© Dareen A. Bridge
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Scientific and husbandry improvements, including the introduction of effective immunisation programmes for most contagious diseases, brought a considerable improvement in canine health. The virtual elimination of infectious diseases, forcing the Kennel Club to bow to exhibitor pressure and abandon the compulsory veterinary inspection of all entrants prior to entering any show’s precincts. A move that was welcomed by all including show organisers as well as exhibitors who had long considered this practise a probable source of spreading rather than reducing infection.
On the Collie front improvements in general health and the diagnosis of breed specific diseases brought worry and suspicion to several important kennels as both Progressive Retinal Atrophy [PRA] and Collie Eye Anomaly [CEA] were discovered in the breed. The Kennel Club quickly extending their eradication scheme for the former to Collies, and although this proved to be far from ideal, basically because its mode of inheritance was not fully understood, it did concentrate the minds of breeders who set about the task of eliminating the condition from their breeding stock, and while their efforts were largely successful, many popular breeding lines and kennels were disseminated. With veterinary and breeders efforts naturally concentrated on a condition which always caused eventual blindness few were to realise the seriousness or extent of the more wide spread Collie Eye Anomaly for another decade.