Certainly, a prevalent theme from my side of the desk over the past several months has been canine health and wellness. This is something inherent in CKC’s purpose, mission and strategic plans - and the discussions, commitment and actions on the subject lately have been very encouraging.
At the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Winnipeg this past June, there was opportunity to exchange information and ideas, recognize long standing members of merit and generally celebrate the purebred dog fancy. David Trus of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada attended the meetings to address the Board and Membership at the AGM. He brought background on the Animal Pedigree Act (APA) including CKC’s role as Canada’s largest purebred dog registry and the opportunities within. Some of the concepts challenged long-standing ideologies around the APA and breeding. While at times this was met with opposition, it has CKC considering its role and direction on the subject.
At the same time, Board member Dr. Paul Eckford attended the 4th International Dog Health Workshop along with representative from Kennel Clubs around the world, the science community and other interested parties. Dr. Eckford returned excited by the material and insights he brought back. It will inform plans for breed improvement and preservation such as those underway with the CKC Genetics and Medical Committee.
Recently, Board Chair, Joan Bennett and I had the privilege of attending the 2nd International Congress of Kennel Clubs hosted by the Swedish Kennel Club. Here we took the baton from the Dog Health Workshop to consider the concepts and recommendations put forth. This was done under a commitment to collaborate on like-minded goals. Examples include considering standard approaches to the use of DNA in breed registries.
Closer to home and our day-to-day practices, we are closely and carefully monitoring the information surfacing around the dog food options and their possible influence on disease.
Combined, these inputs on canine health and welfare create a very broad and complex environment to maneuver in. We recognize that CKC breeders and breed clubs will be a critical source of input, experience, and direction as our strategies evolve.
So it is timely that the CKC Board of Directors is embarking on a new Strategic Plan for the Club. Ideally and eventually this will include support for practical and consistent approaches to breed-specific health plans and meaningful DNA policies, as well as more proactive sharing of information and best practices that breeders across Canada can take advantage of.