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7th October 2010

A Meeting of the Breed Council was held on Thursday October 2010 at the Kennel Club, London W1

The following items were discussed:

Two matters that the Council had lobbied the KC about have now reached a satisfactory conclusion:

JW points scheme: the GRBC had proposed that 1 point may be claimed for Best Puppy in Breed at an Open show if no other qualifying JW points were gained in the breed classes and provided that three or more dogs were present. The Show Executive Committee agreed and it is understood that this would be brought into effect from 1 January 2011.

Vale of York Working 'Golden Retriever Club: KC had confirmed that as a result of a review of this new society's registration, an administrative error had been discovered and the General Committee had decided that its title would be amended to "Vale of York Working Retriever Club" (ie removing 'Golden').

However, a request from Council to increase the minimum bench width for Golden Retrievers from 60cm to 70cm had been rejected at a meeting of the Benching Working Party earlier in the year.

Judges matters: Delegates approved the updated Council Lists which included 3 new candidates nominated for the A3 List. For the B Lists criterion for number of dogs judged, Delegates unanimously agreed to a proposition to reduce the criterion from 250 to 200 dogs for the Council lists from 2011. A proposal from Berkshire Downs & Chilterns GRC that all of the Breed Clubs should adopt the same Judges CV Questionnaire form with its Guidelines on how to complete the judging numbers section received overwhelming support.

Health: there had been recent news from the AHT that the genetic mutation associated with one form of Progressive Retinal Atrophy in the Golden Retriever had been identified and a DNA test called "GR_PRA1" would be available from 15 November. It is generally felt that prevalence of this condition in UK dogs has been overestimated and Delegates agreed with the suggestion that undertaking a pilot study to better estimate the frequency of the mutation should be pursued. Regarding other eye conditions, the AHT still needs more samples for the Hereditary Cataract project. Multifocal Retinal Dysplasia remains a topic of debate but investigations by the AHT have halted due to lack of samples: although KC had approached owners of dogs consistently affected with MRD and some samples were forthcoming, this was not sufficient. Cancers: again, more samples are needed for the research at the AHT into the predisposition of Goldens Retrievers to Mast Cell Tumours, Melanomas and Soft Tissue Sarcomas. Biopsy samples from Grade 3 tumours would be especially valuable but unfortunately a number of samples have been unusable as they were stored in formaldehyde which destroys the DNA - a special solvent must be used. Mrs Woods, GRBC Health Coordinator continues to gather information on some other conditions of concern within the breed eg Epilepsy and Ectopic Ureter: all information is treated in the strictest confidence. The Health Subcommittee will next meet on 18 January 2011.

Breed Standard: Clubs had been considering amendments to various aspects of the Standard and Delegates agreed that it would be preferable potentially to utilise the "Breed Watch" scheme on the KC website to register any "points of concern for special attention by judges"; which could aid interpretation of the Standard rather than making actual changes.

Accredited Breeder Scheme:Delegates discussed possible additions to ABS "Recommendations" for Golden Retrievers; specifically regarding breeding eg to have a minimum breeding age; and to restrict the frequency of litters. To some extent, Clubs had supported a suggestion to limit the number of litters produced in a bitch's lifetime; and subsequent to the meeting, the KC announced that it would not normally register more than 4 litters from a bitch, for litters born on or after 1st January 2012.

Under other topics, Delegates agreed that the Council should continue to protect the "Kentford" kennel name which is being held as an 'historic affix'. Also that the apparent anomalies between the Show Gundog Working Certificate and the new 'Show Border Collie Herding Test' by which Show Champions can be made up to full Champions: (any registered Border Collie may take the Herding Test and those that pass will be entitled to use the letters "SBCHT" at the end of their name) should be taken up with the KC.

Date of AGM and next meeting: Tuesday 10 May 2011. In accordance with the rules, the Chairman, Mr Peter Mills is due to stand down at the AGM and a successor will be elected.

Christine Morrell Secretary.