Bangor Graduates launch innovative pet protection service
Two science graduates from Bangor University have launched a unique DNA storage service for pet owners that can complement or replace micro-chipping.
Marine Biology graduates, Richard Storey and Daniel Struthers, who set up PetGen, believe they are the only company in the world dedicated to DNA extraction and storage for the purposes of pet security, identification and prevention of theft.
Their business idea came during Richard’s time studying for a Master’s degree in Ecology at Bangor. Whilst studying animal genetics, Richard realised that there was a gap in the market for a completely non-invasive method of pet identification.
Using a specially designed user-friendly kit, owners simply take a mouth swab from their pet, post it to PetGen where it is purified, treated for storage for up to 50 years and entered onto their database.
Each year 300,000 pets in the UK go missing or are stolen and a DNA profile provides invaluable evidence in identifying a pet should it be stolen and later found and in cases where there is dispute over ownership.
Richard explained, “I would definitely say that the Masters course I studied at Bangor helped with the business, as it was during some lab work that I came up with the idea.
“All in all it has taken us a year to get the business up and running and we’re now planning on expanding the service to include other small or delicate animals like koi and tortoises, where DNA storage has many benefits over micro-chipping.”
For more information, visit www.petgen.co.uk
Publication date: 1 February 2012