The ultimate responsibility for the health and wellbeing of our dogs rests with us as breeders. As a collective body, we are represented by our breed club - the English Springer Spaniel Association of NSW Inc.
Whilst the club holds a number of events throughout the year showcasing the beauty and talents of our breed, it is not enough. We need to be at the forefront in promoting sound breeding practices and responsible behaviour by breeders AND owners.
To this end, interested and concerned members within the Club have been discussing the genetic health of the English Springer Spaniel and the desirability to work towards the implementation of an Open Register. During discussions, it was agreed that a Health Sub-committee be formed to deliberate on and create a Health Survey to be sent to all breeders in Australia and New Zealand for their input.
The rationale behind the Survey can be encapsulated thus: English Springer Spaniels can (but not necessarily are) be predisposed to a number of health problems with a genetic basis. To detect any major problems with a view to setting up a Foundation to raise funds for research purposes, we must first identify any problems utilising a "broad brush" approach. Hence the Health Survey being sent to all breeders nationally and in New Zealand.
Currently, approximately 38% of breeders have responded to the Survey.
A DNA test for PRA has been developed
for the English Springer Spaniel (information released 20 April 2007)
Go to: www.englishspring.org
to read more