OK, so I’ll admit to not knowing much about breeding. It is incorrect to assume that most horse breeding is about how a horse performs and looks? Yes, very important. But how many are involved with making their breeds healthier? Please tell me which horse breed associations keep track and do not permit breeding of animals known to carry adverse genetic characteristics? I realize it was difficult before, but new techniques for DNA testing would seem to open the way for breed associations to start improving animals health in addition to fashion and performance. With many generations of pedigrees available, breed associations are in a unique position to track, advise and even eliminate diseases known to have a genetic component. I know a few, HYPP in QTR horses. SCID in Arabians. Are there others?
Take IR. It’s known to be more prevalent in certain breeds. All ponies, TWH, Morgans etc. There is lots of anecdotal evidence passed along at laminitis conferences that shows severe IR in certain bloodlines of several different breeds. There was even a study done years ago on a big name, popular line of Welsh ponies that showed a very definite genetic lineage, back to a stallion and 2 mares imported around the turn of the century. Has the breed assoc. made that public yet? Are any breed associations interested in helping to chart those bloodlines prone to IR or other diseases? Seems like an easy thing to fund some grad student to send out questionnaires and plug results into the registry. The breed associations are in the perfect position to help geneticists discover which diseases have a genetic component. Is there any interest? Seems to be a wonderful opportunity to improve their breeds.
Yes, IR has both management and genetic components. But couldn’t the breed associations help us identify those horses that require special management, BEFORE they founder, or are bred to produce more horses that end up with the same problem? I guess it would be sort of like a ‘hand wash only’ tag on a piece of clothing. “This bloodline prone to laminitis- weight management, regular exercise and grain free diet is advisable.” Yes people are supposed to research that stuff themselves, but they won’t and don’t. Are any breed associations interested in helping people understand that not all breeds need to be fed like a racehorse? We can’t save people from themselves, but maybe we could save a few of their horses from suffering and begetting more horses that will suffer the same fate.
Any dog breeds that help weed out genetic disease?