The Kennel Club has had discussions with the major veterinary organisations over restrictions on the number of litters born by caesarean section which may be registered from an individual bitch from 2012.

The Kennel Club has confirmed that it will no longer register any puppies born by caesarean section from any bitch which has previously had two such operations, except for scientifically proven welfare reasons and in such cases normally provided that the application is made prior to mating. Refusal to register a third or subsequent litters of puppies born by caesarean section would occur irrespective of whether the progeny from either of the first two operations had been registered with the Club.

Following discussions with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the British Veterinary Association and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association, the organisations have agreed to advise their members that any caesarean sections which they perform on a Kennel Club registered bitch should be reported to the Kennel Club.

To allow the reporting of such operations by veterinary surgeons, an additional section will be incorporated into the form which is presently completed to notify the Kennel Club of any operation which alters the natural conformation of a registered pedigree dog.

This policy will become effective for all litters born on or after 1st January 2012. Further details relating to the timing of reporting by veterinary surgeons will be announced in due course.

Caroline Kisko, Kennel Club Communications Director, said: “Adding the reporting of litters born by caesarean section to the paperwork already used by veterinary surgeons will go a long way to enabling us to achieve our objective of improving the health and welfare of all pedigree dogs.

“It is particularly vital that the Kennel Club knows as much as possible about surgical operations which alter a dog’s natural conformation, so that we can continue to ensure that only those pedigree dogs which are healthy are likely be used for future breeding.”

Peter Jinman OBE, President of the RCVS, said: “We are very pleased to see that the Kennel Club is taking steps to limit the number of litters which it will register born by caesarean section from a bitch. We are keen to support this move, although in time we would very much like the limit to be reduced to one caesarean only. But this is the first step, which demonstrates that we are all working towards the same end: an improvement in health for all dogs.”

The Kennel Club will amend its regulation B22c to cover the new policy regarding the registration of puppies born by caesarean section. The amended part of the regulation will read as follows:

‘The General Committee will not accept an application to register a litter when:-

(5) The dam has already had two litters delivered by caesarean section, save for scientifically proven welfare reasons and this only normally provided the application is made prior to the mating.’

The litter form to be completed by breeders will also be amended to incorporate the new policy. A new section will appear in red on the form asking the breeder if the litter was delivered as a result of a caesarean section, and whether this was elective or an emergency procedure. The form will request details of how many caesareans, including the litter in question, the bitch has had.

Guidance notes will also appear on the litter application form/online services relating to the above under the heading ‘Caesarean Sections’ and will confirm the revised Regulation B22c. All puppies born by caesarean section will be marked accordingly in the Breed Record Supplement.

The Kennel Club recognises that some breeds will be affected more than others by this new policy and intends to review its efficiency after a period of a year.



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