Friday, 11 December 2015

Be Afraid - Be Very Afraid

If you are one of the Connemara pony breeders who still refuses to accept that HWSD is a reality, and that all breeders have a moral and ethical responsibility to gene test their breeding stock, then you may wish to change your stance.

Here is a real life scenario, it is going to be happening soon.  A dealer in France, who imported Irish bred Connemara ponies is now being sued by a purchaser, because the pony which they had bought from this dealer, has since been diagnosed (and tested) with HWSD.  This court case is due to be heard in January 2016.

'Not my problem'?  Think again.  

  • If you rely on overseas buyers for your ponies, what is going to happen to your market?  
  • If you are an Irish dealer who buys up job lots from farmers and breeders for export 'to anywhere', what is going to happen to your market??
  • If you sell (even unintentionally) an untested pony which then tests HWSD/HWSD what are you going to do about it?  
  • What are your moral/ethical obligations, if not the legal obligations under consumer law?

Each country has its own domestic laws which cover consumer rights, fair trading and definitions of 'fit for purpose'.  These such laws do not cross the borders between one country and another.

HOWEVER decisions made in the law courts of any one country are known as 'precedents' and play a part in the setting of  'case law'.  Rulings from France (in this particular instance) can be used in the courts of another jurisdiction as a precedent to support a law suit.
To put it simply, if the purchaser wins the court case in France against the dealer, then that decision is a precedent which can be used in the courts of law in another country.

Then there is the issue that the French dealer, who if they lose the court case, is going to try for recompense from the Irish person who sold that dealer the HWSD pony/ies in the first place (and yes there are cases where a person has purchased several ponies which all turned out to be HWSD affected).  The potential for a 'knock on' effect becomes an interesting conundrum on which to reflect,

Is this 'knock on' effect possible?  Yes it is.  Most people, and probably most domestic lawyers, are unaware of the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods (CISG). If a person has the will and the money to pay for legal advice it is quite possible for inter-country law suits to occur.

A slight change of direction but still entirely relevant to this post.

VALE For Fairyhill Flame

Two weeks ago Fairyhill Flame (Monaghanstown Fionn-Kingstown Fairy)  was euthanased on quality of life and welfare issues directly caused by HWSD.  Flame was purchased by a person in Scotland from a dealer in Ireland.  This pony, is the third pony from the same source that the CPRG is aware of, which has tested HWSD/HWSD . Two out of the three have had to be euthanased.

It is not the place of this blog to 'name and shame' but it is the place for the CPRG to repeat the advice that if you are buying ponies, especially from Ireland, to have them HWSD tested before you complete the deal.

IF you choose to not have the test as part of a pre-purchase agreement and then the pony does turn out to be HWSD affected, then more fool you.

One of the 'French' ponies is sired by a stallion bred by one of the 'leading lights' of the CPBS.   Maybe this is but one reason, why the council has been so backward about coming forward on this issue and have blocked and prevaricated since the beginning.

That this recent reportage now raises the number of carrier ponies owned and/or bred by members of the the Clifden clique to above the expected  penetrance level of the mutation in the wider population certainly raises issues.


  • Do not wait until 'someone' (ie breed society) says you have to test your ponies for HWSD. 
  • Get in first 
  • Use the test as a market advantage. 
  • If you get a carrier pony don't take this as a personal insult.
  • Not acknowledging the presence of HWSD is a personal shame.