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Department of Zoology


Professor Sir Patrick Bateson was commissioned by the Dogs Trust and Kennel Club of Great Britain to produce a report on the breeding of pedigree dogs in this country.

It was set up in the wake of a controversial 2008 BBC documentary about Crufts which said some dogs on show suffered from genetic diseases after years of inbreeding. The report was published last week and can be found here:

The Report concludes that dog-breeding raises a number of serious concerns about the welfare of dogs. Key recommendations include:

  • The creation of an independent non-statutory Council to develop breeding strategies which address issues of inherited disease, extreme conformation and inbreeding.
  • Changes in the law including requirements for the compulsory micro-chipping of all puppies and a duty of care on all breeders to have regard to the health and welfare of both the parents and the offspring of a mating.
  • The need for a robust Accredited Breeder Scheme setting out requirements with regard to pre-mating health tests, purchasers being able to view a puppy with its mother, all puppies micro-chipped before sale etc.
  • An urgent need for the creation of a computer-based system for the collection of anonymised diagnoses from veterinary surgeries in order to provide prevalence data for each breed.
  • New regulations to replace the now out-dated breeding and sales of dogs legislation, and much better enforcement of good welfare on licensed dog breeding premises.
  • A new publicity and education campaign, delivered by all key dog and welfare organisations working together, to encourage a major improvement in how the public go about buying dogs.

Further coverage, including an interview with Professor Sir Patrick Bateson, can be found on the BBC site -