ASCA’s Lab for Parentage Verification

Fellow ASCA Members,

For the last three months, the Board has reviewed the information and has discussed the issues surrounding ASCA’s DNA program and the possibilities for the future. As you all know, the contract between Therion and ASCA was due for renewal by September 1, 2019. The contract also provided the option to send Therion a one-year termination notice, which the Board, after very careful deliberation, decided to take. The one-year termination notice was sent to Therion on August 30th. Since the terms by which this last year would be governed was not specified in the contract, it was necessary for ASCA to meet with Therion to ensure that the needs of both parties were met until September 1, 2020. Two things that the membership needs to immediately know about this next year are:

1.      Multi-sire litters that involve closely related sires are to be sent to another lab of ASCA’s choosing, effective immediately. At that time, we thought that there were two such litters already in the works and the Board hurried to choose a lab for this purpose. The Board has chosen Paw Print Genetics. We request that anyone planning to breed multi sire litters speak to Ray at the Business Office before sending off any samples to make sure that your needs are being properly addressed.

2.      Therion will continue to process samples for parentage verification during this year. However, all samples must be at Therion by August 22, 2020. This means that samples should be in the mail at least one week prior to that. August 22, 2020 is the last day by which Therion is fully confident that it can process samples before the termination date of September 1, 2020. We encourage all members who still need or will need to send samples to Therion to adhere to this deadline.

Due to the sensitive nature of negotiations, on Counsel’s advice, the Board maintained confidential protocols in place. There were differing opinions about whether negotiations with a new lab could immediately begin or not, and whether the confidentiality protocol should be lifted when the motion came to the floor. We understand that such negotiations need to take place as soon as possible so that members’ plans for breeding are not negatively affected and those members can make decisions about how and when they will start transitioning dogs. We can’t provide complete answers to members’ questions, including the fate of stored samples and what we can do for those members who have frozen semen from deceased dogs until we officially have a lab that will partner with ASCA. This has been going on too long already. For these reasons, the Board deems negotiations with a new lab to be a time sensitive issue and an emergency motion has been submitted to the Board. However, we feel that it’s important for the membership to know and to lift the confidentiality protocol, which is why I’ve included the motion below. Thanks!

Sincerely,

Liz Busquets

ASCA President, Member # 114984

BD.19.106 Emergency Motion to Choose New Lab for DNA Parentage Verification
Motion by Silveira
Second by Vest
I present the following motion as an emergency motion for the following reasons.

ASCA finds itself in a difficult transition of its DNA Parentage Verification Program from Therion to a new provider. ASCA immediately needs to decide on how to proceed in dealing with our twenty-year history of stored DNA samples. Therion has asked us to remove our samples. Without professional assistance from a new provider our samples could be lost to ASCA. This could cause irrevocable harm to ASCA’s DNA database and the Registry.

It is imperative  that ASCA immediately develop a transitional plan from Therion to Paw Print Genetics to maintain the integrity of our Registry.

I move that ASCA immediately begin contract negotiations with Paw Print Genetics to join Certagen as ASCA’s sole DNA Parentage Verification laboratories effective no later than 12:01 am CST on September 1, 2020. Should Therion, prior to September 1, 2020, be unable or unwilling to provide DNA Parentage Verification testing for ASCA per the written agreement or past practice for any period of time, all ASCA DNA testing shall be immediately sent to Paw Print Genetics or Certagen and ASCA’s association with Therion shall be finished.

Paw Print Genetics and Certagen shall immediately be authorized to conduct any DNA testing as requested by the ASCA Board of Directors not already covered by ASCA’s written agreement or past practice with Therion.

Comments/Rationale: As explained in the justification for Emergency motion status.

Effective Date: Immediately upon Board approval.

Kalla Jaco
Executive Secretary, Australian Shepherd Club of America
asca.execsec@gmail.com | (737) 704-1685
6091 E. State Hwy 21, Bryan, TX 77808
Check us out on our Website, Facebook, and YouTube Channel