At the Club show on the 4th. December I examined 76 Bearded Collies of all ages and both sexes and found no ocular disease of known or suspected hereditary origin. Hopefully this sample is representative of the breed per se and future similar sample testing should be helpful in maintaining a disease free status. There was the odd instance of remnant pupillary membrane of no clinical significance and an age- related nuclear cataract. Both findings are to be expected in such a sample and do not give rise for concern. All the dogs aged 7 years and above showed signs of age-related nuclear sclerosis, a hardening of the lens which occurs in all dogs in all breeds as part of the normal aging process. When marked it gives the eye a glazed appearance but it has no effect upon sight and should not be confused with cataract. Specifically I found no evidence of Entropion,Hereditary Cataract(HC), Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) or Retinal Dysplasia (RD).
In summary I can only conclude that given this particular sample, your breed would appear to be clear from the known inherited ocular disease problems which affect so many other breeds. Obviously this is an excellent situation and one to be pleased with -- future vigilance will help ensure that nothing manages to surface from the DNA stew that is today's Bearded Collie. In passing I would compliment you for producing a breed with one of the nicest temperaments I have ever experienced."
These excellent findings reinforce the arguments put forward by the UK's six Bearded Collie Clubs and the Joint Breed Liaison Committee against the opening of the breed register to merles by the Kennel Club. Our thanks to Prof. Bedford for his hard work on the day.