He came, he saw, he conquered!

It’s a good idea to have “the scientist” over to explain the discovery of the gene mutation that causes PRA in Glen of Imaal Terriers but will people actually be willing to travel to a relatively out of the way place for a not very absorbing subject delivered by somebody not speaking their first language? The question did come up before last weekend and the answer to it is now known; a room full of people will turn up and as for a speech not in the first language….if only we spoke German a quarter as good as Professor Epplen speaks English!

Glen of Imaal people came, other breed people came and people we didn’t even know came which was something not really expected but there were chairs (only two people sat on the floor) and there were biscuits to go around so the event was set. There were a few eyebrows raised here and there, particularly over the cost of some of the investigative methods, but the entire few hours flowed well and easily. Many times it has been written that Glen of Imaal people went from knowing nothing to having to learn about everything in a very short time and this was seen again and again in a lively questions and answers session. A visiting American genetics student was amazed at the depth of some of the questions and was very impressed how much we “ordinary” people knew!

The initial figures from Bochum indicate that 46% of the Glen of Imaal Terrier population has at least one copy of the mutated gene and this is exactly the same figure that Optigen have found from their testing. Both Prof Epplen and Dr Acland, at his Glen Gathering talk, emphasised that figures of this number means the breed should not discount carriers from any breeding programme-to do so would mean annihilation for the Glen of Imaal Terrier. The entire presentation was videoed and recorded so will hopefully be available to any interested parties soon.

The evening meal that 20 odd people stayed for was excellent. The evning meal wasn’t videoed!