Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Genetic Disease - would you?
I just wanted to spark a general discussion about genetic disease and at what point do you consider it unethical to breed a certain animal? HYPP, HERDA, SIDS, Lethal White - there are so many to name, and what is acceptable for breeding and what is not?
For example, lethal white - it's so difficult to determine being as it's a color before it's really a "disease". Is it ethical to breed a frame horse to a non-frame horse, knowing the foal may inherit frame and could potentially pass it on one day? Or is it a shame to lose such beautifully marked horses when they CAN be responsibly bred?
Another example, someone recently imported a gorgeous Arabian stallion into our community. Back when I was still considering maybe breeding Zierra, I perked up for months before he arrived. When he finally arrived, it was revealed he was a CA carrier - a horrible, deadly neurological disease in Arabs. His owner did the responsible thing and stated NO Arab mare would be bred to him without CA negative testing, but is it ethical to breed him at all? For me, as a horse owner, I wouldn't even breed a non-carrier to him - for fear somewhere down the road, someone gets ahold of the potentially carrier foal, doesn't know a think about CA and breeds a CA positive foal because some disreputable breeder didn't bother testing their stallion or insisting CA negative only mares be bred to him.
But isn't it the same with lethal white? Shouldn't I also refuse to ever breed a frame carrier for fear someone will breed that horse and produce a lethal white?
And of course you have the discussion on HYPP, where even carriers are affected by this horrible disease.
What are the ethical grounds? What are YOUR opinions on genetic disease, how far should we go to eliminate it completely from our animals?
I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.