Outcry over new Victoria dog laws

Veterinary groups have been highly critical of Victorian laws which led to two dogs being euthanased.

The dogs, named Bear and Kooda, were destroyed in June under Victoria’s new dangerous dog laws following a legal battle to save them.

The dogs had not engaged in antisocial behaviour, but were put down after an officer from Moira Shire Council identified them as pitbull crosses, despite the owners’ claim that they were bred from a Staffordshire-ridgeback cross and a bull mastiff cross American bulldog.

Victoria toughened its dog laws following the fatal mauling of a toddler last year.

The legislation has procedures for councils on how to identify pitbulls based on indicators such as build and head profile.

The RSPCA, AVA and ASAVA have expressed concerns that new laws could punish responsible dog owners, who follow the law and have their pit bull or pit bull crosses registered, and let irresponsible owners slip under the radar. Continue reading Outcry over new Victoria dog laws

Effectiveness of breeding guidelines for reducing the prevalence of syringomyelia

Several toy breed dogs are predisposed to syringomyelia (SM), a spinal cord disorder, characterised by fluid-filled cavitation. SM is a complex trait with a moderately high heritability.

Selective breeding against SM is confounded by its complex inheritance, its late onset nature and high prevalence in some breeds. This study investigated the early outcome of existing SM breeding guidelines. Continue reading Effectiveness of breeding guidelines for reducing the prevalence of syringomyelia