Introduction to the Lab

Introduction to the Lab

Overview of the facilities and services

Weatherbys DNA Laboratory

Today one of Europe’s premier facilities, the Weatherbys DNA Laboratory in Ireland has been involved in animal parentage testing since 1985. 

Initially the laboratory offered a blood typing service to confirm pedigrees, as part of foal registration. Then, in 1990, the laboratory extended this to the non-thoroughbred sector as part of the registration of foals for the Irish Horse Board. 

The laboratory introduced DNA technology at the beginning of this century. This superseded blood-typing and provided further opportunities to confirm pedigrees of other animal species such as cattle, sheep, dogs and cats. The Laboratory is now offering its services to the Irish and British livestock industries.

It is recognised by the International Society of Animal Genetics (ISAG) as one of the leading laboratories in the world in pedigree verification. It is the only such laboratory in Ireland recognised by ISAG to have achieved the necessary standards in multi-species parentage testing.

In January 2011 the laboratory introduced cattle genomic testing. This enhances the prediction values for the estimated breeding index (EBI) of individual breeding stock in the livestock industry. We are now genotyping with the bovine IDB V3, 54K and 770K (HD) SNP chips to increase reliability of genetic predictions in the livestock industry.

Genotyping for other species is also available on request. 

The laboratory has been accredited with CSPro certification by Illumina,  has ISO 17025 certification and is also accredited by The International Committee for Animal Recording (ICAR).

We are continuously expanding our range of services to match the needs of the industry.


The laboratory participates in research projects for the conservation programmes of rare breeds (horses, cattle and goats) in conjunction with The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

The laboratory also took part in collaborative linkage studies as part of the development of the equine genome map. 

Also, we have been involved in investigation of the incidence of Neonatal Isoerythrolysis (NI - Jaundice Foal Syndrome) in the Irish equine population.

We are also enthusiastic participants in educational programmes with external students, who have chosen molecular studies as part of their third level course requirements.