Emergency Livestock Protocols

If your animal has recently died, this page will provide the information you need to initiate the Genetic Preservation (GP) process.

If you do wish to have a Genetic Preservation (GP) of your animal, it is important to collect the necessary tissue samples promptly.   Below you will find instructions for collecting those samples.

While Genetic Preservation (GP) does not require you to clone your animal, if you would like to clone your animal Genetic Preservation (GP) is necessary.

If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call us at 888-884-2436 (888-8VIAGEN).


General Information

Time is of the essence in a post-mortem situation. If the animal/tissue has been kept under optimal conditions post mortem — cool (approximately 4ºC), not frozen — then the maximum length of time we can accept the biopsy samples is 5 days post mortem. Storage at higher temperatures will decrease the chance of successful preservation and should be avoided. Keep in mind that each day the animal has been deceased minimizes the chance of a successful preservation. Please be aware the best way to assure a successful preservation is to have your animal biopsied while it is alive. These instructions are to be used for obtaining tissue for genetic preservation from deceased animals. Tissue samples received will be used to establish cell cultures, and the resulting cells will be harvested and stored in liquid nitrogen.



DO NOT ship samples on Friday as our lab does not receive shipments on the weekends. If samples are from a deceased animal and need to be received in lab as soon as possible, contact ViaGen for alternate instructions. Do not ship samples on or close to holidays.


Items Required


Sterilizing Agent (i.e. Ethanol, Rubbing Alcohol)

Sterile Gauze or Clean Cloth

Scalpel Blade or Sterile Knife



Ziploc Bags or Sterile Blood Tubes (without heparin) or Sterile Container

Ice Packs or Ice in Ziploc Bag

Styrofoam Box for Shipment

Newspaper or Bubble Wrap

Client Contract (if not previously signed)


Sample Types

Recommended tissue types for gene banking include: skin and ear. We prefer to receive one to two samples from each tissue type.


Labeling Instructions

Using a marker, clearly label one container or Ziploc bag for each sample with the following:

1. Sample type (ear 0r  skin)

2. Collection date

3. Date of death

4. Animal ID (ear tag, brand, and/or tattoo)


Sample Collection Protocol

1. Thoroughly wash hands to avoid further contamination.

2. Shave the area where the biopsy will be taken.

3. For all samples, pour alcohol (sterilizing agent) on sterile gauze or a clean cloth.

4. Rub the surface of the biopsy area with the gauze or cloth to remove any dirt or contaminants.

5. Allow the area to air dry.

6. Sterilize knife or scalpel and tweezers with alcohol.

7. Cut two pieces of tissue approximately 1 inch square. Remove the tissue pieces using the tweezers, and place  in the appropriately labeled containers/Ziploc bags to be shipped to our lab.

8. Repeat for other tissue type(s).

9. Place samples in the refrigerator until ready to ship.


Simple Alternative Sample Collection Protocol

1. Thoroughly wash hands to avoid further contamination of ear.

2. Cut off the ear of the deceased animal with a clean knife or scalpel (You can clean knife/scalpel with rubbing alcohol or ethanol).

3. Put ear in a Ziploc bag and label Ziploc bag as stated above (Labeling Instructions).

4. Place in refrigerator until ready to ship. DO NOT FREEZE!


Shipment Procedure for Tissue Samples

1. Place the ice packs in the bottom of a Styrofoam box.

2. Wrap the samples in newspaper or bubble wrap, so they will not come in direct contact with the ice.

3. Place the samples on top of the ice packs.

4. Place any contracts in a Ziploc bag and include in the box.

5. Seal the box, and immediately send samples to ViaGen via FedEX PRIORITY OVERNIGHT.