What I want to know is whether it is possible to determine definitely from DNA analysis what breed a dog belongs to.
the people at http://www.deednotbreed.org.uk/ are concerned about 'dog amnesties' where people are encouraged to hand in their dogs and have them killed FOC, and also about some of the dogs that are being seized.
The police say that (among other things) DNA tests are used to prove the dogs are of a banned breed. They would like to know if this technology is actually available and likely to be being used.
I have found a recent paper that seems to suggest it is, plus an abstract of another - but also much material that says it isn't possible. I am not sure I am reading them properly.
If the technology is available, in use and reliable, that will be very reassuring for people who can have their dogs tested and prove they are just random crossbreeds, and who also will then know that if their dog goes missing and ends up in the pound, they stand some chance of getting it back.
It won't help those poor souls who have accidentally adopted an unidentified pitbull, but at least they will know where they stand.
If the technology is of dubious reliability, then it would be useful to know that too. At the moment basically the only option is to take the authorities at their word, and there is a lot of distrust about the judgement process.
People who lose dogs have started reporting them as breeds that they don't belong to (eg a mastiff x was reported as a lost French Bulldog!) because they are afraid that they might not get their dogs back. This greatly complicates the effort to find the owners of lost dogs.
I want to get an authoritative opinion from someone who is independent, knowledgeable, and ideally, prepared to be quoted. I was thinking of contacting the authors of some of the papers I found: does that make sense?