DNA Testing

For many reasons, sometimes it may be a requirement that one or more of your animals will need to be DNA tested.

The procedure to follow is: -

1. Contact the British Blue Office, either at Penrith 01768 870522 or Holstein UK 01923695242 to request a DNA Kit.

2. Take a hair sample following the instructions. (see below)

3. Post the hair sample to Weatherbys Laboratory in the envelope provided (please check the postage cost, as this is different to ROI).

4. Once the sample has been tested and a result identified, the results will be sent to the offices at Holstein UK.

5. You will then be forwarded the results from Holstein UK.

6. Sometimes, in very busy periods, it may take up to 4-6 weeks for a result to be processed. If you have waited longer than this, please contact the Penrith office.


  • Restrain the animal to be sampled.
  • Pluck a minimum of approximately 30 strong hairs from between the animals’ shoulders, avoiding fine, woolly hairs.
  • Be generous with the number of hairs you collect, especially in the case of calves.
  • Do not take samples from the animal’s tail, as these contaminate the sample.
  • Do not remove hairs by cutting; they must have roots, as these contain the DNA, essential for the test.
  • Place the hairs immediately into the appropriate individual sample bag, ensuring that they are as clean and dry as possible.
  • Make sure that you enter the animal’s name and ear tag number, clearly on the sample and complete the remainder of the form.
  • Ensure you wash your hands between each animal sampled to prevent cross contamination. Dirty hair will not be sampled.
  • Do not place hairs from more than one animal in the same sample bag
  • Avoid exposure of sample to direct sunlight.
  • After collection, place bags in enclosed, addressed envelope and post (see postal charges below) to Weatherbys.


Postal rates for Southern Ireland are different and, in order to ensure that you affix the correct postage stamps, please take the package to your local post office for weighing