This is not a new argument. Dog lovers have been arguing--for a long, long time, both in and out of court--that breed standards adopted by registries such as the American Kennel Club and the United Kennel Club were never intended for such a purpose and are unconstitutionally vague.
Someone spent some time at the library and on PubMed's website, it seems. . .
Blood. The newest arbiter of
HSUS' amicus asserts that "researchers concluded 'microsatellite' DNA testing enables researchers "to assign 99% of dogs to the correct breed." But HSUS lies.
In the one cited study that yielded a 99% result, researchers used DNA from a mere 414 dogs representing only 85 of the 152 breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club.
The American Kennel Club doesn't recognize the American Pit Bull Terrier. In fact, the AKC doesn't recognize a long list of breeds, including the Catahoula (the state dog of Louisiana), the Cane Corso (the breed owned by Pete Georgoutsos, one of Blue Dog State's biggest heros), the Dogo Argentino (often misidentified as a "pit bull"), and depending on how you slice and dice it, something like 250 other breeds.
Would those dogs all be labelled mutts, using HSUS's suggested methodology? Because it could really matter. An exemption from mandatory spay-neuter requirements so that you can breed your line of mutts just ain't happening.
Whose DNA is it, anyway?
When the AKC solicited DNA samples from its constituents, ostensibly to screen for genetically-linked canine illnesses. . .did everyone sign a release like this one ?
I hereby relinquish all rights to, and ownership of, the DNA sample.
Not much wiggle room, is there? If you don't own your dog's DNA, what do you own? Huh?
The AKC/UC-Davis Database: Money in the bank
With all the whining Ron Menaker's been doing about revenues, and hints about making changes. . .did Ron already cut a deal?PETCO is already marketing "Canine Heritage" DNA ID tests at $119.99 each.
MMI Genomics, the manufacturer of the kits, is a long-time AKC partner.
The company has offered genetic parentage testing for purebreds through the AKC since 1998. The service compares a given dog's genes to the genes of its parents to verify paternity.
The kennel club has also built a genetics database including information from hundreds of thousands of purebred dogs. This database allows for DNA comparison to clients' animals for a match, said kennel club spokeswoman Daisy Okas.
Did all those dog owners that donated canine DNA, thinking the DNA was going to be used for medical research . . .get ripped off? Did they mistakenly contribute to the destruction of dog breeding as we know it?
Not pure enough. Savvy the AmStaff fails his DNA test. No puppies for Savvy. "Science" says he's a mongrel.
If HSUS -- and the AKC -- get their way and municipalities discard pedigrees in favor of DNA swabs. . .will every short-haired dog owner in the country have to submit the dog to a DNA test? At $119.99 each?
Will the test rely on an AKC-owned database?
Will thousands and thousands of dogs be relegated to mutt status and surgically sterilized ?
One generation and out. That's always the goal when it comes to HSUS.