IPFD Workshop 2017 – summary of actions from Day 2

IPFD_IDHW2017

Day 2 of the IPFD Workshop focused on action planning in each of the 6 workstreams. We reconvened mid-morning, after an early start, for a plenary session where each group presented their recommendations. This is a summary of the final reports. The Day 1 summary is here.

Education and Communication

This workstream took antibiotic resistance as its topic through which to focus on education and communication. They agreed to:

  • Set up an AMR Network and identified founder members
  • Create recommendations for Breed Clubs on the use of antibiotics
  • Develop global guidelines for vets and breeders, together with country-specific guidance
  • Establish a project whereby existing data could be collated and a literature review conducted
  • Use the above as a basis for setting out project proposals (possibly for a PhD student) to conduct retrospective and prospective data collection

Socialisation

This group confirmed the need for more positive messaging to the general public regarding pedigree dogs and breeding of dogs. Their action plan included identifying currently available messaging on the importance of socialisation and to develop any new resources that might be needed to fill any gaps. In the longer term, they felt it may be necessary to conduct further research into what might be needed to ensure breeders and owners are aware of effective approaches during pregnancy and early weeks of a puppy’s life.

Exaggerations and conformation

The team focused on Brachycephalics and confirmed an action to revisit FCI Breed Standards to clarify wording and to ensure breed-specific instructions are available for 4 priority breeds. They also agreed sub-groups to exchange data, research and implementation. The latter included media communications and effective ways to change buyer/owner/breeder behaviours.

Breed-specific health strategies

This group had further discussions around EBVs, outcrossing, regulation and data gathering. Several Kennel Clubs already have components available to support the three-step process the team felt was needed: assessment of the current breed situation, development and implementation of breed-specific actions and then, reassessment. Their view was that the available solution options were probably already known but advice was needed on how these might need to be adapted to specific situations. Making case studies available via the dogwellnet website should also be an action and these should include examples of what doesn’t work as well as what does.

The group also emphasised that Kennel Clubs needed to be proactive otherwise they risked governments creating legislation that might superficially seem suitable but which, in practice, might actually make things worse.

Show me the numbers

The team felt that one of the biggest scandals is not mining the available data and the group agreed to work together to catalogue data resources within their network and to coordinate objectives across multiple studies (e.g. breed and disorder). They would aim to publish whatever is possible and look to promote fair-access collaboration internationally and inter-disciplinarily).

They emphasised the importance of asking “why collect this data?” so that it would be clear how the answers could actually make a difference. Picking up on breed trends and eco-epidemiology (recycling of data-sets) could also increase the speed at which improvements could actually be realised.

DNA harmonisation

This project is already well underway with IPFD having appointed a project director and building an early proof of concept on the dogwellnet website. Evaluation of the range of available tests using a template of questions would be a priority and further funding to ensure sustainability of the system would be important, given the rapid rate of change and development in the genetic testing field.

The workshop wrapped-up with thanks to the organisers, hosts and facilitators as well as all the participants who had collaborated over the 2 days.

I really enjoyed the workshop and picked up new ideas to share with Dachshund colleagues and other Breed Health Coordinators. I didn’t really know what to expect as this was the first IDH Workshop I have attended but I made some useful contacts and have a better understanding of what the challenges are around the world as well as some of the good practices that are already available “off the shelf”.

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