The Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory of the Scientific Institute of Food Safety, Animal Health and Environment “BIOR” performs the DNA analyses required for the certification of origin of bovine animals.

Small DNA fragments, also called micro-satellites, are used for the genetic identification of animals. Their profile is completely individual, therefore each animal can be uniquely identified using the information in the micro-satellites. Micro-satellites are inborn to an offspring from father and mother the same as other DNA elements, therefore micro-satellites can help to confirm accurately (>99% credibility)  the animal’s origin. In addition to confirmation of origin, genetic identification of animal can be also useful for the verification of identity of animal or breeding material, tracing of the origin of meat products and even discovering of crimes.

At the institute, micro-satellites, determined by the International Society for Animal Genetics (ISAG) providing comparability of the obtained results with the results obtained in many other laboratories, are used for the genetic analyses of bovine animals. Testing takes place at the laboratory accredited according to the requirements of the LVS EN ISO/IEC 17025 standard.



Sampling and submission of samples

  • The following materials are valid for testing:
    • Blood, at least 5 ml (EDTA stabilised in vacuum test-tube +4°C);
    • Fur (at least 50 hair with hair roots in clean plastic bag);
    • Semen, at least 2 French straws (recommended – frozen -20°C).
  • If it is known there is a twin of the animal under testing, submission of fur instead of blood is recommended.
  • Fur samples may be taken also by the owner himself/herself without any assistance of a veterinarian. Fur must be clean and dry and arranged to ensure the hair roots are together. The best spots for pulling out of fur are: tail tip, ear tips or mane.
  • If samples are taken simultaneously from several animals, attention should be paid to correct labelling of samples to avoid confusion. The institute does not take any responsibility for inaccurate testing results due to confusion of samples before those are accepted at the institute “BIOR”.
  • Blood and semen samples have to be delivered to the laboratory within 2 – 3 days after sampling from animal or withdrawal of semen bank, maintaining +4°C (for semen – lower) temperature. No time limit applies to fur samples, and these samples can be transported in room temperature.
  • Upon submission of samples, Cover letter No. 8 of the Samples for Genetic Identification and Origin has to be filled in.
  • Samples may be submitted to the sample acceptance offices of the institute “BIOR” in Latvia.

List of bovine animals, results of whose DNA analyses are included in the database of the institute “BIOR”, is available here. If father and/or mother of the tested offspring has been included in this database, DNA certificates or samples of father and/or mother for testing are not required, just ID numbers of these animals have to be specified in the cover letters.

Attention! Data base of the institute is not the same as the State Herd-book, and the institute does not have DNA data of all bulls registered in the herd-book!

Test results and costs:

  • Test lasts 30 working days;
  • Test costs per sample – see in “Genetic Identification and Origin” pricelist of veterinary medicine examinations;
  • If the sample or DNA certificate of parents has not been available initially, those can be submitted later and supplement the DNA certificate offspring tested previously with information on parents.

New! Preparation of genetic origin certificate upon order

The institute offers you preparing genetic origin certificates , if animals have been tested at other laboratories and have not been compared (no conclusion on compliance of origin). To apply for the certificate, Cover letter No. 8 of the Samples for Genetic Identification and Origin must be filled in, indicating “Copy of DNA certificate” as sample type and attaching copies of DNA certificate of the respective animals. You can submit the cover letter and annexes at every reception office or scan (signature of the payer must be visible on the cover letter) and send to the e-mail address: Fee (see “Composition of the Genetic Identification and Origin Certificate” in the pricelist of veterinary medicine examinations) will be calculated for each certificate.

The same procedure applies if you need to add  missing data (parents of animal) to the certificates issued by the institute. Note that submission of DNA data of parents along with the sample of offspring is recommended, since supplementing of the certificate with data on parents after testing of the offspring will be subject to the fee according to the pricelist.

Frequently asked questions and answers:

  • What information or samples should be submitted to determine the origin of the offspring? Genetic identification certificate (DNA) of the offspring, potential father and/or mother or material for testing.
  • Should mother’s sample also be submitted to determine paternity (conformity of father)? Mother’s sample is not mandatory, but recommended, as it increases the accuracy of the test significantly allowing to determine the micro-satellite variants inborn from father.
  • If potential father(-s) has/have undergone blood type analyses, can those be used to establish paternity? No, father’s blood type analysis is not comparable with the offspring’s genetic analysis and are not suitable for the proving of origin.
  • Where can I obtain the animal’s genetic identification certificate (DNS)? These certificates are available at the organisations of artificial insemination, if a bull or semen is in possession of these organisations or imported from abroad.
  • Are the analyses of other animal species possible? Currently, the institute “BIOR” conducts such analyses of bovine animals only. Please, inquire about the possibilities regarding composition of genetic origin certificates for other animal species, each case will be assessed separately.

In case of uncertainties related to certification of animals and documents required, we recommend consulting with the Latvian Cattle Breeding Society.


Juris Ķibilds
Senior Expert, Researcher
Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory
Molecular Biology Division
Telephone: +371 28619692