Irish Setter Breeders Club

est 1938


Irish Setter Health Day

The Joint Irish Setter Breed Clubs Health Group were holding an Irish Setter Health Day on 16/11/19.
School of Veterinary Medicine and Science, University Of Nottingham,Sutton Bonington, Leicestershire, LE12 5RD
Unfortunately this has had to be POSTPONED

Health Symposium

The Dog Breeding Reform Group are holding a health Symposium on the 6th October 2019. More Details Click Here

New Health Section from the KC

EBVs for more breed

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs), available through Mate Select, were originally launched at Crufts 2014 for 15 breeds and are now available for a further 13.  These new breeds include: Airedale Terrier, Alaskan Malamute, Clumber Spaniel, Hungarian Puli, Hungarian Viszla, Irish Setter, Italian Spinone, Large Munsterlander, Leonberger, Old English Sheepdog, Samoyed, Weimeraner, Welsh Springer Spaniel.

EBVs  are a tool that can help breeders make breeding decisions based on indicators of the genetic risk of complex inherited disease, such as hip or elbow dysplasia. EBV calculations use all relevant BVA/KC hip and elbow screening data and pedigree information from the individual dog and its surrounding family, to more effectively determine the genetic risk that each dog will pass this disease to its progeny.

Click here for more information on EBVs.

New health section on the Kennel Club website

These new Pet Health Information webpages are aimed at pet owners and include articles on various health issues that can impact on a dog’s life.  The articles have been written by veterinary experts and the number of topics covered will hopefully continue to grow.  So far we have articles on: arthritis, bloat, cancer, obesity and poisons. After Crufts we will be adding articles on anal sac impaction, broken bones, dental care, what to do in an emergency, grass seeds, lungworm, mange and mites, pyometra, senior dogs and ticks. We will be asking for feedback on further possible topics that you may like to see in this section, but this will be after Crufts once an online questionnaire has been set up.

New health related Information Guide

A new Kennel Club Information Guide is now available online and is titled Common Canine Poisons in your House and Garden.  This covers items that are poisonous to dogs (i.e. spring bulbs, grapes, ibuprofen etc.) and is divided into sections covering poisons that are found in your kitchen, medicine cupboard, garden, shed/ garage.  Free hard copies are available for veterinary practices who can order them from the Kennel Club.


Joint Irish Setter Breed Clubs Health Committee

We have recently been informed of an Irish Setter in mainland Europe which has been confirmed as being PRA rcd-1 affected.  Of course, since 2011 all Irish Setters registered in UK must be either tested clear or hereditarily clear, but this is not the case in other countries.

Our advice is that if you are importing an Irish Setter (or semen) into the UK, that you check its rcd-1 status. 

Professor E J Hall               

Chairman, Joint Irish Setter Breed Clubs Health Committee

September 2014




Joint Irish Setter Breed Clubs

Statement on the control of the rcd4 mutation in Irish Setters 2012

The Joint Irish Setter Breed Clubs (JISBC) have drawn up the following guidelines for the control of the recently discovered rcd4 mutation which causes Late Onset Progressive Retinal Atrophy (LOPRA) in Irish Setters. Whilst it should be stressed that clinical signs of LOPRA usually appear after the age of 9 years, the JISBC still believe it to be a welfare issue, although it is noted that many dogs can cope with blindness.

Data from the Animal Health Trust so far suggest the prevalence of carriers of the rcd4 mutation (i.e. heterozygotes) in the breed is about 42% and therefore the proposed guidelines are considered appropriate at this time. The JISBC recognises the need to maintain genetic diversity within the breed and does not yet recommend a complete ban on breeding using carrier or affected dogs.

However, the principle of these guidelines is that no dogs should be produced that will develop PRA and become blind, and therefore all members of the JISBC agree that:

  • All caring and responsible breeders will test their stock before planning a mating.

  • Any rumour and supposition about a dog’s genetic status should be ignored; DNA-testing should be undertaken.

  • As DNA-testing is now available, ‘hereditarily clear’ dogs will be produced. However such dogs should still be tested before being used for breeding because of the potential difficulty in proving parentage.

  • If the rcd4 status of any stud dog, or its semen, is unknown then the bitch to be mated must be tested and found CLEAR.

  • AFFECTED dogs (i.e. homozygous for the rcd4 mutation) should never be mated with other AFFECTED dogs as all progeny will be AFFECTED.

Thus the following are recommendations about potential matings that the JISBC consider acceptable at this time:

  • CLEAR x CLEAR matings are encouraged.

  • CLEAR x CARRIER* matings: progeny will, on average, be CLEAR (50%) or CARRIERS (50%) and should be DNA‑tested before breeding.

  • CLEAR x AFFECTED* matings: all progeny will be CARRIERS.

* It is recommended that any use of AFFECTED and CARRIER stud-dogs is given serious, cautious consideration by both stud-dog owners and breeders before planning a mating.

Purchasers of any dogs produced by CLEAR x CARRIER and CLEAR x AFFECTED matings should be advised that these dogs will not develop PRA rcd-4, but should not be used for breeding unless tested.

All breeders should note that AFFECTED x CARRIER or CARRIER x CARRIER matings may produce some AFFECTED dogs.

  • CARRIER x CARRIER matings will produce, on average, 25% AFFECTED progeny.

  • AFFECTED x CARRIER matings will produce, on average, 50% AFFECTED progeny.

Purchasers of any dogs produced by such matings should be advised that some of these dogs may develop PRA rcd-4 and should not be used for breeding unless DNA-tested.

The JISBC will continue to monitor the prevalence of the rcd4 mutation within the breed. However it is aware that a further PRA mutation that causes blindness at an earlier age (so-called mid-onset PRA) may be present in the breed but has yet to be confirmed and characterised genetically. Thus control measures for rcd4 may need to be modified if this new form of PRA is prevalent, as the earlier onset of blindness clearly has an even greater welfare implication.

Signed on behalf of the following breed clubs, which endorse and support these recommendations

  • Belfast & District Irish Setter Club

  • The Irish Setter Association England

  • The Irish Setter Breeders Club

  • The  Irish Setter Club of Scotland

  • The  Irish Setter Club of Wales

  • The  Midlands Irish Setter Society

  • North-East of England Irish Setter Club

  • The  South of England Irish Setter Club

Professor EJ Hall                                                                                                                                                                      

Chairman, Irish Setter Breed Clubs Health Coordinator Group

29 February 2012

The Joint Irish Setter Breed Clubs Health Committee actively scan potential issues within the Breed and to this end a letter will be sent to guide  Breeders  

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