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Genetics research challenged in U.S.

A LEADING genetic scientist has hit back at recent research which claimed to be able to identify a dog’s breed purely on the basis of its individual DNA.

As reported previously in OUR DOGS, a team of scientists in the Fred Hutcheson Research Centre in the USA published the results of genetic research in which they claimed they were able to identify the behaviour of a dog based upon its breed via genetic samples, with almost 100% accuracy.

This data was challenged by the anti-breed specific legislation organisation, the American Canine Foundation, based in Seattle, as they have proven in a landmark court ruling in the Alabama Supreme Court two years ago that a dog breed cannot be said to be genetically dangerous.

ACT Vice President Glen Bui told OUR DOGS that the ACF had been provided with information from the National Canine Research Foundations by Dr Myrna Milani D.V.M., refuting the claims of the scientists at the Fred Hutcheson Research Centre.

Glen Bui said: "I believe Dr Milani hits the nail on the head with everything she says and would have to say she is 100% accurate on behaviour of canines/genetics and what causes it.

‘Shortly, we will also get results on the paper published by the Fred Hutcheson Cancer Centre in Seattle on the doggie DNA identification leading everyone to believe 85 breeds of dogs can be identified through DNA. We are having a forensic lab that does nothing but DNA reviews the scientists’ paper. My thoughts? I do not believe the paper will hold up in court and do not understand why all the research went into what may be a failed attempt to identify dog breeds by way of DNA.

‘We have called the Fred Hutcheson Research Centre and offered to pay for a test, we offered to provide them with a DNA sample from one of the 85 breeds and are willing to pay for the research to have them tell us which breed it is. Strangely, they never even called us back.’

The debunking of the Fred Hutcheson scientists’ data by Dr Malini was posted on the NCRF Website, and cited data from a variety of sources, including genetics research, media and cultural parameters – particularly concerning the UK’s own 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act – and ascribing anthromorphic characteristics to dogs.

National Canine Research Foundation website: