The British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) strongly recommends that animals which show extremes of conformation that negatively affect their health and welfare should not be used for breeding.
The BSAVA strongly recommends that breeders avoid the mating of closely related dogs. It recommends that no bitch should be intentionally mated to a dog when the Coefficient of Inbreeding (COI) of the resulting puppies would exceed the breed average or 12.5% if no breed average exists as measured from a minimum five generation pedigree.
The BSAVA recommends that in order to reduce the incidence of inherited diseases with an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance, breeders should use genetic tests when available and not breed from carriers.
The BSAVA recommends that in order to reduce the incidence of inherited diseases with a polygenic or multifactorial mode of inheritance, breeders should participate in recognized health schemes and only breed from those animals which are clear or better that the breed average as appropriate. Where health schemes do not exist, breeders should preferentially breed from individuals that show less extreme morphologies (bearing in mind other considerations including temperament and behaviour).
Whilst the BSAVA recognises that the physical health and welfare of an animal is important overall, it recommends that consideration is also given to the temperament and socialisation of animals being bred and the parents of those offspring.
The BSAVA supports the idea of expanding gene pools of certain breeds where this is necessary to avoid welfare problems, and limiting the number of progeny from any individual sire taking care not to introduce new diseases or conditions.
The BSAVA recommends that those thinking about buying a puppy consider carefully the potential problems of different breeds (and crossbreeds). These, along with the interpretation and summary of any pre-purchase test results obtained from a breeder, should be discussed with a veterinary surgeon before purchase.
The BSAVA supports veterinary surgeons taking a responsible approach to encouraging good breeding practices by working with clients or recognised organisations.
The BSAVA supports the work of the Government to legislate and provide guidance that seeks to improve breeding practices of dogs and cats. It also supports other initiatives which seek to improve health and welfare of companion animals by similar means.
The BSAVA supports the recommendation that where possible animals should be permanently identified by means of a microchip before leaving the breeder to enable full traceability to the origin of a puppy and breeder.
The BSAVA supports epidemiological and genetic research into the prevalence and molecular mechanisms of inherited diseases in dogs and cats. Currently there is limited evidence available and continued research is needed to further inform this subject.