For those members who are now confused as to what the proposed BVA/MRI scheme is about:

This is what is on the table with the BVA MRI scheme:

A formalised scheme embedding permanent identification on/in the dog into the scan so there is no confusion about the identity of the dog, a formal declaration by the owner, and a release form for data for research (and the EBV) and publication of results.

Some scanning centres did not do this verification of identity, and results were not automatically available to research and the EBV. Nothing was published.


A standardised protocol to MRI scan to ensure that the latest findings and research into SM are taken into account on the very best way to perform the MRI scan, ensuring the very best opportunity to determine if a small syrinx is present.

Syrinxes have been missed before. This will enable many more centres throughout the country to participate in the MRI scanning (not the interpretation which will be by a panel).


A formalised standardised interpretation of EXACTLY what is being interpreted, from 2 or even 3 experts from members of a BVA panel, and a formalised grading issued on a certificate. Extra information on CM.

Different interpretation of the same scan will no longer happen, 2 knowledgeable experts’ opinions, not just 1, a 3rd if they disagree. Uniformity of results. A grading, which didn’t happen with all previous scanning centres. More information on certificate.


Information on results published and automatically sent to EBV and available for research.

Individual can verify if dog is scanned when puppy purchased or looking for stud, and the age at which it was performed. Accessibility of information, openess and transparency.


An appeal process.


The meeting of representatives from all Cavalier Clubs on 3 February 2011 is to discuss the publication of results with the Kennel Club.

For those members who are confused by the EBV value and how it will work:

EBV Value

The EBV programme is a powerful tool being developed by the AHT for use by the KC to eventually help ALL breeds eliminate complex genetic disease where genetic tests are not available for the condition.

The EBV has a very complex statistical way of working out the EBV value for a dog/bitch, which will keep being modified as results of relatives, and their own test results are received.

All dogs already have an EBV value whether or not any SM or heart results for that particular dog have been received, in that case it is based purely on the information of the relatives. EBV accuracy improves with more results and with age of test result.

An EBV value is a combination of the SM and heart tests for that individual, and the results of all of its relatives – those on his pedigree, his siblings and his offspring. It will not be possible to work out the test results from the EBV value of any dog.

As a tool to use to plan litters, you will be able to use the EBV information of your bitch combined with those of the suggested dog to predict the EBV risk for the litter.

Some dogs with a SM grading of D (a syrinx) may turn out to have a higher EBV value than a dog graded A, or be more suitable as a match for your bitch. Also a SM D graded dog may have a line of very good hearts behind him, so it is essential to keep those genes in the gene pool. Breeding guidelines allow the use of SM affected dogs.

It is vital that genetic diversity is maintained throughout the breed.

Mate Select will help you to determine the coefficient of inbreeding.


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