The Bearded Collie Joint Breed Liaison Committee (JBLC) was formed in 2009 following a recommendation from the Kennel Club that all breeds should have such a body and appoint a Health Coordinator.
The Committee comprises an independent chair and secretary, currently Robin Newhouse and Yvonne Fox respectively, plus the Health Coordinator, Elizabeth Ayrton, and two representatives from each of the UK Bearded Collie Clubs (Southern Counties Bearded Collie Club, Bearded Collie Club, Bearded Collie Club of Scotland, Eastern Bearded Collie Association, Midshires Bearded Collie Club and North of England Bearded Collie Club). The SCBCC representatives are Sarah Ritchie and Tony Bush.
The Committee aims to meet at least twice yearly and is funded by an initial sum paid in by each of the clubs plus subsequent donations.
The constitution of the JBLC, approved in 2014, can be found here.
Whilst originally intended that the business of the JBLC should be largely about the health of the breed, the Committee also considers issues that while initially not necessarily appearing to be health related, could have a far reaching effect on the health and welfare of the breed. For example the JBLC were successful in petitioning to have the breed standard changed to recognise merle colouration as a fault.
It is recognised that the breed faces several challenges going forward, not least the falling number of Bearded Collies and small gene pool, and concerns regarding auto-immune disease and it is important that as much factual information is available as possible. In 2012, the JBLC commissioned a breed health survey to look at UK KC registered dogs owned between 2007 and 2012. Read the full results of Breed Health Survey here.
The JBLC would also encourage all Beardie owners to upload, and keep updated, information on their dogs to the BeaCon database. It is important that information on all Beardies, whether healthy or with issues, is collected so that a true picture of the breed can be formed.
More recently the JBLC held a series of forums around the country to promote open discussion on issues facing the breed and potential solutions. The thoughts, ideas and information from these forums were collated and a proposed Breed Strategy document has been drafted. This is very much work in progress and the strategy will be updated as new issues come to light and in response to scientific progress and changes in the breed’s situation.
The latest documents and statements from the JBLC can be found below and current health initiatives can be found in the list of useful links at the top of this page.
Stud Dog Checklist (a checklist of the type of questions a breeder can ask potential stud dog owners)
Information to help in selecting a sire (an article explaining the above checklist and covers points to consider when selecting a stud dog)
JBLC Meeting 29/07/17 – Summary of Meeting
Feedback on the workshop on the proposed breed strategy document 13/05/17