Let’s fight the diseases and not each other, pleads Border Terrier campaigner following meeting


Let’s fight the diseases and not each other, pleads Border Terrier campaigner following meeting

THE RECENT call for unity in the Border Terrier world has been welcomed by a campaigner who has been battling to get two serious health conditions recognised and addressed.

Janet Lee was responding to Ronnie Irving’s plea at a recent meeting for ‘a unified position’ within the breed over canine epileptic cramping syndrome (CECS) and shaking puppy syndrome. 

Although Mrs Lee’s International Breeders’ Group feels strongly that breed health co-ordinator Steve Dean has not been doing enough to recognise and tackle the conditions and feel he should be replaced, she said she and her fellow members had been pleased to have an opportunity ‘at last, to sit around the table with those who are overseeing breed health’.

“We were able to explain our findings and discuss both conditions and the bloodlines affected,” she said. “It was good to know that since the breeders’ group’s seminar in February the working party has looked at information distributed there and reached the same conclusions as we have deduced… We feel our contribution really counts.

“Obviously, until full permission is granted not all can be disclosed at present, but our group is working towards encouraging full disclosure in due course, which is as it should be.”

Several of the group’s requests had been noted and agreed at the meeting, Mrs Lee said.

“These should be implemented if possible,” she said. “Of course, not all was agreed on but some of our very important requests should be implemented and this is a great step forward.

“Now, all we campaigners want is DNA tests for these two horrible conditions to enable us to breed healthier Border Terriers in future; this is in the scientists’ hands now and we are hoping it can be achieved.

“I very much hope that the breed can go forward together and all voices heard without recriminations in future as this has been a long, hard battle for some of our campaigners, which should never have happened and would not have done so had a more open viewpoint been at the helm from the start. Please, Border Terrier folk, let’s fight the diseases not each other in future, and have a system in place where the last decade never repeats itself.”

At the recent meeting chairman Ronnie Irving said he wanted to give those involved the opportunity to hand over ‘such data as they were able to, and to express their concerns to the breed health group (BHG)’. The pedigrees of 19 SPS litters were given to the group along with information on various aspects of CECS.

Mr Irving wants everyone to ‘concentrate on the future rather than the past, and on unity rather than divisiveness’. Several positive moves had been agreed, he said.

“Clearly the group will have to work on building back that trust in the interest of the breed,” he added.

At the meeting he dismissed suggestions that Prof Dean should be replaced and said that the appointments of the BHC and members of the BHG ‘were matters for the breed clubs and not for individuals’.