DNA-Testing Your Brahman

In light of the new DNA-testing rules that went into effect January 1, the American Brahman Breeders Association (ABBA) has updated their DNA-testing procedures and now offers multiple user-friendly ways to initiate the bovine parent verification process.
There are three ways to start the process:
1.) To order DNA-test kits, breeders are encouraged to contact the ABBA Houston office and give the staff a list of the Brahman registration numbers or matings of calves to be tested. Breeders can request test kits for either NeoGen’s GeneSeek or Zoetis labs. The office staff will be happy to send out personalized test kits along with a pre-filled order form to be submitted to the lab. Submitting test samples this way is highly recommended as the ABBA transfers the animals’ information directly to the forms from their files so there is little room for errors or possible delays from incorrect forms.
2.) Breeders can request blank test kits from the ABBA Office. Then, at their convenience, breeders can collect their samples, download and complete the form available on the ABBA website Brahman.org on the DNA page under the “Records/BHIR” tab, and submit to the lab of their choice.
3.) Breeders can use existing kits they have purchased directly from GeneSeek or Zoetis to collect the samples. They still must download and complete the form available on the ABBA website before submitting samples to the lab of their choice.
There are two order forms available online – one for GeneSeek and one for Zoetis. Instructions for submitting both registered and unregistered animals for parent verification/DNA-typing accompany the forms.
When using options two and three, breeders need to be very careful filling in all the data required on the forms. Any incorrect herd number or misspelled names will result in a delay of the sample’s processing.
Breeders using multiple sires in a pasture or a cleanup bull following artificial insemination might be alarmed that the forms both say “sire” (singular form) but don’t worry. When submitting an animal for parental verification in a multi-sire situation, breeders should simply fill in all the requested information for all the potential sires. For GeneSeek, they only need registration numbers. Zoetis requires the sires’ IDs, registration numbers and full names. Luckily the Zoetis form is in an Excel spreadsheet format and will expand to accommodate the additional information.
Once the results are received from the labs, they will be attached to the animal’s account and forwarded to the breeder along with an invoice. DNA parent verification costs $25 per animal using either company.

“Breeders who have previously purchased parentage tests through either GeneSeek or Zoetis and wish to switch companies, can do so free of charge,” GeneSeek representative Jill Ginn said. “Simply contact the ABBA and request to have your DNA parent verification files transferred to the other company.”
She explained that the transferred files will only be good for parent identification. Actual physical samples will not be transferred to the new company. So, for example, if a breeder wanted to run a tenderness panel on an animal whose parentage information was transferred, they would need to submit a new biological sample (hair, blood or tissue) to the new company to conduct that test.
Breeders with questions about the DNA-testing procedures should contact the ABBA office at 713-349-0854.

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