We have had a message from Border Terrier Breed Health Co-ordinator, Dr Eddie Houston BVMS MRCVS, following the announcement of the closure of the Animal Health Trust a few days ago, on the impact on Border Terrier health conditions.
In a statement on their website dated 3 July 2020, the AHT Board of Trustees confirmed the closure and that formal proceedings to wind up the company would begin. In his statement below, Dr Houston provided more information on what it means for the research and testing of Border Terrier health conditions such as Paroxsymal Gluten-sensitive Dyskinesia (PGSD) / Canine Epileptoid Cramping Syndrome (CECS) and Spongiform Leuco-Encephalo-Myelopathy (SLEM).
PGSD/CECS research & SLEM testing
Eddie says, "The announcement from the Animal Health Trust is very sad and yes, does raise concerns regarding research into PGSD/CECS and availability of DNA tests such as the one for SLEM.
We will have to wait and see what further information becomes available from the AHT. If breeders have litters which require SLEM testing the University of Missouri/OFA are willing to accept samples from the UK. At this stage no one knows if perhaps there would be another laboratory in the UK which might take over some of the testing done at AHT.
Whilst ensuring continuation of SLEM testing is of long term importance at least we have already had a lot of dogs tested in the UK and we have a large number which have either tested clear or are hereditarily clear so at this stage it shouldn't be difficult to ensure that at least one member of a proposed breeding pair is clear and thus no affected pups will be born.
We will keep you informed, as and when further news is released.