UFAW/RVC Companion Animal Genetic Health and Welfare Research
People: David Brodbelt, Dan O'Neill
Background: The Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW) is an independent registered charity that works to develop and promote improvements in the welfare of all animals through scientific and educational activity worldwide.
In 2010, UFAW initiated a web database (entitled ‘Genetic Welfare Problems of Companion Animals’ ) aiming to help improve breed-related welfare problems in companion animals by providing reliable information for prospective pet owners and others. The database describes genetic conditions affecting a range of companion animal species and individual breeds, aims to clarify their impact on affected animals’ quality of life, and list any available specific testing procedures available to allow prospective owners to make informed decisions when selecting a pet. More than 100 common breed-associated welfare problems are already described in the first phase of the development of this information resource.
Aim: The aim of this project is to develop and expand the evidence-based recommendations on breed-related health and welfare problems in companion animals already available on the UFAW Genetic Welfare database.
• Identify major conditions to evaluate for the UFAW database based on population welfare impact, taking into account disorder prevalence and disease severity assessment findings derived from ongoing VetCompass research and in discussion with UFAW.
• Collect, critically evaluate and collate information for the UFAW Genetic Welfare Database website for prioritised disorders.
• Maintain and expand current content of the UFAW Genetic Welfare Database across a range of conditions of welfare relevance to dogs, cats and other companion animal species. This will involve summarizing scientific information on major conditions on a breed by breed basis, for presentation on the website in a clear, concise and easily accessible format.
Project timing: 12 months from May 2015
Funding body: Universities Federation for Animal Welfare (UFAW)