Many aspects of the dog world, including breeding, are being considered at an international level. Cooperation and collaboration across the many and diverse individuals and groups who are stakeholders in the health, well-being and welfare of dogs are needed to effectively address these issues.
One organisation that works relentlessly to bring these various communities together is the International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD) led by Dr Brenda Bonnett. Between April 21st and April 23rd 2017, the IPFD held its 3rd International Dog Health Workshop, hosted by the French Kennel Club in Paris, and attended by delegates from across the world.
Approximately 120 notable experts in their field assembled to pool their collective knowledge and experiences and determine strategies for improving the health of dogs. In additional to 17 national Kennel Clubs, the delegation included scientists, behaviourists, breed clubs and owners, all willing and eager to contribute in the search for global solutions to common dog health issues.
The group was divided into working parties to address a range of subjects including the growing importance and application of genetic analysis, the widespread challenge of antimicrobial resistance and the interrelation of breed specific illnesses. Considerable attention was given to the growing recognition of problems with brachycephalic breeds and this issue was very much used as a test case for how collaboration between groups could work in many other areas.
One of the most common themes throughout the event was the need for data. Not only did the group feel that lack of data was making measurement of health problems difficult to quantify, they highlighted the need for data as an essential component for evaluating the success of future strategies as they are deployed.
Agria has been a strong supporter of the IPFD for many years. Not only does it provide financial support through its sponsorship program, it also shares its insurance claims data for cats and dogs which the IPFD have used to create an exclusive and valuable insight to the comparative health issues between species and breeds.
While the IPFD remains a significant catalyst for change, it relies on collaboration between health experts and practitioners to create and implement proposals that will have a positive influence on the life of dogs. The actions and conclusions from the 3rd International Dog Health Workshop will be summarised over the next few weeks and published on the IPFD web site, www.DogWellNet.com and progress will be reported at the next meeting in 2019 to be held in London.
For more information about the splendid work being achieved by Dr Brenda Bonnett and her team, visit the IPFD web site at www.DogWellNet.com.