Monday, 1 January 2018

A New Year: What Progress is Achievable in 2018?

The CPBS recently published the HWSD test data from Weatherby's for 2017.

It was very disappointing to see that 51 (2%)  HWSD/HWSD foals were born in in Ireland 2017.  It is quite possible that these foals were conceived before the HWSD status of the parents was known.  However it is far more likely that these foals have parents which have never been tested at all and that the mating will have been repeated before the status of the parents was made obvious.

Therefore it is extremely unlikely that the HWSD/HWSD percentage will drop significantly for the 2018 registration period.

Also it has been brought to the attention of the CPRG that there appears to be a 'don't ask; don't tell' attitude occurring with regards to disclosure of HWSD results.  A specific instance is reported of an experienced European breeder purchasing a colt foal on-line, sight unseen from Ireland via DoneDeal.  This was a fully registered colt foal with a passport.
The buyer admits that she should have asked the HWSD status of the colt as she was dealing with someone unknown to her.  When the seller was asked for all of the particulars detailed on the passport no mention was made of the HWSD status.

The colt duly arrived in his new country of residence.  As soon as he came off the transporter, the new owner went "OMG, what have I done?".  The new owner was then handed the passports of all of the ponies that came off the transporter which were destined for the same property.  On looking at the passport of the "OMG" colt it was clearly stamped HWSD/HWSD.

Several questions arise here.

  1. Should the CPBS be amending the passports to record HWSD status in a more obvious place?
    i.e. on the page where the pony ID is printed.
  2. Should there be an expectation of full disclosure of HWSD status at sales and in advertising material generally?
  3. What culpability should be apportioned to the seller, as the colt was obviously 'not fit for purpose'?
  4. What defence is 'ignorance'; the seller in this case informed the buyer when contacted after the colt arrived at its new home, that he had 'no idea what HWSD is, or what the stamp in the passport means'.
  5. The 'education programme' by the CPBS is obviously not reaching the right people, if  point four above is a real and true response and not just another lie by the seller.
  6. The present inability for people to readily find out the HWSD status of ponies in Ireland especially and several other countries as well.
As a method of rectifying point seven above, the CPRG has opened another and separate 'Tested Ponies Page'.  One of the limiting factors of the present page is that it requires submission of the testing certificate to validate the result/s.  Weatherby's and the CPBS are at this stage declining to issue such certification.  The sole documentation provided is the HWSD status stamp on the last page of the passport.  It is not possible to be assured that the pony identification and the HWSD status align, without physically examining the passport.

Therefore the new and separate tested ponies page starts today.  The title is "Declared HWSD Results".  It will include the same information as on the "Tested Ponies" page but will also include whether 'breeder' or 'owner' has declared the result.

Please Note: the CPRG does not restrict its interest and involvement to just HWSD research.  It is interested in ensuring that the breed maintains 'genetic fitness' which is challenged by in-breeding inertia.  If people have 'stories' they wish to share, in full, frank and confidential discussion, on any proven or suspected genetic issue in the breed, the CPRG is only an email away.