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KC health survey needs your help to really succeed!

The Kennel Club is calling on all Breed Club Members who have received a copy of the KC/BSAVA Scientific Committee Purebred Dog Health Survey Questionnaire, to please complete it and return it promptly, to meet the deadline of the 30th April.

Even if your dogs have never had any health problems, they need to know this, so please return your questionnaires! A sample of the form can be viewed at www.the-kennel-club.org.uk on the health pages.

To give some background, in December 2003 the Kennel Club and the Animal Health Trust launched this survey - which is the first of its kind in the UK - to identify important health conditions in UK breeds, ultimately to better understand the frequency of health and disease in different breeds. Questionnaires were posted to selected breed club secretaries across all KC recognised breeds. Due to the huge volumes involved, only the numerically largest breed club for each breed was selected. The secretaries were asked to send the forms to their members in their next available mailing and it was hoped that the questionnaire would reach approximately 70,000 UK breed club members in this way.

To date, approximately 10,500 completed questionnaires have been received, which represents a response rate of just over 14% from the original mailing of 70,000. This figure may appear impressive, but any study of this nature ideally requires a response rate of at least 30% - 40% to yield truly worthwhile information. The greater the number of questionnaires returned, the more valuable the data that results and therefore the more reliance can be placed on the outcome.

If readers have lost their questionnaire, please contact their Breed Club Secretary for another copy. Breed Clubs may contact the Kennel Club Health and Information Department for more supplies if necessary, telephone 020 7518 1023.

Said Dr Jeff Sampson, the KC’s Health and Information Executive, "It is very important that as many owners as possible return a completed questionnaire to us, as only then can we achieve what the survey aims to do which is to gain a representative picture of health and disease in purebred dogs in the UK. This information simply does not exist at the moment and will be invaluable to all those involved in the world of dogs. We need to be able to show that UK breeds are healthy just as much as we need data to show where the problems are, so that they can be addressed."

Jeff concluded, "It is up to all of us to do all we can for the health of our dogs, which will also help to persuade government at every opportunity that we have suitable mechanisms in place to ensure that the breeds we support are, and remain, healthy. In so doing, any need for the adoption of anti-dog legislation, both here and in Europe, which could potentially threaten the future of some breeds, will be totally unwarranted."

The Kennel Club would like to thank Our Dogs for helping publicise this very important issue and for providing editorial space and banner advertisements within the Breed Notes.