Weatherbys Scientific and the UK Kennel Club have launched a new DNA Testing Service, developed to improve and protect dog health, and to promote responsible dog breeding.
Available for 80 breeds and aimed at any owner who wants to better understand their dog’sgenetics, as well as anyone considering breeding from their dog, The KennelClub DNA Testing Service checks a dog’s DNA via a simple cheek swab. From theswab, the service checks the DNA for markers associated with a number ofdifferent inherited disorders and provides condition and/or breed-specific advice to help to reduce the risk of producing puppies affected by inherited conditions, so they can ultimately be eradicated through responsible breeding.
Test results will automatically be registered on a dog’s record and be freely available on The Kennel Club website, allowing breeders to find health-tested mates, and puppy buyers to check if the dog they are thinking of buying has come from health-tested parents.
Some dogs affected by hereditary conditions can go undiagnosed during the early stages of disease due to clinical symptoms being missed or mistaken for ageing, and missing the early signs of disease can leave a dog in unnecessary pain or discomfort.
Alongside the health packages, the new DNA Testing Services also offer DNA profiling for all breeds, and is included as standard for multiple-test Breed-Specific Packages at no further cost. This DNA profile provides a unique genetic code for an individual dog, which can be used as a ‘genetic fingerprint’, and unlike other identification means, a DNA profile remains the same throughout the dog’s entire life and cannot be lost, manipulated or destroyed.
As a DNA profile can also be used to confirm parentage, a parental verification service will also be available for all breeds - both of these services are new offerings from The Kennel Club and have been developed in partnership with Weatherbys Scientific.
Commenting on the new service, Dr Joanna Ilska, Genetics Research Manager at The Kennel Club said,
"We are delighted to launch The Kennel Club DNA Testing Service, which allows caring breeders and responsible owners to have a genuine and positive impact on the health of future generations of dogs, in an easy, accessible and cost-effective way. At the same time, those who use the service will be contributing to driving further understanding of canine genetics and disease, and the development of dog health initiatives, with all data and profits reinvested into research as part of The Kennel Club’s mission of making a difference for dogs.”
Paul Flynn, Head of Research and Development at Weatherbys Scientific, said,
"The partnership between The Kennel Club and Weatherbys bringstogether a combined heritage of nearly 400 years dedicated to animalregistration and welfare. Furthermore, Weatherbys Scientific are proud to hold some25 years’ experience as a global multi-species genetic testing service provider,to ensure professional delivery of the genetic testing aspect of The Kennel Club’s DNA Testing Service.
We very much look forward to being part of The Kennel Club’s DNA Testing Service, which will leverage Weatherbys Scientific’s proven laboratory track record and availability of latest in-house molecular technologies; to help realise admirable genetic breeding objectives that aim to continuously better the future health and welfare of the canine species.”
Assured Breeders and members of the KCAI receive a 10% discount on the services, and any owner can make use of the introductory £20 off throughout November for all Breed-Specific Packages with DNA profiling included, with the discount code DNAtest20.
To access the service and for more information, visit thekennelclub.org.uk/DNAtesting