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‘Hereditary clear’ status to be limited to two generations
The change "ensures that breeders can remain confident that the puppies they produce remain free from disease".

Change will support the eradication of health conditions

The Kennel Club has announced plans to limit the assignment of ‘hereditary clear’ status of registered dogs to two generations.

The change, which comes into force in January 2022, will be put in place to safeguard the impact that dogs with an incorrect ‘hereditary’ clear status could have on health issues within breeds.

The decision follows the recommendation of the Dog Health Group after a study published in the journal Canine Genetics and Epidemiology.

“Kennel Club advice has always been that even apparently ‘clear’ lines should be retested every few generations,” explained Kennel Club genetics and research manager Dr Tom Lewis.

“This change to hereditary status reinforces that view and ensures that breeders can remain confident that the puppies they produce remain free from disease. DNA tests are helping breeders eradicate health issues in dogs and we want our registration system to maximise the impact these tests are having.”

‘Hereditary clear’ is a term given to dogs that are determined to be free of specific genetic material linked to a particular inherited disease. The Kennel Club assigns a dog this status if its parents are known to be clear, either because they have both been DNA tested as clear, or because they are hereditary clear themselves.

Dogs can be mistakenly given a false hereditary clear status if there has been a failure of laboratory protocols, pedigree errors or incorrectly recorded parentage. In these cases, it is unlikely that inaccuracies would be noticed straight away, but rather several generations later.

As a result, many dogs throughout the breed descended from the individual with the original incorrect status will also have erroneous hereditary status, and the well-intended mating of two 'hereditary clear' dogs risks producing affected puppies.

To reduce the knock-on effect of such errors, the Kennel Club will be ensuring that ‘hereditary clear status’ will be limited to two generations unless lineage is verified by DNA parentage profiling recorded by the Kennel Club.

DNA parentage profiling is a separate procedure to screen DNA for disease-causing mutations, but can often be performed simultaneously by the same laboratory.

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Celebrity chefs urge public to get baking to support Cats Protection fundraiser

News Story 1
 In support of Cats Protection's Pawsome Afternoon Tea fundraiser, Masterchef winner Tim Anderson and Great British Bake Off star Kim-Joy have shared biscuit recipes to help keen bakers raise money for needy cats across April.

The celebrity chefs are both cat owners and have said that they hope this fundraiser will help to raise awareness of cats in need and the importance of adopting a cat, rather than buying one.

This is the fourth year Cats Protection has run its Pawsome Afternoon Tea campaign, which encourages people to hold tea parties, bake sales and fundraising events to help raise money for the charity.

To view the recipes and other fundraising resources please visit the Cats Protection website. 

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News Shorts
BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.