The standard code of ethics was easy to understand and to adhere to so would the EFG people want anything harder/more explicit or would it be apathy? Enthusiast and Fanciers people had never been backward in having opinions and this subject was no different; there were views!
The Spring Newsletter of 2006 had a provisional list of things received for consideration and discussion and Summer 2006 featured the list again with some of the questions that had come in plus further suggestions. (A mug of tea may be helpful at this point because reading is to follow)
The main five suggestions were:-
a) NO BITCH TO HAVE A LITTER UNTIL AT LEAST 18 MONTHS HAVE PASSED SINCE THE LAST ONE
b) NO DOG TO SIRE MORE THAN SIX LITTERS IN HIS LIFETIME
c) NO BITCH TO BE MATED UNDER THREE YEARS OLD
d) NO GLEN TO BE BRED FROM UNLESS THE PARENTS ARE ALSO EYE TESTED
Some of the comments received and the answers given:-
“Where did the figure of 6 come from?” A dozen of the breed’s better known males had their stud careers analysed. “Better known” was defined via a wide parameter; the males had obtained a top award somewhere i.e. Glen of the Year, Puppy of the Year, Top Stud etc. so, by default probably had something to offer the breed. To ensure a fair sample the dog that has sired the highest number of registered litters, 18, was also included. Despite this remarkably high number the average number of litters sired by arguably the breed’s senior males was 6.1.
“Would it not be a better idea if the litters were “spread”? One at ten months and five before aged three would mean all six had happened before a valid (as of this time) certificate is obtained.” This is a very valid point and like the number of 6 is put for discussion
“A Glen male not used as a youngster would be as much use as a chocolate fireguard!” This is why the suggestion was put with a number rather than an age. The single younger “proving” litter has been a tradition in Glens in this country since the early 80s.
“All responsible breeders have waited until a bitch is over two for a long time now before having a litter. Some vets advise having a first litter under the age of three so wouldn’t 2.5 years be better? Glens have an eye problem, Glens mature late. Would waiting another six months really hurt?
“Why 18 months between litters?” The idea behind this is a damage limitation exercise in case the worst happens. Recently two seven year old & a nine year old have been diagnosed as affected with PRA. IF they had been mated every 12 months (which is common in some breeds) from the age of 3 there could have been 15 litters that were now all classified as carriers. If mated every 18 months there would only have been nine. It is appreciated that this is an extreme example and very, very few people mate their Glen bitches every twelve months but it does get over what the difference those few months could mean to the breed as a whole.
“Some imported animals don’t have tested parents!” .It is appreciated that testing history has to start somewhere but eye testing in Glens is now ten years old and the bulk of responsible Glen breeders have been connected, in some form, with the practice for at least five years. The question must be asked “When the risks are known why import a Glen without tested parents?” Also though there has to be kudos for starting a testing regime. As the suggestion is from a Code of Best Practice for UK Glens should only UK bred animals be covered by the clause?
“All affected Glens should be removed totally from the breeding pool!” One word, yes.
“What will be the situation with regard to carriers?” Some people would never ever breed with a carrier, others are willing to take the gamble. In an ideal world they wouldn’t be bred from but the Glen gene pool is small. Should this be up to the individual as long as everything is properly taken into account and prospective owners told?
“I suggest that both dog & bitch, when mated, should have a valid eye test no more than fifteen months old maximum”. Good suggestion.
“It is appreciated that this is a suggested BREEDING Code but I think it should include somewhere that Glens need testing to the age of nine”.
“Okay, at the moment it seems to be agreed that the first valid eye test is likely to be around 3 so why should I spend money earlier?” Glens do seem to have late onset PRA but we need to keep on top of things so one or two earlier tests can’t hurt.
“I already do most of this so what exactly will it do for me?” Signing up to a Code Of Best Practice agreed by the breed shows publicly that you, & the breed, care. Put it on your breed literature, on your business card. Health is a “biggie” these days so be proud to demonstrate that you are giving it the best shot you can. As one pet owner said “anything that lengthens the odds a bit can’t be that bad!”
Something that may already have been noticed is that a “Code Of Best Practice” is being referred to rather than a Code of Ethics. Late in 2005 it had been pointed out that a Code of Ethics was about behaviour and whilst the EFG had just the easy code that they had, and everybody was civilised after all, there would be no problem with it but something more intense…… How could the EFG, originally born out of the belief that everybody had a right to know what was going on and with debate, argument and contrasting views being central to its core ideals have something that could go against that? The health of the Glen was being talked about but there are different ideas on how best to go about it; just look across to America. Thus the idea came up of the Code of Best Practice. Something that would be decided by the EFG people for the intended better breeding of Glen of Imaal Terriers in regard to PRA and it would be up to each EFG individual to personally decide it was for them. Revoluntionary maybe but it was checked with the Kennel Club and they agreed that a Code of Ethics was not enforceable in law so anything that was agreed by the members……
So the Enthusiasts and Fanciers of Glens has a Code of Ethics PLUS a Code of Best Practice. The Code of Ethics can be seen in yesterday’s blog. The finalised 2006 Code of Best Practice, in no particular order) is below
a) NO BITCH TO HAVE A LITTER UNTIL AT LEAST 18 MONTHS HAVE PASSED SINCE THE LAST ONE (no mating will take place unless the bitch has an uptodate eye test)
b) NO DOG TO SIRE MORE THAN SIX LITTERS IN HIS LIFETIME(his eye test always to be up to date)
c) NO BITCH TO BE MATED UNTIL THE SEASON AROUND HER THIRD BIRTHDAY(after a clear at this time eye test)
d) NO UK BORN GLEN TO BE BRED FROM UNLESS THE PARENTS ARE ALSO EYE TESTED
e) A PRA AFFECTED GLEN WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE GENE POOL AND NEVER BRED FROM ONCE DIAGNOSIS IS MADE
f) IF A GLEN OF IMAAL TERRIER IS DEFINED AS A KNOWN CARRIER IT WILL ONLY BE USED FOR BREEDING WITH THE FULL KNOWLEDGE & AGREEMENT OF THE OWNER OF THE ANIMAL IT IS MATED TO AND THE POSSIBLE FULL CONSEQUENCES WILL BE EXPLAINED TO THE OWNERS OF ANY PUPPIES WHICH MAY RESULT.