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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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New road sign to protect small wildlife

News Story 1
 Transport secretary Chris Grayling has unveiled a new road sign to help cut traffic accidents and protect small wildlife, particularly hedgehogs.

Local authorities and animal welfare groups are being asked to identify accident and wildlife hotspots where the sign - which features a hedgehog - should be located.

Government figures show that more than 600 people were injured in road accidents involving animals in 2017, and four people were killed. These figures do not include accidents involving horses. The new sign will be used to warn motorists in areas where there are large concentrations of small wild animals, including squirrels, badgers, otters and hedgehogs.  

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NOAH members re-elect Jamie Brannan as chair

Jamie Brannan, senior Vice President of Zoetis, has been re-elected as chair of NOAH for 2019/20, during this year’s AGM, held in London.

Mr Brannan joined Zoetis and the NOAH board in 2016, becoming NOAH’s vice-chair in 2018 and replacing Gaynor Hillier as chair later that year.

He commented: “I am extremely pleased to have been elected by the NOAH membership and am proud to be able to represent our industry at such a critical time for the UK animal health industry. I look forward to driving forward our new NOAH Strategy and to working with our members, old and new, in the coming year.”