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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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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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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.