Weatherbys Scientific commenced parentage testing thoroughbred horses using blood typing technology in 1985. The business was incorporated as part of Weatherbys General Stud Book and established operations at a leased facility on the same site as the Irish Equine Centre in Johnstown. Once established, it also offered services to the non-thoroughbred equine market (sport horses) and other equine stud books. In 2000, the technology for parentage verification changed from blood typing to Micro Satellite DNA markers. Weatherbys Scientific embraced this new technology and also started offering parentage testing services for other species – bovine, ovine, canine, companion and exotic. As the level of scientific expertise developed in the business, so too did the suite of DNA based services offered, and in 2010 it commenced genotyping cattle using SNP technology. The team quickly developed a reputation for service and versatility and genotyped cattle using the Illumina 7k low density SNP chip in 2012.
Its reputation for service has been strengthening over time. Close relationships were established with the Irish Cattle Breeders Federation (ICBF) in 2012 and 2013, and the Laboratory team collaborated, through a research project, in the development of a customised SNP chip (IDB) for dairy and beef breeds, genotyping 20,000 cattle.
Weatherbys Scientific has achieved significant technical milestones – it is an institutional member of the scientific body of the International Society of Animal Genetics (ISAG) and it is also accredited by the International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR). The laboratory is also approved with Propel certification by Illumina, and has been selected as an Illumina Beta testing laboratory for new technologies.
Irish Equine Centre