The news that the Kennel Club are “recognising” the Jack Russell terrier has created dismay in terrier circles. The absurdity that this type somehow didn’t really exist until the KC said so aside, fears that the breed may now decline into poor genetic diversity and exaggerated phenotypes are not unprecedented. All the more important then that terriers continue to be used in the field and bred for purpose.
Similarly, the news that IVF techniques have been used to create a litter is a mixed blessing. Let us hope that it does not give a green light to continue in-breeding using genetic manipulations as a quick fix for the problems created. Instead it could provide a solution to those breeds that come from such a small gene pool that the breed is unlikely to ever exist without health problems.