Members have had some queries about DNA testing proceedure, so here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions.  


Council decided to help build up a bank of data on our breed to pay for the DNA parentage testing of the SIRES of your 2022 born lambs.   

How is this going to work?

If you have birth notified 2022 born lambs with the Society, you will have been sent a letter.  This letter lists the identity of the rams you have used.  If you own the ram/s, they are alive and are still on your holding we urge you to apply for a testing kit/s.  

If the rams are dead, sold away, or not in your ownership (ie lambs from purchased semen or bought in-lamb) then we do not expect you to submit a sample.  

Once you have returned your request for test kits, BCSS will send you the required number.  These will be blood cards.  For this process you prick the nose of the animal and put spot of blood on a special blotting card.  The cards will be returned to BCSS for processing.  We will be using Neogen laboratory in Ayrshire for this test. 

Our flock lambs later, what happens?

As soon as you submit birth notifications to the Society, you will receive a letter asking you which rams you wish to test.  We are not sending out test kits until we have received birth notifications for 2022 lambs. 

My rams have not been scrapie genotype tested, what can I do?

If you have rams which are the sire of 2022 born lambs, that you have not yet upgraded and scrapie genotyped then we can arrange for this test to be done at the same time as the DNA parentage test.  The Society will cover the cost of the DNA test and the breeder will pay 

£6 (+VAT) for the Scrapie test.  This is done from the same blood card.   Contact us to sort this out for you. 

Have my rams been tested elsewhere? 

It is normal practice for artificial breeding companies to take samples from rams when they come in for semen collection or embryo transfer work.  They submit these for DNA parentage testing.  Check with your breeding company if your rams have already been tested.    

What if my ram has died?

We do not expect all rams to be tested, just those that are alive and still in your ownership.  If you particularly want a dead ram tested then you can use a dose of frozen semen from the ram, if you have some in store.  The Society will only cover the cost of the DNA test, not the cost of the dose of semen or breeding companies’ charges for thawing out etc.  The Society will not cover the cost of tracking down DNA in store from scrapie testing and the more expensive alternative parentage testing with Agrogiogen or other companies other than Neogen.  


What is the next step?

The next step for the Society will be that for all 2023 born lambs you will NOT BE ABLE TO REGISTER them unless you submit a DNA parentage result for their SIRES.  This will be at the breeder’s expense. 

Some members have incorrectly read that all lambs have to be tested THIS IS NOT THE CASE – JUST THEIR SIRES.  

What if these rams are now dead?

We suggest you get the rams for the 2022 mating season, tested as soon as you have chosen which ones you are going to use.   This will avoid the problem of the ram no longer being alive to test before birth notification of their progeny.  Also it is a good plan to check their parentage BEFORE you use them.  

If you are using semen from deceased rams, you will be able to register their progeny without the requirement for a DNA parentage test. 

Will rams be tested for the Worcester Premier Sale?

We would encourage vendors at the Worcester Premier sale to get their animals DNA parentage tested before the sale.  If you do it at the same time as the Scrapie Genotype test you can save money, supply extra information to buyers and offer rams all ready to go and work in pedigree flocks.  

How does the information work?

When you submit a sample from an animal, the system at Neogen will search all the records and if it can find a match for the sire (or dam) of the animal it will be reported.  So you can see that as you build records, you will get more confirmation of sires.  We will record on Grassroots if the animal has had a DNA Parentage test done.  

What will this cost?  

We have agreed special prices with Neogen.  All sample kits and returns will be processed by BCSS office.  


SNP Parentage & Scrapie genotype                        £23.50

SNP parentage only                                                   £18.00

Scrapie only                                                                 £14.00  

Nose pricker & Blood cards                                      £1.50   

Nasal Swabs                                                                £4.00

(prices + VAT)

Neogen can carry out Scrapie Genotype testing from the same sample.  So members will only need to take one blood sample for both tests.  If breeders wish to use nasal swabs they may; it is your choice.