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Jemima Harrison's controversial new film "Pedigree Dogs Exposed" will be shown by the BBC on Tuesday evening at 9pm (Friday 9pm in Scotland). And should also be available on BBC iPlayer.
The Chairman of the KC Ronnie Irving has already issued a statement about the film, see the KC website, without even having seen it
Before it has even been shown, the film is causing considerable controversy in the UK, many people welcoming Jemima's two year research into the genetic problems caused by inbreeding in pedigree dogs, but a few breeds and the Kennel Club going on the defensive
See also the commentary by Beverley Cuddy, editor of Dogs Today, about the film and the recent research from Imperial College, London on the effects of linebreeding and use of popular sires

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Frances, have you found the genetic expert you were looking for? I'd like to get in touch! I was never one for maths and COI calculations ARE maths;-((
I will also have to get a computer programme and type in pedigrees...

I'm sitting here reading all the posts and started wondering if we are looking at the problem from the correct angle.
As much as I agree that close breeding of individuals can be dangerous, I think the main problem as shown by the film is not actually the INDIVIDUAL DOG HIMSELF but the WHOLE POPULATION OF A BREED. The research done on the DNA analysis of ten thousands of collies showed a genetic variability of what looked like only 60 or 70 dogs. So it is the breed as a whole we should be looking at, besides the individual.
I understood that If many different families exist in a breed that are themselves inbred there can still be enough genetic variability present in the breed as a whole. It is when ALL breeders use just a handful of individual studdogs that causes all the individuals to become so closely related that the genetic diversity is lost. This leads to inbreeding depression and the problems linked to too much homogenity within a breeding population. The problems that occurr will not necessarily be the known health defects like HD, PRA, CLAD but the more complex problems of epilepsy, cancer, shorter lifespan, increase of immune related diseases, breeding problems
So it is less the actual breeder who will ruin the breed by having one inbred litter, than all breeders inbreeding (also known as linebreeding) to the same dogs. And this is what has been happening in the breed for the last 50 + years and even increasingly so during the last 20 years.
I wonder how many lines all our show bred dogs have to Wendover Game?
Limiting the use of stud dogs would be one viable solution.
Frances don’t know of any reliable tests of ALL systems so far. The one mentioned you can download for free and –based on comments of users- works ok and easy.

A better source for an answer is a population geneticist still working for a kennelclub, e-mail and ask what system is the best in your eyes. If you e-mail three of them, you have a rapid reliable test of systems for yourself.

Yes your mention of clad is correct and provides a face on facts as for the number of generations to be used. The more generations used the better, seems to me best option.

Another source of clad was Moanruad Brendan. Moanruad and Wendover are related in far extended pedigrees. Fill in for clad something else and you can see just one problem way back can rampage a breed if the situation is like Susan and others meanwhile stated it is (nearly all related closely).

A reasonable readable lecture on leffects of linebreeding was during celebration of the centennial of the Dutch Kennel Club. See http://www.gencouns.nl/artikelen/2002%20Genetic%20Management.pdf

Near to the end the lecturer Gubbels states: “If we carry on with our current breeding policy continued existence of a large number of breeds is at risk: we will simply be unable to contain the rampage of genetic problems.” He also provides solutions how to deal with it.

Question mark is of course -like Susan writes- just how many different families of Irish setters still exist. I've used one, that provides breeding here a very low coi and fits into my idea of an Irish setter. But that took years of struggling with kennelclub and breed. Structural situations like that might damage your own health:-)))
Susan. This is the article about depletion of the gene pool in ten breeds by the researchers at Imperial College, that Jemima was quoting in the film. Much of it is very mathematical, but even if you only read the introduction and the summary of conclusions at the end, you can get the gist of it
And this is some of the information in the research put into poster form which was presented at a conference. Probably easier to understand.
This from David Balding's website

Thanks Margaret and Henk, I've been reading the articles and found them both very interesting - once I had got past the mathematical bits;-))




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