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A question of DNA

A point has been made by one of OUR DOGS European based readers regarding DNA profiling.
It seems the Kennel Club is using the ISAG2004 standard which is NOT compatible with the more recent ISAG2006 standard.

This means anyone in Europe wanting to use a British profiled dog will have to profile it AGAIN under the ISAG2006 standard.

Apparently in places such as Belgium, DNA profiling is becoming obligatory and pedigrees are not being validated unless the parents of puppies have the full DNA profiling. This is soon to apply to other FCI countries, which OUR DOGS understands do not in any circumstance accept the ISAG2004 or other standards.

OUR DOGS asked the Kennel Club for their position on this situation and Jeff Sampson has replied as follows: “This is certainly correct; the company that undertakes DNA profiling for the KC, Medigenomics, uses the 2004 ISAG markers, and there is a later set of markers released by ISAG in 2006, which are really incompatible with the 2004 marker set.

This is just one of the problems with a changing system and getting into it early. Changing marker sets is not at all easy. We must now have thousands of profiles on record using the 2004 set and if we were to shift to the 2006 set, none of these would be compatible. Deciding to change to a new set of incompatible markers is not a decision to be taken lightly.

I am sure that changes will need to be made in the future, but I am equally sure that better systems, based on new technology (SNP technology for example), will be developed and my view is that if we have to change it will be best to only do it the once and so we should wait until this new technology becomes established.”

OUR DOGS believes that the Kennel Club will be keeping a watchful eye on any developments.



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