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Press Release: IPFD Leads Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs initiative to support responsible use of DNA testing for dog health and breeding


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    The International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD) is pleased to announce the launch of 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, Brenda Bonnett, DVM, PhD.

    “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 our Sponsors.

    The HGTD Database is an easy-to-use, 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

    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.

    “We are now working to expand our roster of GTPs, while also continuing development of the HGTD Genetic Counselling resources,” Dr. Bonnett notes.

    “The Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs initiative perfectly illustrates how information sharing and developing multi-stakeholder collaboration leads to actions that support canine health and welfare on an international scale,” says Pekka Olson, DVM, Dr. hc, Chair, IPFD and President of the Swedish Kennel Club. “We’re proud to be taking an important first step towards improving access to, and promoting the informed use of, genetic testing for dogs.”

    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.

    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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