Official Supporting Statements
We are delighted the following organisations have offered their support for the VetCompass project.
- The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)
- British Veterinary Association (BVA)
- The Royal Society for the Protection of Animals
- Dog Advisory Council (DAC)
- Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW)
- The Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW)
- The Kennel Club
- Dogs Trust
- The Society of Practising Veterinary Surgeons (SPVS)
- Eurogroup for Animals
The RCVS “supports the aims of VetCompass Animal Surveillance” and “has approved the data collection process of VetCompass”. They “acknowledge the important role of primary practice databases in establishing information on the conditions affecting the UK vet-visiting animal population” and “support the conclusions of the Bateson Report recommending that ‘high priority should be given to the creation of a computer-based system for the collection of anonymised diagnoses from veterinary surgeries in order to provide statistically significant prevalence data for each breed’”. www.rcvs.org.uk
Peter Jones (BVA President): “The BVA supports all efforts to increase our knowledge of disease prevalence in companion animals in the UK. We welcome the work being carried out by VetCompass which will give us a better understanding of the conditions affecting the UK practice-attending population".
“The RSPCA supports the VEctAR Animal Surveillance project (now known as VetCompass) because we believe there is an urgent need for the systematic collection of data on inherited and acquired diseases in dogs and cats. This need has been recognised by several expert reports that have recently been published.
We are very concerned that many dogs and cats remain vulnerable to unnecessary disease because of the way they have been bred, and this project will enable breeds at greatest risk of specific conditions to be identified so that everyone involved can make the much needed efforts to improve the welfare of future generations.
The data gathered will be independent and scientifically validated, so we hope that the project will provide an objective source of information to be used by all.
We are pleased so many veterinary practices have shown such concern about this topic and enthusiasm for this project. www.rspca.org.uk
Sheila Crispin, DAC (28/03/2012):The Advisory Council on the Welfare Issues of Dog Breeding recognised from its inception, as indeed did others before it, that the collection of data was an urgent necessity, in order to produce reliable information about the health and welfare of dogs and provide a scientific basis for any recommendations Council might make. Professor Sir Patrick Bateson (Independent Inquiry into Dog Breeding, 2010) stated: “High priority should be given to the creation of a computer-based system for the collection of anonymised diagnoses from veterinary surgeries in order to provide statistically significant prevalence data for each breed.” An initiative called VetCompass, involving the Royal Veterinary College and University of Sydney, has been doing exactly this by means of the routine capture of first opinion clinical data using electronic patient records from veterinary practice. This is a commendable and important enterprise and will be of considerable value, especially so if the information collected can be reconciled with data collected by others to enable analysis of a wide range of data sets. www.dogadvisorycouncil.com/
James Kirkwood, UFAW: “Comparing conditions that affect welfare, in order to help prioritise efforts to tackle problems, depends on taking account of intensity (e.g. how much it hurts), duration (how long it hurts for) and the numbers of animals affected. To estimate the latter we need to know the proportion of animals affected. Here at UFAW we are seeking that important information, about the prevalences of genetic welfare conditions, for inclusion at the UFAW genetic welfare problems website. I welcome your project”. www.ufaw.org.uk
Marisa Heath, Secretariat, APGAW: "In its report 'A Healthier Future for Pedigree Dogs', the Associate Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare recognised that there was too little information available about the scale of the problems of hereditary disease and poor health in dogs and recommended that work be done to collate cases and set out the exact problems allowing the formation of strategies to improve the situation. Therefore, VEctAR's (now known as VetCompass) work on data collection is welcomed by APGAW as a way of achieving this and we are keen to lend our support. The collection of data will help immensely with identifying prevalence of health problems, priorities on what to tackle and the best treatments and using this we can work alongside stakeholders to improve the welfare of dogs across Britain." www.apgaw.org
“The KC is fully supportive of the principle of data collection from veterinary practices which will give us much greater information about the conditions which affect dogs and dog breeds.”
“Research projects such as VEctAR (now known as VetCompass) are crucial to enabling dog breeders to breed even healthier dogs while retaining the characteristics essential to their particular breed.” www.thekennelclub.org.uk
Without proper scientifically validated data on prevalence, it will be very difficult to come up with solutions to genetic disease and therefore we commend the work being carried out by VetCompass. The lives of many dogs could be greatly enhanced through the knowledge gained by the collection of this data and we look forward to the conclusion of this project. www.dogstrust.org.uk
SPVS fully supports Vet Compass and acknowledges the important role of primary practice databases in establishing information on the conditions affecting the UK vet-visiting animal population. We hope that the project will provide an objective source of information to be used by current and future practicing veterinary surgeons in assessing clinical and managerial outcomes. http://www.spvs.org.uk/content/vetcompass
Eurogroup for Animals recognises that the collection of scientifically validated data on disease prevalence and impact in dogs and cats is urgently needed. Reliable data collection and analysis is necessary to enable the most important disorders (both infectious and inherited) to be identified for concentrated control efforts and effective monitoring of interventions.
Eurogroup believes that the systematic collection of electronic clinical data directly from veterinary practices is the most reliable way to collect disease data, and so we are fully supportive of the VetCompass project. We support and encourage the establishment of the VetCompass project across European countries, to encourage companion animal disease surveillance at an international level. http://www.eurogroupforanimals.org