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New firm to provide ‘safe hands’ for dog breeders

Some clinics are said to perform illegal procedures.

A new company is being formed to address the lack of vets trained in canine reproduction. Veterinary Canine Reproduction (VCR) is training UK vets to improve their knowledge and provide breeders with a safe, reliable and professional place that they can turn to. 

There are estimated to be 12 million to 13 million dogs in the UK, including more than 100,000 registered gundogs, but only two small animal reproduction specialists — and only one working in practice. Following recommendations made to Government by the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA), Dr Angelika von Heimendahl and VCR director Ellie Mitchell will officially launch their company at Crufts dog show on 7 March. 

Ellie Mitchell said: “Canine fertility clinics are often run by unqualified individuals who perform illegal procedures and do not have the dogs’ best interests at heart. VCR aims to change this and encourage breeders back into the safe hands of knowledgeable, understanding vets.” 

VCR will run a national phone line for breeders to arrange appointments with trained vets and, uniquely, will provide online seminars with Dr von Heimendahl, who has more than 30 years of experience.