U.S. Trotting Association Announces Study To Uncover Genetic Causes For Birth Defects

The U.S. Trotting Association announced a collaboration this week with the University of California-Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory to learn more about birth defects in Standardbreds.

The USTA is urging owners and managers to submit data and DNA samples to the lab from stillborn foals born in 2021 or those demonstrating obvious defects resulting in euthanasia or surgery. Those defects could include: wry nose, cleft palate, contracted limbs/shoulders, microphthalmia (a disorder where one or both eyes are unusually small), missing or additional limbs, cyclops, or other obvious issues that are not typical in a healthy foal.

The goal of the project, if genetic anomalies can be identified for particular conditions, will be to help guide future breedings to reduce the risk of these conditions, which cause economic and welfare hardships for all involved.

Owners are assured that their horses’ identities will remain confidential in the course of the study. Statistical results may be published without identifying a particular animal, owner, or breeder and any published results will be released to the public via the USTA.

The USTA released the following guidance for sample submission:

To participate in the study, a submission form, consent form, blood or hair samples and photos of the foal should be submitted to the USTA.  To obtain or get further information on the forms or a DNA test kit, contact Gabby Fleming from USTA Member Services at gabby.fleming@ustrotting.com or by calling toll free (877) 800-USTA (8782).

The forms are also available online at http://bit.ly/Geneticform and http://bit.ly/UCDavisConsent.

Blood samples are preferred; however, hair samples may also be submitted. For hair samples, 20-30 hairs with roots attached should be pulled from mane or tail (no cutting of hair) and placed in a Ziploc bag.

Samples and photos with identification should be sent to:

United States Trotting Association
6130 S. Sunbury Rd.
Westerville, OH  43081
Attention: Gabby Fleming

All samples will be sent to UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Lab for genetic testing.

Participation in the study is voluntary and any participant has the right to withdraw from the study at any time. There is no financial obligation on the part of the participant.

The post U.S. Trotting Association Announces Study To Uncover Genetic Causes For Birth Defects appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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