Give a Dog a Genome

Many of you will have seen recently in the Dog Press and the Veterinary Press, the announcement of a new initiative from the Animal Health Trust (AHT) which would create the UK’s largest canine Genome bank which, along with the Kennel Club, Breeders, Breed Clubs etc are being urged to support. Below are extracts from the AHT announcement:

“Give a Dog a Genome, brainchild of the Animal Health Trust (AHT), will improve dog health through the use of the latest technology available in genetics research. The Kennel Club Genetics Centre at the AHT, under head Dr Cathryn Mellersh is world-renowned for its pioneering genetic research undertaken to understand better and eradicate inherited diseases in purebred dogs”.

As the Founding/Parent UK Papillon Club (1923) the Committee has agreed that this Club has a responsibility to become involved with the project and to take a lead for the future health and well being of our Papillons.

The Papillon (Butterfly Dog) Club has cited interest in its position as one of the 50 Breeds chosen to be studied.

Our Health Representative is coordinating our involvement in this research. For each of the first 50 breeds to be sequenced the cost per dog is £2000 towards which the Kennel Club have agreed funding of £1000 and the breed concerned, funding the remaining £1000 once confirmation of the breed interest is made.

It would be immensely gratifying if members of this Club and the other UK Papillon Clubs could commit to supporting this work by donating (however small) towards the initial £1000 needed to fund the project, thus demonstrating our wholehearted support as Papillon owners and breeders, to eradicate inherited issues.

Already 10 other Breeds have contributed their £1000 and another 11 are committed to be being included and are in the process of raising their £1000 over a 3 month period. All donations will be acknowledged in our summer newsletter and the next edition of the Year Book to show how much the Papillon community is behind all work of this kind.

So many of you have already taken up the new DNA testing for PRA-1 since we highlighted and gave access to the test available both here (Laboklin) and in the USA (Optigen). We thank everyone who has taken part. Through our Breed Council the Kennel Club have agreed these test results will be automatically added to the Health Records all Papillons registered with them. This has been a great step forward and hopefully Papillons will continue to be tested.

Full details about the Give a Dog A Genome Project and Genome Sequencing can be found by visiting It will also be a topic for discussion at our AGM on Sunday March 20th so if you have any further questions please come along.

If you would like to donate please send a cheque to The Secretary, Papillon (Butterfly Dog) Club, 109 Nightingale Crescent, Birchwood, Lincoln LN6 0JR, made payable to the Papillon (Butterfly Dog) Club indicating in a covering note the money is for the AHT Give a Dog A Genome Project. We are currently investigating a variety of fundraising options to enable donations to be made including via PayPal and will be announcing progress in this area on the Club web site and Facebook.

We at the Papillon (Butterfly Dog) Club believe this to be an enormous step forward in securing a healthy future for our Papillons in the generations to come. It presents an opportunity too good to miss.

Thanking you in anticipation,
The Committee of the Papillon (Butterfly Dog) Club