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New DNA testing scheme for border collies
Border collies affected by severe sensory neuropathy are euthanised on welfare grounds before they reach two years of age.

Breeders urged to test for severe sensory neuropathy

A new DNA testing programme for severe sensory neuropathy in border collies has been approved by the Kennel Club, following consultation with the breed’s health coordinator.

Sensory neuropathy is a neurological disease that is caused by the degeneration of motor nerve cells. Its onset usually occurs between two and seven months of age, with signs including knuckling of feet, self-mutilation wounds, progressive ataxia and loss of sensation of all four limbs.

The prognosis for sensory neuropathy is poor and the dog’s quality of life can be severely affected. As there are no effective treatments, border collies affected by the condition are euthanised on welfare grounds before they reach the age of two.

In a press release, the Kennel Club said: “The Kennel Club constantly reviews DNA testing schemes and programmes in conjunction with breed clubs to ensure that breeders are supported with resources which help them to make responsible breeding decisions.

“Test results will be added to the dog’s registration details which will trigger the publication of the result in the next available Breed Records Supplement. The result will appear on any new registration certificate issued for the dog and on the registration certificates of any future progeny of the dog, and also on the Health Test Results Finder on the Kennel Club website. 

“Results for dogs already tested can also be recorded, but owners will need to submit copies of the DNA certificates themselves.”

The Kennel Club adds that if the owner includes the original registration certificate for the dog (not a copy) then a new registration certificate will be issued, with the DNA result on it, free of charge. 

Image (C) Ruth Dairymple/Kennel Club.

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Report: A third of Welsh birds are in decline

News Story 1
 A report by RSPB Cymru and partnering ornithology organisations has revealed that a third of bird species in Wales are in significant decline.

90 per cent of Wales is farmed and there is now pressure to implement new land management policies that will aid in nature restoration.

Patrick Lindley, Maritime Ornithologist for Natural Resources Wales, commented: “The problems that confront UK birds, whether they are breeding or non-breeding, are pressure and threats that confront entire ecosystems.

“Birds are a great indicator to the health of our environment. The continued population declines of birds of farmed, woodland and upland habitats suggest there are large geographic themes that are having a detrimental impact.”  

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News Shorts
BSAVA announces winner of 2019 Bourgelat Award

One of the world’s leading small animal medicine specialists is set to receive the prestigious Bourgelat Award at BSAVA Congress 2019.

Professor Mike Herrtage will be recognised for his major research into metabolic and endocrine diseases, including diabetes mellitus, Cushing’s disease and Addison’s disease.

During his career, Prof Herrtage has co-authored more than 100 scientific papers and written more than 200 other publications such as abstracts, books and chapters. He also continues to be a source of inspiration for thousands of undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary surgeons.