19 August 2008

"...she's yer sister..."

The BBC has recently put out a program focused on the inbreeding practices in the pedigree dog world that is causing somewhat of a stir. Pedigree dog people not only in the UK but the world round are up in arms that these scientists are telling them to worry over something that they say isn't harming their dogs. On Cold Wet Nose I found a quote from Terrierman's blog that made me happy...(bold type is mine)

"We find extremely inbred dogs in each breed except the Greyhound, and estimate an inbreeding effective population size between 40 and 80 for all but two breeds. For all but three breeds, more than 90% of unique genetic variants are lost over six generations, indicating a dramatic effect of reeding patterns on genetic diversity."

Simon and I were talking about the study this morning and before I read this I commented on how the Greyhounds I work with (NGA registered racing dogs, not AKC show dogs) don't have that problem as far as I knew because the NGA looks at who is bred to whom and I think if it's too close don't register the pups. I could be wrong on that. I know that their family trees used to look like telephone poles but I think it has gotten better lately...as have a lot of things in the industry.

If you're in the UK, "Pedigree Dogs Exposed will be shown on BBC One at 2100 BST on Tuesday 19 August.

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