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Kennel Club Health Foundation Fund –
‘Primed and ready for action!’

A major advancement to a project that will open up unprecedented opportunities for improving the health and welfare of pedigree dogs has been announced today by The Kennel Club.

The Kennel Club’s Health Foundation Fund (KCHFF), part of the Charitable Trust, has been given substantial support from Masterfoods – the makers of Pedigree® dog food. The KCHFF will fund the development of DNA tests to help breeders avoid genetic diseases to which certain breeds may be prone.

Funding from the KCHFF will allow breed clubs, in collaboration with independent and respected research institutions, to facilitate the mapping of mutant genes that cause the inherited conditions to which certain breeds of pedigree dogs are predisposed. This will be followed by the development of tests to determine the presence or absence of these mutations. The research will provide breeders with tools to identify and avoid breeding from dogs with a particular defective gene, thus preventing avoidable health and welfare problems.

Dr Jeff Sampson, The Kennel Club’s Genetics Co-ordinator said: "The Kennel Club is very excited at this development which has huge potential benefits for improving the health and welfare of pedigree dogs. We are grateful to Masterfoods for their generous support."

Masterfoods spokesman Michael Jenkins commented: "This initiative heralds a new era for canine healthcare and we are very pleased to be so closely involved in a project which will improve the health and well-being of dogs.

The KCHFF expects to fund several projects each year, each of which will require a contribution from the breed societies involved.