In November 2008, the Kennel Club (KC) wrote to all breed clubs describing the difficult times being experienced and the need for real change to highlight the fact that we all care about the health of pedigree dogs. As a part of these changes, the KC imposed a newly amended Code of Ethics across the board, to replace any exisiting codes of ethics. Any additional Clauses must be applied for and agreed by the KC.

The KC also stipulate that all Breed Clubs should establish a breed health committee as a requirement for ongoing health supervision by Kennel Club registered clubs. This requirement has been met in full by the formation of this Health Group.

The Health plan also included a review of all Breed Standards to ensure that the guidance given within these standards shows the way to breeding and exhibition of healthy dogs. Happily, the KC saw that the Basset Hound Clubs were giving serious consideration to any amendments and therefore minor changes were required to the Basset Hound standard.

The group had two meetings both of which took place in August 2011, and this was our first press release:

Recently Lauren Armstrong stood down from the position of Co-ordinator of the Basset Hound Clubs' Health Representatives, whilst retaining her position as Health Representative for the South of England Basset Hound Club. A meeting was held at Hound show to elect a replacement.

A voting meeting was arranged and Chaired by KC committee member Annette Oliver. Two items were voted on as follows: Item
1. Should the Breed Health Co-ordinator be independent of the 8 clubs' committee members, i.e. a Basset person but not on any Basset committee.
2. Or should this be one of the current standing Breed Health Representatives.
The first vote was in favour of an independent person.

Phil Freer was proposed, seconded, and subsequently voted in.

A short meeting was held afterwards identifying various areas to be discussed and a further meeting arranged for the following weekend. This meeting has now taken place and the Health Group is moving forward with several initiatives being undertaken throughout the various Clubs. The Co ordinator has been in discussion with the KC Chairman and as a result the group has begun both Short Term and Long Term projects with a view to having the Basset removed from the High Profile Breeds List. Further bulletins will be issued as and when the Group has information.

The Health Group intends to keep Clubs up to date with all progress and future developments and this will be passed to members through the Clubs via websites, newsletters and also through the Breed Notes published in the Canine Press.

The Health Group also intend to have an Independent website which can be linked to both Club and Individual sites.

The Group is very positive and looks to the future with a great deal of optimism for the Basset Hound and is encouraged by the fact that Clubs have already set up their own projects which will be ongoing and extremely valuable in the future.
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