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Hip and elbow screening improves long-term dog health, study finds
"Breeders are increasingly choosing breeding stock with better scores," Dr Tom Lews, genetics research manager at the Kennel Club.

Kennel Club research shows schemes are being used more widely 

Kennel Club research has revealed a significant improvement in hip and elbow scores for some of the UK’s most commonly health-screened dog breeds.

The study, published in the journal Frontiers, assessed the importance of hip and elbow screening on the long-term health of dogs. Researchers analysed data from six commonly-screened breeds (Labrador retriever, golden retriever, German shepherd, rottweiler, Bernese mountain dog and Newfoundland).

Scientists found that not only have the proportion of dogs screened for hip and elbow dysplasia increased over time but that the grades and scores of dogs used for breeding have also been improving. In most of the reviewed breeds, there was a marked decline in severe hip scores and a more modest, but still notable, decline in severe elbow scores.

Researchers also looked at from Estimated Breeding Values (a resource that links hip scores and elbow grades to family/pedigree data) and found that in the six breeds studied, recent generations of dogs are genetically at a lower risk of dysplasia than dogs bred 30 years ago.

“Our research shows that these screening schemes have become more widely used, resulting in fewer puppies being born from untested parents,” explained Dr Tom Lewis, quantitative geneticist and genetics research manager at the Kennel Club.

“Breeders are increasingly choosing breeding stock with better scores and this careful consideration is significantly helping to improve dog health, demonstrating the significant positive impact that responsible breeders can have, and have had, on the health of dogs.”

Bill Lambert, senior health and welfare manager at the Kennel Club added: “The Kennel Club closely collaborates with breed clubs, vets and researchers as part of our Breed Health and Conservation Plans project which aims to identify, prioritise and tackle inherited breed-specific diseases. 

“This research will be used to help the six breeds studied develop strategies for continuing to reduce the risk of dysplasia in future generations and also demonstrates to other breeds – particularly those that are currently trying to tackle hip and elbow dysplasia – how their concentrated efforts can make a significant difference to dog health and welfare.”

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BEVA gives vets access to free membership for 3 months

News Story 1
 BEVA has announced that it is cutting membership renewal charges for the next three months in order to support all veterinary professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Memberships for all existing BEVA members will be extended until 30 June 2020. Veterinary professionals who are not members of BEVA will also be able to sign up for a free membership until 30 June 2020.

BEVA president Tim Mair said: "In this extraordinary time of global crisis our profession, as with many industries, is under immense pressure. By offering free membership we are giving equine vets easy access to a wealth of supportive resources and online CPD."

To sign up please visit the BEVA website.

Image (c) BEVA. 

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LOVE Gorgie Farm seeking veterinary volunteers

LOVE Gorgie Farm in Edinburgh is looking for people with veterinary and animal care experience, who would be interested in volunteering to help care for its animals during these difficult times.

The community-owned charity farm opened to the public only last month, but decided to close temporarily amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Its three-person team is working to care for the animals behind the scenes and the farm is now operating as a food bank for the public, delivering free breakfasts to local school children.

In an effort to build a contingency plan to secure the welfare of its animals, LOVE Gorgie Farm is looking for volunteers who would be able to step in if any team members fell sick or needed to self-isolate.

Those interested in volunteering are asked to contact