An easy to use tissue sampler enabling multiple diagnostic tests to be taken via a single ear notch will soon be available to cattle producers.

Tissue sampling
The tissue sampling tag has been developed by Allflex Europe. Photo: Scheijen.

It will allow users to conduct tests such as genomics, parentage and disease resistance potential.

The tissue sampling tag, developed by Allflex Europe (UK), will enable farmers to use a single ear tag notch to test cattle for bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDv) status and retain the original tissue sample indefinitely for further valuable tests.

Existing BVDv tissue tag tests are single function. The process by which the tissue is examined in the lab renders it unusable for further tests.

Allflex vet Johan De Meulemeester and his team have developed a new DNA buffer liquid in the tag mechanism that preserves the integrity of DNA extracted from the tissue sample. Once taken, the sample can be stored long-term.

According to Helen Sheppard of Allflex, the development heralds an exciting breakthrough in tissue sampling.

“Using a high welfare and simple to use single tag on farm to take a tissue sample suitable for multiple tests will appeal to numerous cattle producers,” she said.

“The rise in interest in genomic testing as a farm breeding tool, combined with a need to diagnose disease, will make this new tag indispensable.

“Being able to store DNA samples reliably and long-term will have so many future applications. Right now, we expect this new development to be welcomed – particularly by the meat industry, with traceability from farm to consumer being paramount.”

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