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Kennel Club introduces new DNA test for shar-peis
POAG is recessive in the shar-pei, so carriers can be safely bred to clear dogs without the risk of producing clinically affected offspring.

Uptake for new scheme proves popular at health day

A new official DNA testing scheme for primary open angle glaucoma/primary lens luxation (POAG/PLL) in the shar-pei has been approved by the Kennel Club.

In February, the Kennel Club - together with breed clubs - held a sharp-pei health day at the Animal Health Trust (AHT) in Newmarket.


Thrilled with the uptake for the scheme, Cathryn Mellersh, head of canine genetics at the AHT, said that more than 40 dogs were swabbed for DNA tests on the day.

“The frequency of the mutation was very high among these dogs,” she explained. “This means that is is vitally important that carriers continue to be used for breeding at least for the next few generations.”

She added that not using carriers could lead to an unacceptable reduction in the genetic diversity of the breed.

“POAG is recessive in the shar-pei, so carriers can be safely bred to clear dogs without the risk of producing clinically affected offspring,” she continued. “ Although any puppies that might be used for breeding should themselves be tested prior to breeding.”

The Kennel Club constantly reviews DNA testing schemes in conjunction with breed clubs to ensure that breeders are supported with resources to help them make responsible breeding decisions.

The DNA testing scheme for the shar-pei was approved following consultation with the breed’s health co-ordinator on behalf of the breed clubs.

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New app to improve street dog welfare

News Story 1
 A new free app will support vital work in clinics caring for stray dogs around the world, experts say. Created by the University of Edinburgh, the tool allows vets to track the wellbeing of dogs going through catch-neuter-return schemes, which are common in countries with large numbers of strays.

Vets say the welfare of individual dogs can be overlooked during the process of capture, transport or surgery. The app, piloted across Asia and Africa, helps staff to monitor welfare, spot signs of distress and develop strategies to improve care. It was launched at BSAVA Congress on Friday 6 April.  

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Environment secretary Michael Gove said: “This service will be instrumental in improving traceability and providing guarantees to consumers about the origin of their food. NFU President Minette Batters, among others, has helped lead the way on this, showing how it will drive a progressive and vibrant livestock industry once we leave the EU.”