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Press Release: The International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD) announces the "Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs" initiative: to support the appropriate selection and use of DNA testing in dog health and breeding decisions

 

The ever-increasing emergence of new canine DNA tests and testing laboratories has made choosing quality DNA testing providers and the right DNA tests for health and breeding decisions increasingly challenging for many owners, breeders and veterinarians. Working with a wide-spectrum of stakeholders in dog health, the International Partnership for Dogs (IPFD) "Harmonization of Genetic Testing for Dogs" initiative will provide practical support to address these challenges. 

With no existing national or international standards of accreditation, or standardization oversight group, there is a growing need for a reliable third party neutral organization that can provide guidance surrounding test reliability, laboratory quality assurance processes and procedures, test applicability by breed, and provide counseling regarding interpretation and best use of genetic test results. This is needed to support consumer confidence in DNA testing, educate consumers in the use of these tests, utilize these tests effectively as tools to reduce the incidence of inherited disease, and to reduce redundant international efforts. IPFD will work to coordinate and consolidate expertise, as well as ongoing and new work to increase the availability of resources to consumers.

The goal of this new IPFD initiative is to create an open access, searchable and sustainable online resource that will:

  • Catalog information provided voluntarily form commercial test providers for genetic testing in dogs;
  • Describe expertise, quality assurance, activities and resources of the test providers;
  • Host expert panel reviews of genetic tests, their reliability and applicability;
  • Coordinate a program for standardized proficiency testing and potentially peer review and audit;
  • Collate/assemble existing and new resources for genetic counseling and education; and provide the foundation for future developments.
The initial phase of the initiative is to develop a working prototype of the online resource. Both the prototype and the final output will be hosted by IPFD's DogWellNet.com platform. The initiative will be guided by IPFD CEO Brenda Bonnett, and Project Director Aimee Llewellyn-Zaidi and will be overseen by a multi-stakeholder steering committee set up by the IPFD (see Initiative Description on the DogWellNet.com). 

Initial funding for the prototype is provided through generous contributions from IPFD Founding Partners, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) and the AKC Canine Health Foundation. We invite other collaborators and potential contributors to contact us (Brenda.Bonnett@ipfdogs.com; Aimee.Llewellyn-Zaidi@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. 

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) is a 50 year old non-profit foundation with a specific mission to improve health and welfare of companion animals through a reduction in the incidence of genetic disease. Visit the OFA online at www.ofa.org for more information.

The AKC Canine Health Foundation is the largest non-profit organization solely dedicated to funding research to prevent, treat, and cure canine disease since 1995. Visit the AKC CHF online at www.akcchf.org for more information.

 

 


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