Owners of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have said that the breed is ‘in crisis.’
They have called on the Kennel Club to register only those puppies who have been tested for Mitral Valve disease and Syringomyelia.
Both diseases are commonly found in the Cavalier with MVD being an inherited disease of the heart valves and SM a neurological condition.
Petition organisers believe that the lack of restrictions mean that untested Cavaliers are being registered with the Kennel Club and then bred. They want to see mandatory screening brought into force to improve the chances of offspring being unaffected by either disease. They say ‘There are increasing numbers of owners who are finding their much loved Cavaliers are affected by these conditions, however there is little being done by the UK Kennel Club to encourage breeders to use the testing schemes available to them.’
The Kennel Club has said that as both MVD and SM are difficult to understand, treatment and prevention can be challenging. They say that while the link between health screening and the ability to predict or reduce any future health problems is not proven, they cannot make it mandatory.
Find out more about the petition here.