The association accuses the researcher of financially exploiting the data. According to the dean of the faculty, the dispute is rooted in the health problems of short-skinned races. The union is now tightening breed breeding rules.
Finland The Kennel Club has run into a dispute over the leader of a research group doing dog genetic research, Professor Hannes Lohen with. The controversy threatens the continuation of genetic research.
According to the association, the dispute is based on concerns about the commercial use of genetic samples. According to the researchers, the dispute is based on breeding problems of short-skinned dog breeds.
The Kennel Club and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Helsinki have been collaborating on dog genetic research for years. Since 2011, the Kennel Club has shared public information about 80,000 dogs for use by the university’s research team.
Hannes Lohi, Professor of Veterinary Molecular Genetics, has conducted pioneering genetic research using dog data. Over the years, the Salmon Task Force has raised about ten million euros in research funding. The funding is not the income of researchers but has been used to study the genetics and diseases of dogs. The results obtained have also helped to understand people’s hereditary diseases.
Read more: Dog breeds have different personalities, and dog genetic research can also help understand human behavior.
Kennel Club terminated his contract with the faculty in March. Negotiations on a new agreement began in the spring. According to the association, the dismissal has nothing to do with the ongoing dispute. The aim of the alliance is to reach a broader agreement so that researchers can continue to benefit from the data.
“The agreement was terminated because we wanted to ensure the legality of the operation compared to the Data Protection Act. Now social media has combined strife and contract problems, but they were just a coincidence, ”the chairman of the Kennel Club Harri Lehkonen says.
Lehkonen wrote a strict commentary on Salmon’s activities in a recent one Our dogsmagazine. In it, Lehkonen criticized the disclosure of research data for commercial purposes. The union is annoyed that the information provided by its members makes it a business.
“The information in the association’s database has been provided by the breeders, and the breeders have had to pay a registration fee for it,” says Lehkonen.
Lehkonen says that the reproach also referred in part to Hannes Lohe’s business activities.
According to trade register data, Salmon has been involved in growth business activities for several years.
Part of Genoscoper Laboratories, the company that developed the DNA test for dogs, was sold to the Finnish subsidiary of the US Mars Veterinary three years ago. Now the remaining company is known as Petbiomics. In addition to Salmon, its board includes an investor from Oulu Matti Koskelo.
Petbiomics has developed a metabolic test for dogs. According to the most recent financial statements, the company has had M&A discussions with its main partner.
Hannes Salmon translated HS’s interview request to the Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Helsinki Antti Sukura.
Sukura emphasizes that there are no conflicts of interest in Salmon’s business. On the contrary, the government is urging researchers to set up startups and commercialize research data.
“The agreement between the Kennel Club and the University of Helsinki has prohibited the disclosure of dog data for non-scientific research. The data has not been disclosed either, but the research team has identified disease genes from the data and published the research results, ”Sukura explains.
These research results are always public information and can be used for commercial purposes.
“Applying them to commercial tests is not the job of the university. This is also the case on the human side. Those who are interested in the genes of their family buy the information as a commercial service, ”Sukura says.
According to Sukura, there is a deep concern about the inheritance of short-skinned dog breeds. Lantern skull breeds include the English Bulldog, the French Bulldog and the Pug. Short-sightedness exposes the dog to several quality-impairing defects and diseases. These hereditary defects cause suffering and significant harm to the dog.
According to a report published by the Finnish Food Safety Authority in the autumn, the breeding of short-skinned dogs can be considered contrary to the Animal Welfare Act.
Read more: Major changes are proposed to the breeding of short-skinned dogs, the breeding is considered to be contrary to the Animal Welfare Act
“Is it that when knowledge has increased, pain has increased? This may have caused a bad feeling, ”Sukura estimates.
Kennel Club according to the statement is not problematic. Another of the main factors in the study is the Kennel Club’s breeding expert.
“I have been involved for more than ten years, the weight of other mass organizations lyttykuonorotujen. If you do nothing, the authorities will decide for you, ”Lehkonen emphasizes.
The Kennel Club announced on Friday that it will tighten breeding rules for short-skinned breeds. Breeding regulations for the English Bulldog and Pug will be tightened in early 2021. Mandatory health examinations will also begin at the beginning of next year for French Bulldogs used for breeding.
Sukura also praises the Kennel Club’s long-standing activities in dog health breeding, but the faculty does not accept the pressure of its researchers. Chairman Lehkonen directed the article in Koiramme magazine to the final cat, Lahe, and advised: “Do not bite the nourishing hand.”
“Hannes Lohi says that he and also other members of his research team have been pressured by the actors and threatened that the cooperation will be cut and there will be no more DNA samples. We cannot accept pressure. One of the values of the university is freedom, and the results of scientific research must be freely shared, ”says Sukura.
The parties will seek to resolve the dispute in the near future. The Kennel Club is turning to legal experts familiar with data protection issues, while the faculty will be negotiating with university lawyers next week.
About the quarrel said first Yle.