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Mars Petcare Acquires Animal Diagnostics Firm

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Mars hopes to advance precision healthcare for pets.

Mars Petcare has acquired Genoscoper Laboratories, a specialist in molecular diagnostics for companion animals.

The acquisition “will accelerate the pace of discoveries in genetics, to form the basis for future practical applications in enabling precision healthcare for pets,” according to a Mars Petcare press release.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mars Petcare’s genetic testing unit Wisdom Health produces the breed-detection test WISDOM PANEL. Finland-based Genoscoper, in partnership with University of Helsinki, created the genetic health testing platform MyDogDNA. Since 2015, Genoscoper and Wisdom Health have partnered to discover new genetic health markers for companion animals and recently launched WISDOM PANEL Health for dogs, combining breed ancestry with detection of potential inherited health conditions.

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There is also a new test, OPTIMAL SELECTION Feline, developed by Wisdom Health and Genoscoper for cat breeders to identify more than 40 genetically associated conditions, over 20 traits, and genetic diversity information which can help identify potential mates through genetic compatibility.

“Our world-class genetics research is focused on helping pet owners and veterinarians improve the health of pets with tools that define their genetic predispositions for health and disease. Ultimately this will enable targeted and preventive veterinary care with pets getting individualized nutrition, exercise and treatment,” said Leonid Sudakov, president, connected solutions, Mars Petcare. “This is a critical time in the development of genetic testing for pets, which we believe is poised to expand dramatically as breeders, veterinarians and pet owners increasingly understand its benefits, exactly as it is currently happening for humans.”

The acquisition was finalized on Dec. 27, and the companies will manage the transition over the course of 2018.

“Through Genoscoper’s strong research expertise in companion animal genomics, we developed a unique concept that brings top level academic discoveries into practice enabling even further advances; not only scientifically speaking, but for the benefit of entire animal populations,” said professor Hannes Lohi, chairman of Genoscoper and leader of the University of Helsinki canine genetics research group. “Our long-term vision has been to adopt the biggest advances in canine genetics research to improve animal welfare, and that exactly is where I see this partnership leading.”

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State Considers Banning ‘No Pets’ Rental Listings

Some landlords are not happy about the proposed legislation.

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New Hampshire legislators are considering a ban on “no pets” notices in property listings.

Proposed legislation would forbid landlords and home sellers from barring pet owners, the Concord Monitor reports.

They could make rules related to pet deposits, noise control, sanitation and safety, according to the newspaper. But they could set make rules based on size, breed or appearance.

The legislation was proposed by state Rep. Ellen Read, a Democrat from Newmarket. It has drawn opposition from some landords who say it could lead to unsanitary conditions as well as allergy problems for some residents.

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But Julia Seeley, New Hampshire state director for the Humane Society, said her organization supports the bill.

We just strongly believe that a family should not be torn apart simply over housing,” she said.

Read more at the Concord Monitor

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Spotify Rolls Out Music Playlists for Pets

Pets seem to favor classical music and soft rock.

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Digital music service Spotify had a hunch that people were playing tunes for their pets.

A study by the company found that 71% of pet owners did exactly that. The survey included 5,000 music-streaming pet owners from the U.S., the UK, Australia, Spain and Italy.

The company explains:

That being said, we created a unique experience to help you craft the pawfect algorithmically generated playlist for you and your pet to enjoy together. Head to spotify.com/pets for a playlist you can share with your dog, cat, iguana, hamster, or bird.

See the graphic below for more details from the survey.

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These States Have the Most Dog and Cat Owners … And These States Have the Least

The US is home to almost as many domestic pets as humans.

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A new report looks at which U.S. states are the most pet-loving.

Seniorliving.org, a website devoted to providing information to seniors, delved into recent data from the American Veterinary Medical Association to create its rankings.

Idaho had the highest rate of households owning at least one dog, at 58.3%, according to the report, which excluded Alaska and Hawaii, which were not measured in the AVMA study. Dogs are least common in Washington, DC, where 22.5% of households have at least one.

Vermont ranked first for percentage of households with at least one cat, at 44.6%. DC, meanwhile, is the least cat-owning place, with just 16.4% of households being home to a cat.

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The U.S. is home to almost as many domestic pets as human beings. Almost 1 in 3 of those pets are fish, Seniorliving.org explains.

Cats and dogs combine for about 54.8% of all domestic pets.

 

 

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