SOMALI Breed Advisory Committee

 

 

 

 

THE HEALTH AND WELFARE OF ALL SOMALIS IS THE PARAMOUNT CONCERN OF THE SOMALI BAC!

 

 

 

 

In all animals and humans, there are genetic disorders affecting health and wellbeing. The Somali is a healthy breed with few problems; however, with any genetic anomaly affecting our breed, the Somali Breed Advisory Committee recommends genetic testing or screening where reliable tests are available. Our role is to promote best practice in the management and elimination of detrimental genes. A full list of well known genetic anomalies with brief descriptions and relevant illustrations can be found in the GCCF Breeding Policy.

EXCELLENT NEWS FOR SOMALI BREEDERS REGARDING GENETIC TESTING!

Langford Veterinary Services is a UK based laboratory owned by the University of Bristol and based at the Veterinary School at Langford. They have been performing genetic testing for cats for over 5 years and have recently launched several new genetic tests in the UK. They perform a large range of genetic tests for cats including HCM, PKD, PK Deficiency, PRA, blood typing and coat colours.

THEY ARE NOW ABLE TO OFFER MEMBERS OF BREED SOCIETIES A 20% DISCOUNT ON THE LIST PRICE OF THEIR TESTS.

A pdf of their current price list is available here

Further information about the tests and the relevant submission forms can be downloaded here with more information found on their website at www.langfordvets.co.uk/laboratory_owners.htm The promotional code for Somali Cat Club Members wishing to test their Somalis is "BREED GROUP 92 ".

PROGRESSIVE RETINAL ATROPHY (PRA)

Somalis and Abyssinians have been cited as having a predisposition to Progressive Retinal Atrophy. In September 2008, the Somali Breed Advisory Committee discussed the implications of PRA following some disturbing results from UC Davis implying false diagnoses. Several breeders have tested their cats, as have some Abyssinian breeders also, but it has emerged there appears to be an anomaly regarding the DNA tests for the affected loci.

 

UC Davis is investigating these irregularities and the person in charge of this genetic research has promised to contact us further. For more information from UC Davis - click here

 

As of September 2010, the Somali Breed Advisory Committee is still waiting to hear from UC Davis. Meanwhile, we can assure you the FIVE year old cat who was declared "affected" has been examined thoroughly by an independent, specialist ophthalmic Veterinary Surgeon in the UK and there is no sign of retinal damage whatsoever (the Feline Advice Bureau states affected cats will be blind by the age of 4 and damage can be seen from an early age).

 

The Somali BAC would like to reassure breeders and owners there have been no recorded instances of Somalis in the UK affected with blindness caused by PRA. If you can advise us to the contrary, please contact the SOMBAC Secretary.

 

We advise that you do not rush into testing your cats until this matter has been resolved satisfactorily.

 

Further information on PRA may be found in the GCCF Breeding Policy – Guidelines for Healthy Breeding and also on the FAB website at:
www.fabcats.org/breeders/inherited_disorders/index.php