Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

Improvements to National Genotyping Programme to speed up blue card returns

Improvements to National Genotyping Programme to speed up blue card returns

Despite 98% of samples being processed in less than seven days, the ICBF has confirmed that it will make a number of changes to the National Genotyping Programme to help speed up the returning of animal passports (blue cards).

In a statement on February 20th, ICBF noted that as of the start of week eight of the programme, over 127,000 animal passports had issued as part of the National Genotyping Programme. However, the breeding federation is “aware of the concerns that farmers are having around a number of issues” including sample turnaround time and unsuitable/empty samples.

“Currently, the average length of time that a sample spends in the lab is 4.5 days. 98% of calf samples are spending less than 7 days in the lab. The 2% that are taking longer than 7 days is understandably causing some frustration with farmers,” the organisation said.

On account of this, ICBF said it will begin implementing a number of improvements. In relation to the turnaround time of samples it said: “We will be implementing an improvement that will automatically issue a calf’s passport when the sample hits day 10 in the lab.

“Once this happens, the farmer should receive the passport in the post in the coming days. The genotype result will follow thereafter. This should relieve any concerns about moving animals in a timely manner.”

Additionally, on the issue of unsuitable or empty samples – of which 1.58% of samples received to date have been unsuitable/empty – it said: “To avoid unnecessary delays, when/if a sample is identified as unsuitable or empty, a passport will be issued automatically. The farmer will need to follow up with their tag company to order a new DNA button tag to resample the calf for its genomic evaluation.”

Finally, as some farmers have expressed concerns around receiving passports on different days despite sending all samples together, ICBF said: “While this is a normal occurrence, we are endeavouring to reduce the incidence. Please rest assured that samples are being processed as quickly and efficiently as possible.”