February 26, 2009
 
 


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PO Box 8
Kalispell, MT 59901
(406) 755-3438
ilr@lamaregistry.com
www.lamaregistry.com

 

INTERNATIONAL LAMA REGISTRY
Serving the llama community and registering llamas since 1985.

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ILR DNA Verification

Question: Why does the ILR not require proof of parentage by DNA as a requirement of registration for all llamas?

Answer:

Trust in the Seller . . .
The short answer is that the pedigreed livestock business has always operated with trust in the seller as one of its most important factors. People simply do not buy from those they do not trust. Still, honest mistakes can be made and the ILR Board of Directors believes that the current ILR DNA rules provide the necessary pedigree proof to those llama owners who need or desire it without adding extra expense to those llama owners who do not need or desire pedigree proof. (Sellers who want to provide verification for their buyers can do so and buyers who want verification before purchasing a llama can ask the seller to provide it.) 

BOD believes in and encourages DNA testing . . .
The ILR Board believes in and encourages DNA testing for parent verification. To encourage more DNA testing by breeders, the ILR has been working since 2000 to simplify the sampling process for DNA testing. In 2003, we made the transition from a test tube of whole blood samples shipped in an insulated package to a few drops of blood applied to an FTA card that can be shipped in an envelope. In 2006, we added the option of taking hair root ball samples for DNA testing so owners can use whichever method of collection works best for them. The ILR is encouraging samples of DNA be sent in to the ILR office on any and all llamas for the purpose of storing the samples until they may be needed. There is no charge for this service and many llama owners are taking advantage of this service.

The largest collection of DNA parent verified llamas in the world . . .
While it is true that ILR members cannot thrust their thumbs in their vest pockets, puff their chests out, and proclaim to the world that the ILR is a "100% DNA parent-verified" registry, they can point out that ILR records include well over 10,000 llamas who are fully parent verified. They can also point out that those 10,000 plus ILR records form the largest collection of DNA parent verified llamas in the world! They can also point out that the ILR database includes an additional 2600 llamas that are parent verified to the sire only, another 400 that are parent verified to the dam only, and still another 2000 plus that have DNA profiles on record. Altogether, the ILR database includes over 15,000 llamas with DNA profiles on file, which is, again, the largest collection of llama DNA profiles in the world. In addition, the ILR has a growing number of either blood or root ball samples on file, just in case the DNA of those llamas is ever needed.

All involved have a degree of assurance they feel is necessary . . .
The current ILR system of DNA rules provides all llama owners involved with the degree of assurance of parent verification that they feel is necessary and are willing to pay for. Those in the llama community, who are not really concerned about parentage, are not forced to pay for a degree of certainty that they do not need or care about. In addition, it allows those who are concerned about total accuracy of parentage the means to obtain that certainty. No one is excluded by extra costs and everyone can obtain the degree of assurance they want.

Review of DNA requirements . . .
Still, even with a good system, there is always room for improvement. So, at their upcoming annual face-to-face meeting (June 29 – July 1, 2009), the ILR Board will be reviewing the ILR DNA requirements. There has been some discussion on the part of the ILR Board on the possibility of requiring either an FTA card or a fiber root ball sample of the cria with each registration. These samples would be stored in the ILR office in case one was ever needed. There would be no charge for the service, the only cost to the owner would be the few minutes it takes to pull a few hairs, put them in an envelope and label it correctly. This new policy would enhance the current philosophy of making the technology of parent verification by DNA available to everyone but limit the cost to those who need or require it. There may be other options that the Board should consider. If you have opinions that you would like to share with them regarding DNA requirements or any other issues, write or email the ILR office with your thoughts and we will forward them to the ILR Board.

Summary . . .
In summary, while the ILR might gain “bragging rights” in some circles if we enforced a “one-size-fits-all” rule that required DNA parent verification for all registrations, the ILR Board believes doing so would do more harm than good. They believe it is more beneficial to stay with some version of a system that allows all llama owners to access the degree of parent verification they desire and are willing to pay for. The ILR is a registry for all llama owners, not just those who classify themselves as breeders.

ALONE we struggle; TOGETHER we thrive! Join the ILR today!

 
 

**optout**