Southern Counties SBT Society

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Lead Health Co-ordinators Report March 2020

Since my last report, there has been movement in the breed health conservation plan for Staffords. Hannah James at the KC has compiled a very comprehensive document and I have passed this on to Gem and Nicky to study. It includes not only data I have compiled over the years with your co-operation, but that of studies published in peer-reviewed journals as well. I only received it after Crufts so there has not been time to look at it in depth, but Hannah needs to be complimented on her efforts.

I am also pleased to report that it is hoped data from VetCompass will be forthcoming in due course. Dr Dan O'Neill of the RCVS who direct the project has told me that an analysis of the prevalence of common conditions in Staffords in comparison with the general canine population is going to be undertaken. I have been asking Dan about this for several years but it has been a question of availability of labour to undertake the work but to avoid prohibitive cost implications, much of this sort of work is undertaken by students as part of their courses so is free. I cannot say when results will be available but will take some months at least. As you may know VetCompass get the data from many veterinary practices by computer link and a weakness of the system is breed identification by vets, hence pure Staffords and 'Staffies' may be lumped together, something Dan is very aware of. However, this should not demerit the work and we should get a good picture of why Staffords visit the vet and the prevalence of common conditions.

As you will realise this is my last such report and I must admit to a feeling of relief as I am simply 'burned out' after so many years involved with breed health, going back to the time when the genetics sub-committee under the leadership of Ivor Keyes was working with the AHT on research and development of genetic tests in the late nineties (not to mention attending Breed Council since my first time in 1989!). I have liaised with Gem and Nicky about handing over and they are assured of my continued support and help and advice as necessary. Best wishes to you both!

Lastly without naming names, can I give my heartfelt thanks to all who have supported and helped me over the years. Your assistance and co-operation has been greatly appreciated.