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DNA testing schemes approved for English setters
NCL is a severe inherited disease that causes gradual degeneration of the nervous system.
Kennel Club approves PRA and NCL schemes 

New DNA testing schemes have been approved for two conditions in English setters, the Kennel Club has announced.

The tests screen for progressive retinal atrophy (PRA-rcd4) and neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL).

A number of dog breeds are predisposed to PRA, which is characterised by bilateral degeneration of the retina. This causes progressive loss of vision, eventually leading to total blindness.

There is no treatment for PRA, so dog breeders are advised to use DNA tests to screen their animals and factor the results into their breeding programmes.

NCL is a severe inherited disease that causes gradual degeneration of the nervous system. Signs and symptoms are variable but generally include dementia, loss of vision and epilepsy.

A list of laboratories from which the Kennel Club can record results can be found on its website.

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Zoo animals step on the scales for annual weigh-in

News Story 1
 Squirrel monkeys, penguins and meerkats are just some of the animals that stepped on the scales on Thursday (22 August) for the start of ZSL London Zoo’s annual weigh-in.

The annual event gives keepers a chance to check the animals in their care are healthy, eating well and growing at the correct weight. Keepers say that a growing waistline can also help them to detect pregnancies, which is vital as many of the species at the zoo are endangered.

The data is then added to a database shared with zoos and conservationists across the globe. This helps keepers to compare information and provide better care for the species they are fighting to protect.  

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Professor Abdul Rahman announced as keynote speaker for BVA Members’ Day 2019

Celebrated Indian vet and parasitologist Professor Abdul Rahman is set to deliver the keynote speech at BVA Members’ Day 2019.

Professor Rahman will present his insights into the human behaviour challenges of controlling zoonotic disease in his talk: ‘A One Health approach to rabies elimination in Asia’. The talk will outline efforts to gain political support for dog vaccination programmes in China, as well as the need for a collaborative approach between vets, public health, livestock and animal welfare agencies.

The event takes place on Thursday, 19 September at Brangwyn Hall, Swansea. Tickets are free but must be reserved through the BVA website as places are limited.