Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Dog dna prove gold coast council wrong

tybrax
July 17th, 2010, 09:24 PM
Dog DNA proves Coast council wrong
Melinda Marshall | July 15th, 2010



Rangi Nikau and her children Deaze and Shylah Waikai await the return their dogs Whero and Mau which were seized by the Gold Coast City Council when it was thought they were pit bulls Picture: MICHAEL ROSS

A PUSH is on to use DNA testing to identify dangerous dog breeds after testing found two Gold Coast dogs on death row were not a restricted breed.

A Coomera family has been torn apart after the Gold Coast City Council identified their dogs as outlawed American pit bulls.

Rangi Nikau and her children were supposed to join husband and father Mete Waikai in Melbourne last month after the construction worker moved there to find work.

But they have stayed on the Coast while they wait to find out if their dogs, Whero and Mau, would be destroyed.

The council seized the dogs on May 19 and ordered them to be destroyed.
The family appealed against the decision and last week lodged DNA tests conducted by a private company to support their case.

The $299 tests by the Melbourne lab revealed that Whero was a golden retriever/Boston terrier cross and Mau was a Staffordshire bull terrier/boxer cross, which are both legal crossbreeds.

Ms Nikau said the council should have to conduct DNA tests before seizing a dog, rather than relying on the 22-point visual marker test used to identify pit bulls.

"I felt deceived that they could just look at a dog and say that's an American pit bull without having any evidentiary support or documentation," she said.

She said the dogs were seized after neighbours rang the council when Mau got loose, but she said neither dog had ever attacked anyone.


Her children, Shylah, 9, and Deaze, 5, should have been starting the second semester of the school year in Melbourne, but instead have returned to their Gold Coast school.

"My two kids are asking me, 'Mum where are the dogs?' And I tell them they've just gone on a holiday," she said.

She said it was depressing to see the dogs locked up at the Coombabah pound, where she has visited them almost daily.

"I don't know if the council realise that dogs aren't dogs to us, they're more our family," she said.

A council spokesman confirmed the DNA tests had been received and the case would be processed within a fortnight.

The council's animal management boss Bob La Castra backed DNA testing in principle.

"I think there's a strong argument for us doing DNA tests because that's the only way to be 100 per cent sure," he said.

"Unless there's a reason why we shouldn't, then that should be looked at very seriously."

He said there could be a case for compensation.

"If we find that the DNA testing shows that these dogs are not a banned breed, then I certainly think that council needs to look very, very closely at any cost that's been incurred by the owners," he said.

"The other side of the coin is we've got a duty and we could be seen as being negligent if we don't act on what our officers are trained to identify (by seizing the dogs)."

http://www.goldcoast.com.au/article/2010/07/15/238571_gold-coast-news.html


tybrax

Myka
July 18th, 2010, 12:20 AM
Oh my! Apparently these people do not understand how inaccurate those DNA tests are! If they are basing their laws on these DNA tests there could easily be false "positives" for Pit Bull blood when in fact there is none!

Sew-sew-steve
July 18th, 2010, 04:10 AM
I don't get it myka. There can be "fake" genetics in dogs? :s

hazelrunpack
July 18th, 2010, 11:36 AM
Not so much 'fake' genetics, SSS, but misleading. Dog 'breeds' are all still dogs. Each breed has a different subset of all the alleles that make up the gene pool for dogs. For instance, English setters have variations (alleles) of genes that give them white coats with spots of color--other dogs may have alleles that result in solid coat colors. Similarly, some dogs have alleles that impart long hair, some short.

However, there is no allele completely 'unique' to any breed--alleles are shared across the whole gene pool. The allele combinations over many different gene loci are what give you a typical 'look' for a breed. But not all dogs in a breed look exactly alike because there is always variation at gene locations and some may have atypical alleles at some locations.

So now lets say you have a dog that's a mix of, say, a boxer and a chow. Just by the luck of the draw it may have a combination of alleles that would be typical for a pit bull, even though there is no pit bull in its ancestry. And so the test might peg it as part pit bull. This would be a false positive ID.

Cross any two dogs not typically considered a bully breed, and statistically there is a small chance that they have enough alleles in common with bullies for their pups to be falsely ID'd as pit bulls. :shrug: It's a crap shoot.

Sew-sew-steve
July 18th, 2010, 11:57 AM
i see,

so basically... no Alleles are native to a certain breed. they go by patterns im guessing.

well... let me say... that just adds a lot more confusion.

i take it, they have a catagorie for each Alleles and the different characteristics of a breed?

almost like, how someone gets diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, etc...etc... ?

only thing that i'd say would make sense, is if they looked at the characteristics of a breed when it comes to alleles...... and go from there.

the second step should be to make an analyzation on where or not a certain breed has the ammount of alleles a pitbull would have, and not just say its a pitbull because it has something in common.


i dont know, im just pitching in the dark to be honest (is it "pitching in the dark?" i dont know, been in kuwait too long :P).

hazelrunpack
July 18th, 2010, 12:25 PM
so basically... no Alleles are native to a certain breed. they go by patterns im guessing.

I'm guessing, too--but yes, I suspect the genetic testing looks for specific combinations of alleles.

well... let me say... that just adds a lot more confusion.

:D That's about the most accurate thing I've ever heard said about the supposed DNA profiling of dogs! :laughing:

i take it, they have a catagorie for each Alleles and the different characteristics of a breed?

If I understand what you're asking, the actual situation is backward from that. As selective breeding was done to set a particular characteristic for a breed, certain alleles were accidentally selected. For instance, in the English setter case...they bred for a basically white dog with lots of spots, which set the alleles for that trait as part of the breed gene pool--but accidentally so. They had no idea what the actual physical genes were. Although there are some exceptions, eventually most ES bred true for the white coat with spots of color. The allele had been selected for and was passed down to the offspring.

But some traits are multi-genic and some can result from multiple combinations. So dogs that look similar may have entirely different alleles. And no breed is defined by the alleles since science can't pinpoint the exact genetics, yet. The science is still fairly young and most of the genetic testing for 'breed' is still in the 'best guesstimate' stage.

almost like, how someone gets diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, etc...etc... ?

ADD, ADHD, etc are defined by symptom. Pretty superficial, really, with little hard-core genetic understanding behind it.

Same for dog breeds--they were developed by selecting for desired traits like coat color and body build. And these days it a lot of assumptions are made on the basis of a dog's superficial looks.

To make it even more confusing--physical traits are much simpler to control than psychological traits. No one has pieced together what genes might control temperament, etc. So you can never judge a dog by what it looks like--fierce-looking dogs are just as likely to have a heart of gold as sweet-looking petitie little dogs. :D

only thing that i'd say would make sense, is if they looked at the characteristics of a breed when it comes to alleles...... and go from there.

But if you follow my argument, you now may believe we don't know enough to make a solid decision about whether any dog is dangerous on the basis of either looks or alleles :shrug:

the second step should be to make an analyzation on where or not a certain breed has the ammount of alleles a pitbull would have, and not just say its a pitbull because it has something in common.


If we were just talking about established breed it would be easier. But the real complexity occurs when you're talking about mixes, which is the issue here. The variation in mixed-breeds can overwhelm any genetic testing currently available.

Just one more reason why no dog should be judged on the basis of its appearance or its genetics.

Sew-sew-steve
July 18th, 2010, 01:32 PM
well said, and i agree.

since its too complicated, just let it go.

as kuwaitis say "wash your hands from it"

i think, instead, they should do a series of simple tests. instead of locking them up.

the time they were locked up, they could have done some simple tests.

when i say tests, i mean, like the tests they do to see if a dog is suitable for adoption.

i mean, if it works then, why cant they do it with regular dogs? :shrug:

so much unfairness in the animal world.

tybrax
July 18th, 2010, 09:08 PM
The American Staffordshire Terrier has a breed signature found through DNA. The APBT is nothing more than a mixture of breeds. The APBT/pit bull is not recognised here in Australia by any canine body.

http://www.gtglabs.com/bitsa/faq.php


tybrax

Myka
July 18th, 2010, 09:55 PM
Tybrax, what you're saying is that these dogs that were DNA tested in Australia weren't even given a test that would test for "Pit Bull"?

Any of the bully breeds could potentially come up as "Pit Bull", as well as so many others. Great explanation hazelrun! On the note of cute looking little dogs...our Chihuahua would be much much much more likely to bite you than my (now deceased) predominantly Pit Bull crossed dog. You really can't judge a book by its cover. I think the end of these breed troubles will come when they start to charge people for their dog's actions as they would if the person himself did it. That is the only answer I can see that would be plausible.

Luvmypitgirls
August 8th, 2010, 08:37 PM
I have the solution!
Instead of "outlawing" a breed, how about dealing with bully breeds on a case by case basis, for example...APBT, bites man...how about doing an investigation, and dealing with it on it's merit, instead of ohhh "murdering" dogs because they have a wide head or a prodominately big jaw structure...

erykah1310
August 21st, 2010, 11:22 AM
I DNA'd Karma an AKC registered Tibetan Mastiff both with the AKC and one of those private labs you buy that kit for $10 and pay $50 for the test... It came back GSD *shrugs*
AKC's DNA profiling of her agreed that she was the pup from the parents specified and they were from their parents ect... but this private lab said 98% GSD lol
I really want to run Kita and see what I get, a Chi???