Ordering a DNA test
DNA tests can be ordered in two ways. The easiest and quickest is to enter the relevant details and pay online. Online orders are very straightforward to complete. They also have the added advantage that the information will reach us as soon as you submit the order. We will then send you a sampling kit for each test ordered, complete with instructions and a pre-paid return envelope. When your sample has been returned to us we will process the sample and report the result to you via email. A certificate will also be available to download from your online account.
Alternatively you can print out and fill in an order form which can be downloaded here. This can then be posted with a cheque payment. Please ensure that the form is completed clearly. Once we receive your form we will send you a sampling kit for each test. Please note that these hand-written orders are subject to a 10% surcharge due to the additional administration required.
We can also accept payment by UK or international bank transfer - please contact us for details.
Simply click on the dog, cat or horse button on the home-page and the web shop will guide you through the order stages.
Ensure that information given is accurate
Please be extremely careful in providing accurate details on the online forms – this information will be used directly to generate your test certificate. Any re-issuing of certificates which is required due to inaccurate entry will be subject to a £5 administration fee.
If an animal is being tested before registration please enter a provisional name, indicate this on the online form, and leave the Registration Number blank. After registration please inform us of the registration details by email and a certificate will then be issued.
DNA Profiling and Parentage Verification
Select DNA profiling if you require a DNA profile to be generated and archived for future reference. This profile will be of value in the future if you ever need to prove the identity of the animal (for example if there is ever a dispute about ownership), or if you require future parentage verification. Parentage verification queries can be requested in the future and these will be performed free of charge so long as there are DNA profiles available for all relevent individuals.
Select Parentage verification if you would like a DNA profile to be generated and used in a current parentage verification query. For a parentage verification to be performed the dam, offspring, and all possible sires must be submitted. Please indicate on the submission form whether the animal is the dam, offspring or possible sire. A certificate will be generated which states the analysis result.
Verification of identity of sample
We do not require that the identification of the sample is verified by a veterinary surgeon or other official, however there is a section on the sample envelope where a vet can sign if the owner wishes.
Please be aware that some regulatory bodies may require that a veterinary surgeon confirms the identification of the animal at the time of sampling – it is your responsibility to ensure that you adhere to these requirements.
Taking a mouth swab (dog and cat)
Taking a mouth swab is quite simple and painless and full instructions will be included with the sampling kit.
You will be provided with two swabs for each animal to be tested. Please use both of the swabs supplied for each animal. The samples are fine at room temperature, and do not need refrigeration; return the sample envelopes in the return envelope provided using regular post.
Taking a hair sample (horse)
Taking a hair sample is quite simple and painless and full instructions will be included with the sampling kit.
The hair sample should be taken from either the mane or tail and should be “pulled” rather than cut so that the hair root is obtained. It is the hair root from which the DNA can be extracted – cut hair is no good. You will be provided with a sample envelope to put the hair sample in. This can then be returned by regular post in the return envelope provided.
How soon after birth can samples be taken?
A mouth swab can be taken as soon after birth as you feel comfortable, although there are risks in taking mouth swab samples from animals that are not yet weaned, and we recommend taking care to minimize these risks. We recommend that the animal is isolated from mum and ideally also littermates for two hours to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Specifically there is higher risk of maternal contamination before the animal is weaned.
A hair sample can also be taken as soon after birth as you feel comfortable. The best source of DNA from a foal is the tail hair.
Submitting a blood sample
Animal DNA Diagnostics Ltd routinely issue mouth swabs (dog and cat tests) and hair bags (horses), for their testing and all of the tests offered perform well using DNA from these sources. In some cases your breed registry my require you to submit a blood sample; it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet their requirements. If in doubt please phone for guidance. If for any reason you would prefer to send a blood sample for other tests then please feel free to do this. In this case you should print out the summary of your order and include this with the blood sample. Blood samples must be taken by your vet, who may make a charge for this. The blood sample must be an “EDTA blood” sample, and 1ml is sufficient. The sample must be returned in suitable packaging including a crush-proof outer tube to protect the sample tube.
We send some samples to a Parner Laboratory in the USA
There are some tests which we are not allowed to perform un the UK due to active patents. We are able to send these samples to a Partner Laboratory in the USA for testing. You should order these tests as usual with us, and post them back to us here in Cambridge. We ensure that the sample is adequate before shipping on for testing. The tests performed by our Partner Lab are marked with an asterisk. They have an extended turnaround of approximately 3-4 weeks.
We will only release test results to the customer who places the order. The exception to this is where an agreement is in place to inform breed registries or other authority. Details of these can be found under the Instructions and Information tab on the Home Page. Such examples are the Kennel Club DNA Screening Schemes – test results which fall into these schemes will be supplied to the Kennel Club and will be published by them.
Kennel Club DNA Screening Schemes
Testing results which qualify for the Kennel Club's DNA Screening Schemes are accepted by the Kennel Club and posted on their website. We forward results automatically to the Kennel Club every few weeks without the need for owners to contact the Kennel Club.
Paying for DNA tests
Animal DNA Diagnostics Ltd runs a secure online payment service facilitated by Stripe. Alternatively a cheque can be sent by post (see Ordering a DNA test). We can also accept UK or international bank transfers (please see Payment Options page for details), PayPal payments and card payments over the phone.
Breed Society discounts
Breed Societies can obtain a Discount Code for their members which will provide them with a 5% discount on online orders. Please phone to obtain this. The discount code should be entered where prompted during online payment.
Discounts on prices
Customers who plan to submit 10 or more samples for the same test should email or phone prior to submission and they will be issued with a discount code which should be entered where prompted during online payment. These discount codes will give a 10% deduction for 10 or more samples, and a 20% deduction for 20 or more samples. Breed Societies who would like to organise sampling clinics in order to qualify for these discounts should phone or email for further details.
Samples sent from abroad
Animal DNA Diagnostics Ltd can accept samples sent from countries in the European Union, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. These samples should be accompanied by a facilitation letter which can be downloaded here.
Cheek swabs from cats and dogs can be sent from Australia, Canada, Iceland, New Zealand and the USA. These samples must be accompanied by an import licence which can be downloaded here, and a signed declaration which can be downloaded here. Please also find a form here to attach to your package to expedite passage through UK customs.
Cheek swabs from cats and dogs can be sent from Japan. These samples must be accompanied by an import licence which can be downloaded here, and a signed declaration which can be downloaded here. Please also find a form here to attach to your package to expedite passage through UK customs.
Storage of swabs and hair samples
Any swabs or hair samples which are in excess of those needed for DNA extraction will be stored for up to five years and can be accessed for further testing at your request. All reasonable care will be taken to archive these samples carefully, however we do not guarantee that these samples will maintain their quality over extended periods.
The turnaround time is given as a guide and is not a guarentee. Many of the tests are performed every week, and provided that there are no issues with the samples, samples received by Monday morning will be processed and results issued by the end of the week. Other tests are performed once a fortnight.
During holidays the laboratory may close for several days. A notice will be placed on the Home Page to inform customers well in advance. Please schedule your testing to take these periods into account.
Urgent testing - Under normal circumstances, in-house test results will be available 1 – 2 weeks after receipt of the sample.
If there is an urgent need for a result please contact the laboratory and we will endeavour to meet your deadline.