The Kennel Club has approved two new official DNA testing schemes for progressive retinal atrophy (PRA-rcd4) and neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) in the English Setter following consultation with the breed’s health coordinator on behalf of the breed clubs.
PRA is a well-recognised inherited condition to which a number of breeds of dog are predisposed. The condition is characterised by bilateral degeneration of the retina causing progressive vision loss which culminates in total blindness. Although there is no treatment for PRA, dog breeders will be able to use DNA tests to screen their animals for the condition and factor this into their breeding programmes accordingly.
NCL is a severe inherited disease which causes a gradual degeneration of the nervous system. Signs and symptoms vary widely between the forms but generally include a combination of dementia, vision loss, and epilepsy.
To find out which laboratories the Kennel Club is able to record results from, and which labs will send results direct to the Kennel Club, please refer to the worldwide DNA testing list at www.thekennelclub.org.uk/worldwide-dna-tests/.
The Kennel Club constantly reviews DNA testing schemes in conjunction with breed clubs to ensure that breeders are supported with resources which help them to make responsible breeding decisions.
The Kennel Club works alongside breed clubs and breed health coordinators in a collaborative effort to improve the health of pedigree dogs and is happy to accommodate a club’s request to add a new DNA test to its lists. A formal request from the breed’s health coordinator or a majority request from the breed clubs is normally required to do this.
Test results will be added to the dog’s registration details which will trigger the publication of the result in the next available Breed Records Supplement. The result will appear on any new registration certificate issued for the dog and on the registration certificates of any future progeny of the dog, and also on the Health Test Results Finder on the Kennel Club website. Results for dogs already tested can also be recorded, but owners will need to submit copies of the DNA certificates themselves
If the owner includes the original registration certificate for the dog (not a copy) then a new registration certificate will be issued, with the DNA result on it, free of charge. DNA test certificates should be sent to Breeder Services, The Kennel Club, Clarges Street, London W1J 8AB or scanned and emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.