Dog lovers have called for DNA testing to be carried out on puppies to stop breeders faking the pedigree of an animal.
The Canine Alliance has called for the Kennel Club to introduce compulsory testing to protect people looking to buy pedigree puppies. The organisation claims some unscrupulous breeders are using false paperwork to get buyers to pay over the odds for mongrels.
Jo Amsel, an experienced dog breeder and member of The Canine Alliance, said: “The only way to tackle the problem is to ensure that pedigree dogs are DNA tested for proof of parentage, as part of the microchipping and registration process, to ensure that pedigrees are correct.”
The Kennel Club is responsible for overseeing the registration of pedigree puppies in the UK. But The Canine Alliance claims some breeders are being dishonest about a litter’s parentage when they officially register their puppies.
How much money people spend on buying a puppy depends on how popular and in demand the breed is. The French Bulldog is currently the most popular breed of dog in the UK and puppies typically cost around £5,000 each. Other premium-priced pedigrees include the English Bulldog, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.
Earlier this year, the Queen’s champion gundog, Mallowdale Diamond, faced claims that she could be a Sprocker – a cross between a Cocker Spaniel and a Springer Spaniel instead of a pure-breed Cocker. And according to The Telegraph, an Italian Greyhound called Lady Blue was registered as a pedigree dog but DNA testing of some of her puppies revealed the presence of DNA from a Chinese Crested Dog.
‘Current system is open to abuse’
Mrs Amsel said: “The current registration system is open to abuse by puppy farmers and other unscrupulous breeders, who use the KC registration system to profit from fake pedigrees, just as in the case of the Lady Blue and her sister.”
The Canine Alliance believe that up to 23,500 dogs may be incorrectly registered as pedigrees each year.
However, a Kennel Club spokesman said: “Whilst DNA techniques are able to accurately determine correct parentage of a dog, the tests currently available are not yet able to define if an individual dog fits a specific breed standard, which is how a breed is defined.”
While DNA testing could be used to establish the parentage of animals, it is more commonly associated with establishing biological relationships between humans. AlphaBiolabs offers the fastest DNA testing services in the world and is the only UK laboratory to offer 24 marker paternity tests.
As well as peace of mind paternity tests, we offer legal DNA testing following strict procedures. The results of these tests can be used as evidence in court proceedings or for other official purposes.