2016 FCI World Dog Show:
congratulations Russia!

There had been rumours, hear-says, comments, all of them negative, on Social Networks or via emails about the organisation of the 2016 FCI World Dog Show in Moscow.

After 4 very busy days, we have to admit that the very hard work of RKF, combined with their will to listen to the recommendations of the FCI Consultancy Group, have resulted in an outstanding dog show, of which all of us will remember as a very professional competition. RKF has managed to combine professionalism, glamour, friendship and relaxing atmosphere among the exhibitors, judges, visitors and guests.

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Rafael de Santiago
FCI President
FCI Breeding Commission – Activity Report

The annual meeting of the Breeding Commission was arranged in Dortmund, on February 13th, the day prior to the 2nd International Dog Health Workshop, with excellent hospitality of the canine organisation (VDH).

Delegates from the following countries attended the meeting: Belgium (Roger van Hoenacker), Denmark (Birgitte Schjøth), Estonia (Janne Orro-Taruste), France (Fréderic Maison), Germany (Peter Friedrich), Italy (Maria Ceccarelli), Latvia (Inga Cerbule), Luxembourg (Nicolas Schwab), The Netherlands (John Wauben), Norway (Astrid Indrebø), Poland (Tom Borkowski), Portugal (Luís Gorjão Henriques), Russia (Larissa Galiaskarova and translator Svetlana Nazarikhina), Slovakia (Nora Takácová), Sweden (Annica Uppström) and Switzerland (Yvonne Jaussi).

President: Astrid Indrebø, Norway
Vice-president: Yvonne Jaussi, Switzerland
Secretary at the 2015 meeting: Kristin Aukrust, Norway

Here are the main issues and decisions from the meeting:

Wisdom Panel - DNA breed identification
It was a great pleasure to welcome Dr Gregoire Leroy, for the FCI Scientific Commission, who had kindly offered to give a lecture on the laboratory Wisdom Panel concerning DNA breed identification. The delegates from the FCI Scientific and Standards commissions, as well as from the FCI Breeding Commission, were present to enjoy this very interesting lecture. After the lecture and some brief discussion, the FCI Scientific and Standard Commissions left to attend their joint meeting.

Guidelines regarding criteria for limited registration (not allowed for breeding)
Based on a suggestion from Slovakia, it was decided in 2014 that the commission should work out a document with guidelines regarding criteria for limited registration. The delegates agreed that such guidelines will be of great importance for the national kennel clubs. It is, however, important that these are guidelines – not specific rules.
The BC (Breeding Commission) decided that the guidelines should be sent to FCI for approval and publication on the FCI website. The delegates are encouraged to publish the guidelines on the website of their national canine organisation.

These are the guidelines approved by the Breeding Commission, on February 13th, 2015:

  1. The definition of limited registration in this document is “not allowed for breeding”. A dog registered with limited registration will be issued an FCI pedigree, but the remark “not allowed for breeding” will be printed on the pedigree. This remark must also be available in the database of the national canine organisation, and be included in the data with open access for the public, if such a database is available.

    If a dog with limited registration is used for breeding, the offspring cannot be registered in the studbook of any FCI member country or contract partner, unless the limited registration has been rescinded by the national canine organisation who established the limited registration.

    When the term “national canine organisations” is used in this document, it includes the breed clubs commissioned by the national canine organisation to register dogs and issue pedigrees.

  2. Who can decide to register a dog with limited registration?
    • The national canine organisation that issues the original pedigree
    • Import of dogs: The national canine organisation to which the dog is exported
    • The breeder of the dog can ask the national canine organisation to register a puppy with limited registration when applying for registering. The breeder CANNOT choose to add limited registration to a pedigree after the ownership of the dog has been transferred to a new owner
    • The dog’s owner can ask the national canine organisation to register his/her dog with limited registration
  3. Who can rescind (remove) a limited registration of a dog?
    FCI International Breeding Rules, Art 15: A limited registration can only be rescinded by the national canine organisation that has established it.
  4. Criteria for issuing limited registration:
    4.1 Background

    The fundament of these guidelines are given in FCI International Breeding Rules:
    The fundament of these guidelines are given in FCI International Breeding Rules:
    Art. 1.1: These FCI breeding regulations apply directly to all FCI member countries as well as the contract partners. This means that breeding may only be carried out with pedigree dogs which have a sound temperament, are healthy in functional and hereditary terms and are registered with a studbook or register (appendix) recognised by the FCI. In addition, they have to fulfil the requirements specified by the relevant FCI member or contract partners.
    Art. 1.2: The only dogs which are considered to be healthy in hereditary terms are those transferring breed standard features, breed type and temperament typical of that breed without displaying any substantial hereditary defects which could impair the functional health of its descendants. The members and contract partners of the FCI are required in this regard to prevent any exaggeration of breed features in the standards which could result in impairment of the dogs' functional health.
    Art. 1.3: Dogs with eliminating faults such as e.g. unsound temperament, congenital deafness or blindness, hare-lip, cleft palate, substantial dental defects or jaw anomalies, PRA, epilepsy, cryptorchidism, monorchidism, albinism, improper coat colours or diagnosed severe hip dysplasia may not be bred.

    4.2 Registration of puppies with unhealthy parents
    The national canine organisation can register with limited registration puppies from parents with severe hip dysplasia and/or elbow dysplasia, inherited severe eye diseases like PRA, congenital deafness, unsound temperament, severe respiration problems or other eliminating fault, whether or not mentioned as examples in Art 1.3. in FCI International Breeding Rules.

    4.3 Matador breeding and heavy inbreeding
    Background - Art 3, FCI Breeding Strategies: To preserve, or preferably extend, the genetic diversity of the breed, matador breeding and heavy inbreeding should be avoided. Mating between siblings, mother to son or father to daughter should never be performed. As a general recommendation, no dog should have more offspring than equivalent to 5% of the number of puppies registered in the breed population during a five-year period. The size of the breed population should be looked upon not only on national but also on international level, especially in breeds with few individuals.

    4.3.1 Matador breeding
    Limited registration can be used to prevent matador breeding, in accordance with FCI Breeding Strategy, Art 3.

    Some national kennel clubs have registration restrictions concerning the number of offspring/litters from a single dog (male or female), to avoid decreasing the genetic diversity of the breed. If this number of offspring is exceeded, a limited registration can be used.

    4.3.2 4.3.2 Inbreeding
    Limited registration can be used to prevent heavy inbreeding, in accordance with FCI Breeding Strategy, Art 3.
    Some national canine organisations have registration restrictions concerning heavy inbreeding: Mating between siblings, mother to son or father to daughter is not allowed.
    In some countries, mating with an inbreeding coefficient equal or exceed 25%, based on a six-generation pedigree, is not allowed.
    If such mating is done, the puppies can be registered with limited registration.

    4.4 Dogs with hereditary diseases or functional disabilities
    The breeder and/or owner can ask the national canine organisation to put limited registration on a dog that suffers from hereditary diseases or functional disabilities, included those mentioned above.

    The national canine organisation can, without a request from the owner, put a limited registration on a dog that is suffering from severe hereditary diseases or function disabilities, included those mentioned above.

    DNA-tests: A dog who is homozygote for a severe disease with autosomal recessive or homozygote/heterozygote for a disease with dominant inheritance can be registered with limited registration.

    4.5. Dogs with disqualifying faults
    The national canine organisation can, with or without a request from the breeder and/or owner, put a limited registration on a dog with disqualifying faults, such as disqualifying coat colour, according to the rules of the national canine organisation.

The use of genetic tests in dog breeding
The Scientific Commission of NKU (Nordic Kennel Union) has worked out a strategy on DNA-tests in dog breeding, approved by the commission meeting in Iceland November 2014. It was decided on the NKU-meeting to send the document to both FCI Breeding Commission and Scientific Commission for further action within the FCI regarding the DNA-strategies.

The availability of genetic tests for different diseases in dogs has increased dramatically in recent years. For dog breeders and owners, the utility and accuracy of these tests are often difficult to assess. Even though DNA tests offer new opportunities as a tool for breeding, they also imply new questions and challenges. The fact that a genetic test is available for a disease in a breed does not automatically mean that the test is accurate or appropriate to use as basis for breeding decisions. The Scientific Committee of the Nordic Kennel Union (NKU/VK) would like to stress that genetic testing in dogs should be used with common sense and caution. The points described in the document should serve as guidelines for breeders and dog owners regarding the use of genetic tests.

The NKU document was presented to the Breeding Commission, and it was decided to send the following statement regarding the strategies, to the FCI General Secretariat, to make it available at the FCI website:

Statements regarding strategies for the use of genetic tests in dog breeding
recommended by the FCI Breeding Commission, Dortmund February 13th 2015, based on a document from the Scientific Commission of the Nordic Kennel Union, November 2014

The FCI Breeding Commission fully supports the document made by the NKU Scientific Commission (NKU/VK) regarding the use of genetic tests in dog breeding.
We want to highlight the following statements from the NKU/VK-document, and encourage the national canine organisations and breed clubs to make it available to all dog owners:

1. The genetic testing in dogs should be used with common sense and caution.
2. A dog showing clinical symptoms of a serious disease should not be used for breeding – regardless of genetic test results.
3. There is a need for further efforts from the international dog community to support dog breeders and owners with respect to validation and guidance on the use of genetic tests.
4. The FCI Breeding Commission advices against the use of genetic tests for conditions where the inheritance is unclear. Tests for diseases that are influenced by many genes should be applied only in cases where evidence based on scientific publications has established that the mutation(s) cause(s) a significant and defined risk of disease, and provided that the disease is of clinical relevance in the breed concerned.
5. The FCI Breeding Commission is reluctant to promote the use of multi-tests and combination test packages currently available. This position is based on shortcomings in validation and/or relevance for some of the mutations in the package as well as the potential negative consequences on the overall breeding goal that uncritical use of genetic tests is likely to cause. Instead, it should be recommended to the breeders and dog owners to test for the specific mutation(s) that is(are) relevant in the current breed, provided that these tests are validated.
6. The FCI Breeding Commission would like to emphasize the importance of breeders and/or dog owners carefully evaluating the usefulness and accuracy of a genetic test before it is performed. Only use the tests that are properly evaluated and for conditions of clinical relevance in the breed. No dog, or any other living creature, is completely free of disease mutations.
Uncritical use of DNA tests may in the worst case result in negative effects on the breed’s health and gene pool. Please contact your breed club or kennel club for more information if you are doubtful.
7. General statement
La Commission d’Élevage de la FCI soutient pleinement les déclarations suivantes de la Commission scientifique de la NKU (Nordic Kennel Union) relatives à la politique générale en matière d’utilisation de tests génétiques dans l’élevage canin.
The FCI breeding commission fully supports the following statements from the Scientific Commission of the Nordic Kennel Union, concerning the general policy regarding the application of genetic tests in dog breeding.
a. Genetic testing is an excellent tool in breeding for improved health, provided that the tests are reliable, relevant and used wisely. Breeders and dog owners should carefully evaluate the benefits and consequences of a genetic test before it is applied.
b. A one-side or exaggerated focus on DNA test results may result in an increased risk that other important conditions or characteristics are overlooked.
c. Breeding programmes should be based on the prevalence and severity of various health issues, rather than on the availability of genetic tests.
d. If a disease does not constitute a clinical problem in the breed and/or the genetic test is not validated or accurate, it is better to refrain from the testing of the dog. Otherwise, there is a risk of excluding potential breeding animals and decreasing the genetic variation, based on uncertain or false grounds.
e. Keep in mind that dog breeding is about more than specific diseases and genetic tests that, even though they are many, do not give the entire picture.

Import of puppies less than 3 months old
The Breeding Commission agreed to send this issue forward to the FCI European Section:

FCI should take actions against the new EU law that does not allow the individual member country to decide that puppies less than 3 months, unvaccinated against rabies, can be imported from just some EU countries (free of rabies); the new law says that if a country allows import from some EU countries, it has to allow import from all EU countries.

Until late 2014, it was up to the individual countries to decide whether or not to give a permission to import puppies that were less than 3 months of age and unvaccinated against rabies. It was up to the government of the different countries to decide from which countries they would allow such import (”rabies-free countries”).

According to the new rule, EU does not permit to discriminate between countries regardless the situation of contagious diseases; the same rules must be valid for all countries. If a national government permits to import unvaccinated puppies less than 3 months, the country will have to accept puppies from all EU countries, not only the “rabies-free countries” as has been done up to now. This will result in a much higher risk of importing contagious diseases, compared to the rules we have had until now. Consequently, most countries will probably not permit any import of puppies less than 3 month of age.

The background for the new EU rule is, to our knowledge, based on an attempt to reduce the risk of contagious diseases due to import/export of “street dogs” and from commercial puppy farms etc. It is now up to the national governments to decide whether to allow such import from all EU countries – or not to allow from any EU countries. The FCI Breeding Commission fully supports actions against import to reduce the risk of contagious diseases, but we find it very unfortunate that the only way to avoid import of puppies less than 3 months from countries with rabies and a high prevalence of other contagious disease, is to forbid such import from all EU countries, including rabies-free countries with low prevalence of other contagious diseases.

To maintain the genetic variation in dog breeds, import of dogs are of major importance. The new law will make import more difficult for the serious breeders and dog owners. It is a lot of work to socialise puppies from 8 to 15 weeks in a proper way, and we are afraid that conscientious breeders will refuse to sell puppies abroad due to this new law. It is not beneficial for a young puppy to be kept in a kennel with little socialisation until 15 weeks old. It is of uttermost importance for a puppy to be well socialised at early age; this is basic for the future welfare of the dog.

We encourage the FCI European section to take actions to make it possible for the national governments to make exception from the new rule: It should be allowed to import unvaccinated puppies less than 3 months, based on an application from the new owner and a statement from the breeder, from countries with no cases of rabies the last 5-10 years (“countries free of rabies”) – without having to allow such import from all EU countries. To allow such import, the condition should be that the puppy is registered in the national canine organisation (or the breed club commissioned by the national canine organisation to register dogs and issue pedigrees) in the country where it is born. The national canine organisation to which the puppy is imported should undertake the responsibility to control all the import papers prior to register the puppy in its register. It will then be possible to avoid import of puppies from dog traders, as well as import of street dogs less than 3 months old.

It is of major importance for the organised dog-Europe that FCI now takes action in this matter, to help dog breeders and dog owners in Europe, and to show the member countries the strength of FCI as a the largest dog organisation in the world, working for dog welfare and genetic diversity in pedigree dogs.

Keeping the original registration number when dogs are imported
The issue was raised by the Swedish delegate: Sweden finds it very important that dogs keep their original registration numbers throughout their life. It is a problem when the same dog has more than one registration number, when calculating inbreeding coefficients, breeding values etc. Norway is, to our knowledge, the only country that does not give an imported dog a new registration number.

The delegates agree that it would be beneficial to keep the original registration number throughout the dog’s life, but it might be a problem in some countries, due to the computer systems.

The Breeding Commission decided to recommend the national canine organisation to keep the original registration number on imported dogs. If the current computer system does not support this, it should be integrated in the future new systems. The delegates will inform their national canine organisations about this recommendation.

Decisions at the FCI General Assembly concerning proposals from the Breeding Commission
FCI Standing Orders, Art 8.3 (new text bold and underlined): On the original pedigree, the studbook registration number should follow the initials of the studbook in which the dog is registered (e.g.: SHSB: no 255 333); in addition, the registration numbers and the initials should be provided for at least three generations. The type of coat, the colour and the size variety should be added on the pedigrees, including the export pedigrees.

GA decision: Approved.

FCI Standing Orders, Art 8.5 (new text bold and underlined): Any member or contract partner can refuse to (re)-register in its studbook, or alternatively can (re-)register with a “limited registration: not to be used for breeding”, a dog suffering from hereditary defects or featuring defects which go against Art 2 in the Statutes, or a dog which does not comply with the rules of selection defined by the member or contract partner in question.

GA decision: Approved.

FCI Standing Orders, Art 8.8 (new text bold and underlined): … Each dog of a litter has to be provided with only one export pedigree, which should include the name of the owner of the dog; if the owner’s name is not written on the pedigree, a separate owner’s certificate must be issued by the national kennel organisation.

GA decision: Approved.

Standing Orders, Art 8.9 (the proposed changes are bold and underlined): …For each dog registered with an FCI member or contract partner and then exported, the national canine organisation that last registered the dog shall certify the transfer of the ownership to the new owner by stating his name and address on the export pedigree or by issuing a separate owner’s certificate.” »

GA decision: Approved.

Date and place for the next meeting
The Norwegian canine organisation kindly invited the Commission to have its next meeting in Oslo, May 28th 2016.

The delegates at the meeting of the FCI Breeding Commission, Dortmund 2015

Astrid Indrebø
President of the FCI Breeding Commission