Rod this is in the news over your way and things like this are happening around the world yes even in Australia. If scientists have developed tests for about 70 genetic ailments in dogs and about 25 in cats then maybe where applicable ALL breeders should be using such testing. I don't see that such Proposed Legislation would be an affront to honest breeders as they already do use such genetic testing where such Legislation would not affect them. I think that it will be interesting to see what happens with Florida Senate Bill 122.
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Apr 06, 2010.
Florida bill would require breeders to warn buyers of pets' genetic risks.
By Steve Sternberg, USA TODAY.

Worried that the cute little purebred dog or cat that captured your heart may harbor a hidden genetic defect?

Florida State Sen. Larcenia Bullard is worried on your behalf. She believes so strongly that people should be protected from unknowingly buying a dog or cat with health problems that she wants to require anyone who sells more than 20 dogs a year to add a warning to the information they already provide to buyers:

Dogs and cats are susceptible to more than 300 genetic disorders. Certain breeds may be predisposed to certain health problems. Therefore, it is recommended you get a scientific screening test for your dog or cat to help you identify a number of genetic diseases.

Her proposal, Florida Senate Bill 122, will be considered by the agriculture committee on Wednesday, April 7, in Tallahassee.

The American Kennel Club and the Florida Association of Kennel Clubs regard the measure as an affront to honest breeders everywhere.

"I'm not skeptical about genetic testing for animals," says Lisa Peterson of AKC, who breeds Norwegian elkhounds. "I use genetic testing on my own animals. I test them and if they have anything they won't be bred."

Peterson says the AKC objects to identifying any breeder by the number of dogs that they sell, to the implication that purebred dogs are genetically suspect and to the $10,00 penality for not handing out a piece of paper to buyers. She also challenged the bill's reference to 300 genetic disorders, calling the number arbitrary.

In fact, there are as many as 1,000 hereditary diseases in dogs and maybe 250 in cats, including predispositions to immune diseases, degenerative diseases and cancer, says Urs Giger, Charlotte Newton Sheppard Professor of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. So far, scientists have developed tests for about 70 genetic ailments in dogs and about 25 in cats.

In Germany, it's illegal to breed dogs with known genetic diseases. Known carriers may be bred, so long as they're not bred to another carrier, a barrier designed to prevent a unwanted traits from being passed along.

The time to get an animal screened would be before purchasing it, Giger says, noting that established breeders often test dogs and cats to make sure they're not prone to pass along problems to their offspring.

"Backyard breeders are more often the ones that are potentially passing along deleteriod genes," Giger says.

He notes that mixed breed dogs are no less prone to genetic or other ailments than purebreds. At least with a purebred you know what you're getting, he says. "Breeders look for good traits, agility and family. "

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals has a wealth of information on its website, including the CHIC DNA Bank, a registry of information on the health history of dogs.