Following a review of the DNA test for von Willebrand’s disease (vWD) in the Irish Red and White Setter, The Kennel Club will be withdrawing this as a recognised test for the breed with immediate effect.
The mutation for vWD in Irish Red and White Setters was discovered by the Animal Health Trust in the late 1990s but unfortunately, its details were never published in a scientific journal. Discussions with the current Kennel Club Genetics Centre (KCGC) have brought to light that following the move from the Animal Health Trust, the KCGC will not be able to offer this test in future.
Since the closure of the Animal Health Trust in 2020, the test has not been offered by any other laboratory. Other laboratories may have been offering a vWD test for a number of breeds, including the Irish Red and White Setter, but these tests are not for the Irish Red and White Setter specific mutation, and are not applicable to the breed.
As such, The Kennel Club has removed recognition for DNA tests for vWD in this breed, as there is no opportunity to test for the correct mutation. In addition, a very small number of Irish Red and White Setters that are tested for a different mutation to the one that was previously available from the Animal Health Trust will be removed from The Kennel Club database.
Fortunately, the data records the breed have collated over the years have been reviewed, and The Kennel Club is confident that this condition is not a concern in the breed at this time, and that early selection against the causative mutation was successful.
Given the above, The Kennel Club will also be removing the control scheme for the breed and no longer require this test for the registration of progeny (both for dogs bred in the UK and imported).
This condition will of course be continuously monitored in the breed, and if dogs are found displaying symptoms associated with the Irish Red and White Setter specific mutation within the UK population, The Kennel Club will work with the breed to re-establish this test.Further information is available by emailing Health (The Kennel Club) .