NAEBA Elk Purity Test Using DNA Now Available

June 15, 2020

The North American Elk Breeders Association (NAEBA) is pleased to announce the new elk purity test using DNA created by the University of California at Davis, will be able to process orders for members starting today. 

Purity test order forms are available on the NAEBA website or by contacting the NAEBA office. Hair, semen or blood may be submitted as samples for purity testing. Submitted samples may also be tested at the same time for DNA parentage and/or CWD genotypes, if desired, with their respective testing fees. 

The DNA purity test costs $50 per sample, which is a significant savings over the cost of the previous purity test using blood samples. This test is only available to NAEBA members and all orders must be processed through the NAEBA office. Testing time is similar to processing DNA parentage (four weeks from sample receipt at lab to results) and the lab will not accept rush orders due to testing time requirements.

The University of California at Davis has a very high confidence in the test and is able to determine the level red deer genetics that exist in a hybrid. Markers from across the United States and Canada were used for the test creation, covering a wide array of elk genetics. Hundreds of samples were used for validation testing that reinforced confidence in the test. As an example, the test showed a case of a 1/4 hybrid, 1/8 hybrid and 1/16 hybrid that DNA proved were father, son and grandson, respectively, showing the test can capture the generational impacts over time. 

NAEBA began working with the University to create a new elk purity test using DNA samples in December 2018. This effort by NAEBA came at a considerable cost to have a simple and reliable purity test available for elk owners across the continent.

"This is another tool provided by NAEBA for its members," said NAEBA President Bill Mayes. "Having this test up and running in time for trophy bull transit allows opportunity for our members to engage in commerce."

Sample collection instructions are also on the NAEBA website. 

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