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AHA Task Force on Genetic Diseases - Announcement


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#1 ShannonC

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Posted 27 February 2009 - 03:45 AM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:February 24, 2009

Contact: AHA303-696-4500
Arabian Horse Association Establishes Task Force On Genetic Diseases The Arabian Horse Association (AHA) of Aurora , Colo. , has established an Arabian Horse Association task force on genetic diseases. The task force was created under the direction of and announced by AHA President, Lance Walters . “The purpose of the task force is to have a group of AHA members regularly focused on genetic diseases. The end result will be an Arabian horse community that is educated about genetic diseases and knowledgeable about testing and disclosure. The task force will guide the association in developing policies and educational programs to educate the Arabian horse community about genetic diseases associated with the Arabian breed. The establishment of the task force emphasizes that we are a breed organization interested in preserving our breed,” s ays Walters. The conception for the new task force originated after the philanthropic arm of AHA, the Arabian Horse Foundation (AHF) appointed a panel of equine research advisors in 2008 and donated thousands to universities and colleges conducting genetic disease research. Appointed as chair of the new task force is Beth Minnich, of Mill Creek , Wash. Minnich holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Equine Science from Colorado State University and has over 20 years of experience with the Arabian breed. Minnich also chairs the foundation’s Equine Research Advisory Panel.

“The Arabian Horse Association has taken a significant step forward with the establishment of the task force. Genetic conditions exist among a variety of horse breeds, so this is not something unique to the Arabian horse. However, many times these disorders are very quietly talked about in private, away from public view ,” says Minnich. “With the creation of this task force, AHA is recognizing the importance of bringing this subject out for more broad based discussion among the membership. Consequently, AHA will take a leading role in educating its members about various genetic disorders and encourage its members to utilize available tests and disclose results.” One of the four areas the AHF funds is Equine Research. Other funding categories include Youth Scholarships, Equine Rescue/Rehoming and General Education. “We have had considerable interest from members in designating funds for equine veterinary research,” says Larry Kinneer , AHF President. “The formation of the task force is in response to what our members have expressed an interest in.” Last year the foundation gave away approximately $10,000 for equine veterinary research. Minnich pointed out that currently, “there is no complete, central location where our members can go to find information about genetic disorders, financially support research in specific areas a nd purchase available tests. We need to merge the efforts of the major Arabian horse organizations and provide this information to owners and breeders.” Minnich adds, “When the Arabian horse community was faced with Severe Combined Immunodeficiency (SCID) back in the 1970s and 1980s, it responded with the formation of the Fight off Arabian Lethals (FOAL) Commission to help educate owners and support genetic disease research. Since that time, a test for SCID has been developed, over 8,000 horses have been tested and the AHA Code of Ethics has addressed SCID disclosure in the Code of Conduct. The lesson to be learned from this is that focused efforts can be very successful.” Equine research technology, Minnich says “has undergone major advances in the past several years; most notably, the completion of the equine genome sequence, which has exponentially increased the ability to map heritable diseases in a shorter amount of time, with fewer samples and less expense. There is now an indirect DNA test available for20Cerebellar Abiotrophy and current research on Lavender Foal Syndrome, which is yielding some very encouraging preliminary data.

The Arabian community needs to take advantage of the research options available and work to develop the necessary tests so owners can obtain the information needed to make informed breeding decisions.”Recommendations from the task force will help create a base for development of potential resolutions for delegate vote and/or action by the AHA Board of Director s, Minnich added. Additional task force members will be announced later. For more information about the new task force, contact Minnich at Phanilah@aol. com

AHA is a major equine association serving 37,000 members across North America . It registers and maintains a da tabase of more than one million Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses and administers approximately $4 million in annual prize money. AHA produces championship events, recognizes close to 400 Arabian horse shows and distance rides and provides activities and programs that promote breeding and ownership. For information about Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses, call 303-696-4500, e-mail info@ArabianHorses. org or visit ArabianHorses. org


#2 phanilah

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 09:36 PM

Thanks for posting this.

Although my participation here will be limited, due to time - I will do my best to read through these threads....and pick up any comments and suggestions.

More info re: the task force should be coming out in the next several weeks.

Beth Minnich
Chair, AHA Task Force on Genetic Diseases
si hoc legere scis, nimium eruditionis habes

#3 Pete

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 02:49 AM

Does AHA share in the proceeds from the tests?

#4 phanilah

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Posted 18 April 2009 - 03:25 AM

It is nice to see the task force announcement making its rounds - plus some other interesting info.

Beth

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#5 phanilah

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 11:48 PM

Does AHA share in the proceeds from the tests?


Somehow I wiped out my previous post when I went to post the link to the Gazette.

So, to put the answer to the above questions back up......no, AHA does not share in the proceeds from the tests.

Beth
si hoc legere scis, nimium eruditionis habes

#6 Christy Hazel

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 11:22 PM

WOW! This should be pinned and have horns blowing to garner attention. This is great. IMO

Am I missing something here? The very few responses have me concerned.
Christy
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#7 szedlisa

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 02:46 AM

Now on the heels of the Swiss Registry accepting compulsorary testing for CA , we
have Saturday´s results in on:

VZAP (German Arabian Registry)

German to English translation
Results of the Annual General Meeting:

All breeding horses, whether new or old, mare or stallion must be tested.
Breeding animals that are re-recorded must be tested immediately, the "old" have a transitional measure until 31.12.2011.

There were no abstentions - so there were all members present 100% for the tests.

The already made tests are accepted in full.


Hopefully this will give our AHA an incentive to do the same.!

Lisa

#8 stuzerpd

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 04:09 PM

This is truly wonderful news, one can only hope and pray that AHA will at least begin a voluntary list on line with tested horses' results. It would be a first albeit a timid step in the right direction.
Pam Studebaker
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#9 szedlisa

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 05:34 PM

I so agree!

Furthermore, these european registries have delt with some of the legal angles in a very astute way, thus avoiding conflicts with any World Wide Free Trade Acts and personal liability claims against the registries themselves.

As the AHA does not require stallion licensing for breeding certificates as some of these countries do, the AHA has no "Breeding Stallion" List nor "Breeding Mare" List for that matter. Not all breeding stallions are part of the Sweepstakes program either. (that does have a voluntary listing of SCID tested horses__not the result but the fact that they have been tested)

As testing is required of all breeding stock now in both Switzerland and Germany (with other countries soon to follow), what they have done is this:

- Publication of the stallions in the Stallion Genetic Test distribution plan on the VZAP website and AWW as is already done with SCID results. CA now being included , the designation will be as follows:
"CA free" for N / N
"CA tested " for N / CA or CA / CA
Nothing, if horse is still not tested.

Publication of test results on a mares list on the website VZAP same as for the stallions.
To be published publically as:
"CA free" for N / N
"CA tested" for N / CA or CA / CA.

This form of publication is not legally actionable.= "SCID tested" or "CA Tested"
All other types of publication are vulnerable legally.

In this way there is public disclosure. By the 31 December 2011 all breeding stock will be tested. All will be either CA free or SCID free or designated CA Tested or SCID Tested only. Progeny from free status will be recognized and a hard copy supplied for a small fee. LFS will be included when test is publically available.

The only so called " listing " that the AHA has would be the AHA Datasource. If that were to have a similar type of status identification applied on all breeding stock (Free or Tested for the respective disorders), also done within a specified time limit, and progeny of clear parents recognized, it would be a good solution and legally feasable.

Stallion and mare owners still would be required to ask about status if they are concerned about selective breeding. The tests available still would be an excellent tool for breeding selection to avoid AFFECTED foals. Really good quality Carriers will continue to be bred with because a good horse is a good horse and valuable bloodlines can be cleared this way. The gene pool will not be reduced drastically which could happen if all carriers were simply wiped out. Breeders and owners will have freedom of choice as to their breeding selections with the addition of transparancy.

Sounds good to me.

Lisa

#10 carolynw

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 07:31 PM

I so agree!

Furthermore, these european registries have delt with some of the legal angles in a very astute way, thus avoiding conflicts with any World Wide Free Trade Acts and personal liability claims against the registries themselves.

As the AHA does not require stallion licensing for breeding certificates as some of these countries do, the AHA has no "Breeding Stallion" List nor "Breeding Mare" List for that matter. Not all breeding stallions are part of the Sweepstakes program either. (that does have a voluntary listing of SCID tested horses__not the result but the fact that they have been tested)

As testing is required of all breeding stock now in both Switzerland and Germany (with other countries soon to follow), what they have done is this:

- Publication of the stallions in the Stallion Genetic Test distribution plan on the VZAP website and AWW as is already done with SCID results. CA now being included , the designation will be as follows:
"CA free" for N / N
"CA tested " for N / CA or CA / CA
Nothing, if horse is still not tested.

Publication of test results on a mares list on the website VZAP same as for the stallions.
To be published publically as:
"CA free" for N / N
"CA tested" for N / CA or CA / CA.

This form of publication is not legally actionable.= "SCID tested" or "CA Tested"
All other types of publication are vulnerable legally.

In this way there is public disclosure. By the 31 December 2011 all breeding stock will be tested. All will be either CA free or SCID free or designated CA Tested or SCID Tested only. Progeny from free status will be recognized and a hard copy supplied for a small fee. LFS will be included when test is publically available.

The only so called " listing " that the AHA has would be the AHA Datasource. If that were to have a similar type of status identification applied on all breeding stock (Free or Tested for the respective disorders), also done within a specified time limit, and progeny of clear parents recognized, it would be a good solution and legally feasable.

Stallion and mare owners still would be required to ask about status if they are concerned about selective breeding. The tests available still would be an excellent tool for breeding selection to avoid AFFECTED foals. Really good quality Carriers will continue to be bred with because a good horse is a good horse and valuable bloodlines can be cleared this way. The gene pool will not be reduced drastically which could happen if all carriers were simply wiped out. Breeders and owners will have freedom of choice as to their breeding selections with the addition of transparancy.

Sounds good to me.

Lisa


This is great news, Lisa! Thank you!

Carolyn
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