Irish Wolfhound Health Group
(updated September 2018)
Rebecca Peek- K.C. Breed Health Co-ordinator
The Irish Wolfhound Health Group (IWHG) is a UK body comprising of members from each of the breed clubs: the Irish Wolfhound Club, the Irish Wolfhound Society, the Irish Wolfhound Club of Northern Ireland and the Irish Wolfhound Club of Scotland. It was established in 2004 specifically to look at health issues in a unified way.
The purpose of the group is to monitor and promote the health and welfare of the breed, to educate and inform, and to be a united breed voice in all matters relating to health issues. The group is also in a strong position to lobby, in conjunction with the breed bodies, on Kennel Club or legislative issues that may affect the future integrity and reputation of the breed.
The group is not responsible for rescue activities, as these are already well organised and taken care of by the clubs (see Links), but rescue hounds and pet owners are entitled and encouraged to take part in any research or health programmes available to the breed.
The I.W.H.G. comprises members of each of the four breed bodies.
None is a qualified veterinarian: any suggestions made are based purely on the personal experience of wolfhound owners
and are a guide only for you to discuss with your own vet.
It is the responsibility of the owner to make a decision on any course of action they take with their hound.
we strongly recommend that this is done in conjunction with your vet.
Irish Wolfhound Health Group
On the 11th December 2004, representatives from The Irish Wolfhound Club, the Irish Wolfhound Club of Ireland, The Irish Wolfhound Club of Northern Ireland and The Irish Wolfhound Society held the inaugural meeting of what was referred to as the 'Joint Health Initiative'. The purpose of the meeting was to establish a new body to monitor and promote the health and welfare of the breed, and one that, it was hoped, would have greater effectiveness through a single united organisation acting on behalf of
all four clubs, than the individual clubs alone.
It was agreed that health issues would be the main concern, but that the group's remit should also extend to cover other issues that may affect the future welfare of the breed. This might include potential animal legislation emanating from the EU/The Animal Welfare Bill and other legislation which may have a negative impact on the breed, such as the Dangerous Dogs Act. Also, under the heading of Welfare is the necessity to inform and educate the public so as to maintain the current good reputation of the breed.
As an umbrella body serving the wishes of all four breed clubs, the group would also be in a strong position to lobby the Kennel Club on such breedspecific health and welfare issues.
The Group would not be responsible for Rescue activities, as these were already well organised and taken care of by the Clubs.
It was with this remit in mind that the title of the Group was agreed as the:-
Irish Wolfhound Health & Welfare Group
The Founding menbers at the unaugural meeting were:
Miss Alex. Bennet. (IWS)
Mrs. Miranda Brace. (IWS)
Mr. Tim Finney. (IWCNI)
Mrs. Marion Finney. (IWCNI)
Mrs. Elizabeth. Hanley. (IWCNI)
Mrs. Dagmar Kenis-Pordham. (IWC)
Mrs. Jean Malley. (IWC)
Miss Rebecca Peek. (IWS)
Mr Peter Pask. (IWC)
Dr. C. Taylorson. (IWC)
Mrs. Janice Taylorson. (IWS)
The Group saw it as crucial that the owners and breeders of Irish Wolfhounds see this as their Group, for their benefit. It is about the open exchange of information and the Group should be seen as accessible and approachable.
Currently, the Group is in the process of prioritising health issues, initially collating all information available, both nationally and globally, on current breed specific and related research projects and invites anyone with particular health interests/information to contact them. The Group is also keen to ensure that any research projects that the breed is associated with are held accountable and are monitored and managed for regular feedback and developments.
Initially, the Group has received small donations from the four clubs to create start-up working capital, to cover basic overheads. The question of future funding will be the subject of further discussion with the breed clubs and their members.