All registered Angus sires to get free DNA tests

The Aberdeen Angus Breed Society will be DNA-testing all sires registered in the herd book free of charge from this year to protect its brand security.

DNA testing has been compulsory for all sires sold at official society sales.

However, from this year it will test every sire registered in the herd book to improve the quality of the database.

More than 8,000 sires are currently registered on the database. This allows processors and retailers to make sure labelling is correct and provides traceability.

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Speaking at a press briefing at the Royal Highland Show, society president Paul Jeenes said: “As a society we want to provide the tools to the industry to protect the brand.

“We are unique in the industry as the retailers like to use the Aberdeen Angus brand as a selling point. It is then up to the processors and retailers how they use these tools.”

As part of the registration process, bulls will automatically be DNA tested. The test will indicate how pure the sire’s breeding is. So far, the society has invested more than £100,000 in DNA verification.