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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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Government to run free webinars on exporting horses

News Story 1
 The UK government has announced that it will be running two free webinars for horse owners and exporters, explaining what steps to take to export horses from 1 January 2021.

The first webinar will take place on Tuesday 20 October 2020, from 9.30am to 11am. It will cover Export Health Certificate (EHC) requirements from 1 January 2021. Click here to register.

The second webinar will take place on Wednesday 4 November 2020, from 10.30am to 12pm. This session will focus on the steps that businesses need to take to export equines from the UK to the EU. Click here to register.

For more information on exporting horses and ponies after 1 January 2021, please visit the website. 

Click here for more...
News Shorts
More cases of African swine fever confirmed in Germany

More cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been confirmed in wild boar in Germany.

According to Pig World, 20 outbreaks have been identified in two districts - Brandenburg, where the original case confirmed on September 10 was found, and near the town of Neuzelle, some 7.5 km away.

The finding represents a further seven cases confirmed by Germany's Friedrich-Loeffler Institute. A Central Crisis Team has been established to coordinate the response to the outbreak.