An animal DNA archive, thought to be the first of its kind in Europe, has been set up in the UK.
DNA of dogs, cats and horses has been collected
The UK DNA Companion Animal Archive has been created to assist in the investigation of genetic diseases in both animals and humans.
Containing samples from cats, dogs and horses with a range of diseases, the archive - based at Liverpool University - will be used to help develop cures for inherited conditions.
Experts said the DNA will also help research into human genetic studies since many of the archived genes are similar to human and mammalian species.
Professor John Innes, head of small animal studies said: "This DNA archive will provide a unique resource to the veterinary research community.
"Selective breeding of dogs, cats and horses has had the side-effect of concentrating certain genetic diseases in certain breeds.
"With the canine genome map almost complete, we will now be able, with the help of this archive, to start to identify genes associated with such diseases.
"This should help us reduce the prevalence of inherited diseases in the nation's companion animals."