Falling Dog Infertility Could Soon Affect Humans

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#Dog #AnimalsFalling Dog Infertility Could Soon Affect Humans : Researchers have found that dogs in the United Kingdom are becoming less fertile after studying canine sperm quality over 26 years. The team of scientists believe that environmental chemicals are partly responsible, raising fears that male humans could be affected in the same way.

The study was carried out by Richard Lea, of Nottingham University’s school of veterinary medicine and science, along with his colleagues, writes Tim Radford for The Guardian.

Stud dogs studied over 26 years

Semen samples were collected from Labradors, border collies, German shepherds and golden retrievers which were carefully controlled studs used to breed dogs that help the disabled. A total of 1,925 samples from 232 dogs were tested over the course of the study.

Research showed that sperm mobility, or the ability to swim in a straight line, declined by 2.4% per year from 1988 to 1998. Some dogs were later excluded from the study due to doubts over their fertility, but from 2002 to 2014 a decline of 1.2% per year was still observed.

Traces of environmental chemicals like PCBs and phthalates were found in the samples as well as in the testicles of dogs castrated by veterinarians. These ubiquitous chemicals have been linked to fertility problems and birth defects.