top of page


Step 3. Parent Pedigree Information

DNA Testing of Dexter Cattle For Registration

All Dexter Cattle registered in the Australian Herdbook are DNA tested and verified against both parents. This protocol for registration in Australia has been in place for many years. The result of that diligence and reliance on science has meant the Australian Dexter Cattle Herdbook is reputed to be the best in the world. That status will continue with the Association shifting to the new SNP genetic testing protocols. Dexter Cattle Australia Inc. Members can order DNA testing at a discounted price through DCAI. 




Step 1.  ORDER A TAIL HAIR COLLECTION KIT: Apply to the DCAI Registrar for the number of test kits you need, one for each animal. DNA Test Kits can be obtained from DCAI. 


Step 2. COLLECT HAIR SAMPLES: Once you have the test kit you will need to collect a hair sample from the tail of your animal. This is an easy process but you need to be careful to make sure the hair is clean and dry and that the follicles are attached. Click the link to read more about collecting hair samples.


PLEASE NOTE: NAA have now included DNA Testing from Tissue Samples. Please see the DCAI Newsletter August 2019. (click here for PDF)


You will need to have on-hand the information about the sire and dam of the animal you are having tested. In some cases you may want to nominate more than one sire or dam if you are not absolutely sure of the parents. It is easier to do this on the original test application form using the alternate sires & alternate dams tabs on the Excel form..  There is no additional cost if the nominations are included on the original application.

DNA case numbers and other information about the sire and dam will be required on the test application form. To find information about the sires and dams use your registration certificates for those animals or go to the DCAI On-Line Herdbook Database.



When you have collected the hair sample attach it to the test kit.  A DNA Test Request Form must be completed and a copy printed to accompany your test sample. The DNA Test Request is an Excel Eform spreadsheet with instructions and can be downloaded by DCAI Members from the DCAI Documents and Forms section of this website. 



Test Request forms must be submitted by email in the Excel format to NAA at the address shown on the form.

A printed copy of the test request must be included with your hair or tissue sample and posted to the address shown on the form.




When And How Do I Receive The DNA Results?

DNA results are sent directly to the DCAI REGISTRAR.  The average turn around time is four weeks but that can vary depending on the workload and any public holidays etc. The Registrar will forward the results to you by email.   An account for the tests performed will be sent to you by surface mail.  The Registrar will file the results in your respective member file. It is important to keep your copy of the DNA results as you will need them when you register your animal. If you are selling a registered animal you should also supply a copy of the DNA results to the purchaser for their records.


What if there is no match for the DNA ?

This does happen, more particularly when a number of calves have been born in the same herd at the same time. Dexter calves are masters of independence and Dexter cows are very good at feeding more calves than just their own, so mistakes do happen when identifying a calf and taking hair samples. 

If you have a no-match result for one parent or both you can nominate other dams or sires respectively. The Neogen staff will check the new nomination against the DNA tested and notify you of the outcome. Any alternate nominations made after the initial test will incur an additional fee for each new nomination. It is wise to nomonate all possibilities on the orginal test application unsing the alternate sires and dams tabs.

If you are testing calves using the SNP DNA testing protocol you need to make sure both parent animals have an SNP DNA profile. If both parents do not have an SNP profile you will need to test the calf using Mip and then upgrade it to an SNP profile.

If you are unsure of the requirements please contact the Registrar for advice. 


Do I need any other Genetic Tests before I can register my Dexter?

Female Dexter cattle need only be DNA parent verified to be eligible for registration unless they have a significant structural or colour fault that would make that animal ineligible for registration. Please see the DCAI Dexter Cattle Breed Standard and Ideal for more information about structural & genetic traits.

DCAI does not inspect animals prior to registration but relies on the integrity of all Members to identify traits that are undesirable or not allowable for the registration of Dexter cattle in the Australian Herdbook as outlined in the DCAI Herdbook Regulations


PHA: All Dexter bulls must be proven to be free of PHA in order to be eligible for registration. Many registered animals have already been tested for PHA so check the pedigree of the sire and dam of your animal to find out if the parents are already tested free of PHA or are free by inheritance.

If both parents are noted as being PHA free (non Carriers) then your animal will not require testing. If you are not sure please check with the DCAI Registrar before ordering genomic tests or lodging an animal registration application.


Chondrodysplasia: There is no requirement for the testing of Chondrodysplasia for registration.

DCAI does advise that at least one parent should have been tested free or be free by inheritance before mating to avoid the incidence of carrier-to-carrier mating. 


Can I have tests for Chondrodysplasia and / PHA done at the same time?

The DNA test application form has provision for the testing of PHA and Chrondrodysplasia included on the form. Find out more about PHA and Chondrodysplasia using the links provided in the Find it Here section of this website.


How do I pay for the test?

GAA send a list to the DCAI Registrar of all DNA and genetic tests performed. The Registrar then raises an invoice and emails or posts it to you. You can pay by cheque, money order, credit card or EFT. Invoices are payable within 30 days. If you are paying by EFT please be sure to identify the deposit with your Member Number. 


How do I Register my Dexter?

Once you have your DNA test results verifying the parentage of your animal you can go ahead with the registration of your animal. To register simply click the link to the registration form and fill in the details.

You can email the DNA and any other genetic test results to the Registrar at the same time.

An online registration form is available on this site and can be accessed in the Forms section.. This will allow for transactions to be completed and paid for in one easy entry. Recheck all the details are correct before lodging the form.


Fees for Animal Registrations and transfers are payable with your application. Once you have paid the registration or transfer fee your animal will be entered onto the herdbook database and a certificate of registration will be forwarded to you by post. An Tax invoice/receipt marked paid will be posted to you. The database is updated almost immediately at which time the details of your animal will be visible using the animal database search link. If you notice any errors in the registration details please alert the Registrar immediately.

Written by: Roz Michelini

Authorised By: DCAI Council



Updated:  28/07/2018   Updated:  05/10/2018  Last Update 20/05/2019

bottom of page