Latest updates to Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme - Veterinary Practice
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Latest updates to Kennel Club Assured Breeder Scheme

The Kennel Club’s ABS has been updated, keeping in mind the ethos of encouraging responsible breeding

The Kennel Club has announced the most recent updates to the breed-specific health testing and screening schedule for the Assured Breeder Scheme (ABS), aimed to further improve dog health and responsible breeding.

The range of breed-specific health testing and screening requirements and recommendations under the ABS is regularly reviewed following consultations with breed clubs and councils and with the agreement and advice from The Kennel Club Dog Health Group, in a collaborative effort to ensure that health and welfare issues are kept at the forefront of what the scheme sets out to achieve: the encouragement of responsible breeding.

The list of ABS breed specific requirements and recommendations is updated twice a year to ensure that they remain relevant and of maximum health benefit to all dogs bred by Kennel Club Assured Breeders. Further tests can be expected to be announced as they are developed.

The most recent updates come into effect immediately; however, existing Assured Breeders have a grace period of six months in order to comply with any new requirements and recommendations to allow them to take account of any existing breeding plans.

The ABS guidelines emphasise the importance of conducting not only the required health tests, but the recommended ones also. Results provide data which allow researchers to help develop a picture of how each breed is affected by particular diseases, and how best to improve the health of affected breeds and develop cheaper and faster testing methods.

Breed clubs and breed councils wishing to make changes to the breed specific requirements and recommendations for their breed should contact their who can then liaise with the Health Team at, and review available data to support the change.

Breed specific updates are as follows:

Dobermann: add recommendation for dogs to be eye tested minimum of once prior to being used for breeding (PHPV) (downgraded from requirement)

English Toy Terrier (Black & Tan): removal of BAER testing (deafness) as a recommendation

Eurasier: add requirements of eye testing and elbow grading

French Bulldog: removal of DNA testing for DM as a recommendation

German Shepherd Dog: add requirement of DNA testing for DM/CDRM (upgraded from recommendation)

German Wirehaired Pointer: add requirement of elbow grading and recommendation of breed club heart testing (echocardiogram)

Giant Schnauzer: add recommendations of DNA testing for prcd-PRA, DCM and PRA5

Hungarian Vizsla: add requirement of elbow grading

Itailan Spinone: the requirement for CA testing has been temporarily removed until such time as a suitable laboratory is able to conduct the test

Lancashire Heeler: add requirement of DNA testing for CEA

Retriever (Chesapeake Bay): add requirement of elbow grading

Rhodesian Ridgeback: add requirement of DNA testing for Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy (JME)

Spaniel (Cocker): add requirement of DNA testing for AON (upgraded from recommendation); following discussions with the breed clubs and the Breed Health Coordinator, The Kennel Club through its Dog Health Group has decided to reinstate the DNA test for AON as a requirement for Cocker Spaniels. Information will be provided to breeders and sent out to all relevant parties regarding this. Any breeders who have concerns regarding this matter should contact the ABS team or email their Breed Health Coordinator

Spaniel (Field): amendment of recommendation for DNA of breeding stock to be held at The Kennel Club Genetics Centre (previously Animal Health Trust)

Whippet: add recommendation of heart testing (auscultation)

Health, Welfare & Breeder Services Executive at The Kennel Club, Bill Lambert, said: “Regular review and update of the Assured Breeder Scheme recommendations and requirements ensures we maintain maximum progress for dog health improvements and encourage good breeding practices, which will in turn help to protect the future of the UK’s pedigree dogs and ensure that puppy buyers can be easily signposted to breeders who do all they can to produce healthy pups. The current high demand for puppies simply serves to reinforce the importance of puppy seekers doing their research before making a purchase. The ABS offers these people a way to source breeders who have agreed to follow a number of requirements including health testing.”

More information on the Assured Breeder Scheme, including the latest list of health testing requirements and recommendations, can be found at on the Kennel Club website.

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