Responsible Use of DNA Testing

07/30/2018

AKC Canine Health Foundation Partners with IPFD in their Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs Initiative to Support Responsible Use of DNA Testing for Dog Health and Breeding

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Bradford Brady                                            
Director, Development & Communications
AKC Canine Health Foundation
Phone: 919-334-4010
E-mail: Bradford.Brady@akcchf.org

NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release

AKC Canine Health Foundation Partners with IPFD in their Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs Initiative to Support Responsible Use of DNA Testing for Dog Health and Breeding

RALEIGH, N.C. (May 9, 2018) The AKC Canine Health Foundation is pleased to announce that the International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD) has launched Phase 1 of the Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD) Initiative, a free online resource designed to support owners, breeders, veterinarians, and dog health and welfare specialists in the appropriate selection and use of DNA testing in dogs. The HGTD interface is hosted at DogWellNet.com.

Increasing numbers of new DNA tests and testing laboratories have made choosing good quality DNA tests and providers challenging for many owners, breeders, and veterinary professionals. In addition, accessing detailed, breed-specific information on genetic traits, including original research and mutation information, is time-consuming and difficult.

 “With no existing national or international guidelines for accreditation or standardization, there’s been a growing need for a reliable, neutral, third party organization that can provide guidance on test information and laboratory quality and procedures. In addition, evidence-based genetic advice to support consumer confidence in canine DNA testing is needed,” says IPFD CEO, Dr. Brenda Bonnett. “IPFD engaged a team of Leadership Sponsors to help develop the HGTD Quality Database. These collaborators include IPFD Partners, e.g., major national kennel clubs, Agria Pet Insurance-SKK Research Fund, and Wisdom Health, as well as the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, and many international genetic test providers (GTPs) and academic institutions. Expert collaborators include OMIA (University of Sydney), the Hereditary Disease Committee of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association, and other important dog health organizations.” See a complete list of HGTD sponsors. 

 “We are excited to see Phase I of the HGTD initiative come online, and CHF is pleased to support IPFD’s efforts toward this much-needed resource for the health of all dogs,” says Dr. Diane Brown, CEO of CHF.

 The HGTD Database is an open access resource that:

  • Catalogues available genetic tests for hundreds of dog breeds and varieties
  • Helps consumers make informed choices when buying DNA tests by describing expertise, quality assurance activities, and resources of genetic test providers
  • Describes clinical and genetic information on individual genetic tests, and their use
  • Provides information on the original science and research behind genetic tests
  • Includes basic guides for consumers on different types of tests, and testing information to aid veterinary professionals in advising clients

For Phase I, the Database includes an initial group of 18 GTPs and more than 300 unique genetic tests, from parentage and panel tests to diseases and diagnostics – catalogued by breed and type. Per Dr. Bonnett, the IPFD is “now working to expand our roster of GTPs, while also continuing development of HGTD Genetic Counselling resources.”

For more information on the HGTD initiative, including opportunities for GTPs, labs, sponsors, and other collaborators, please contact Project Director, Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi, at aimee.llewellyn-zaidi@ipfdogs.com or Dr. Brenda Bonnett at brenda.bonnett@ipfdogs.com.

Dr. Brenda Bonnett, principal investigator for CHF Grant 02328-A: Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs, weighs in on the pet genomics discussion in her letter to the journal Nature.

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About the AKC Canine Health Foundation

Since 1995, the Raleigh, NC-based AKC Canine Health Foundation has leveraged the power of science and research to improve the lives of dogs and their people. The Foundation works to prevent, treat and cure diseases that impact all dogs, while providing educational information and resources for a new breed of dog owner. Take action because you care; find out more online at www.akcchf.org.

The International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD) is a non-profit organization, registered in Sweden, and initiated in 2014 by a diverse group of stakeholders in the international dog world. The IPFD mission is to facilitate collaboration and sharing of resources to enhance the health, well-being, and welfare of pedigreed dogs and all dogs worldwide. Visit the IPFD online at www.dogwellnet.com for more information.

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