Since 2009, the Kennel Club Charitable Trust has funded the Kennel Club Genetics Centre (KCGC). Previously located at the Animal Health Trust, since 2020, the KCGC has been housed at the University of Cambridge along with its scientific data and biological materials including more than 40,000 DNA samples.
Led by Dr Cathryn Mellersch, the KCGC is at the forefront of dog health and welfare, focused on accelerating scientific research into inherited canine diseases and genetic disorders. Since its foundation, working collaboratively with dog breeders and veterinary surgeons, the team at the KCGC have developed DNA tests for 22 different inherited diseases, which benefit around 50 different breeds of dog. Research into the impact of some of these tests revealed that over a 10-year period, thanks to uptake of the tests by responsible breeders, the frequency of disease-causing genetic variants in some breeds reduced by a staggering 90%.
The University of Cambridge is also home to a ground-breaking piece of research into Brachycephalic Obstructive Airway Syndrome (BOAS) led by veterinary specialist, Dr Jane Ladlow. The research, which is funded by the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, focuses largely on the highly affected breeds of Bulldogs, French Bulldogs and Pugs, but also covers thirteen other breeds which can be impacted by the condition.
Dr Ladlow has worked on the test since 2003 and is leading the charge in getting vets across the UK trained up, with over 40 vets already full qualified to conduct the test. Each month she treats 6-8 dogs with breathing difficulties and says this new test will dramatically improve the breeds’ future health. Here at the Trust, we must continually fundraise to enable this kind of ground-breaking research to continue. You can give to the BOAS campaign and support Dr Ladlow's vital work here