshop on Enhancement of Genetic Health in Pedigree Dogs will be arranged by the German Kennel Club in Düsseldorf on May 31-June 1, 2014.

Get informed and become involved!

Detailed presentations of the suggested actions, continuous information about achievements made within these subject areas and information about the upcoming Dog Health Workshop are presented on the workshop webpage; www.doghealthworkshop.com