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DNA Testing – Saving Endangered Animals


DNA testing is being used to fight trade in endangered species The illegal trade in endangered animals has had a totally devastating effect and impact on many species. From elephant ivory to tiger skins, the allure that exotic creatures hold for people, their rarity and their wildness have been attracting poachers for decades – the result? Many species have now been left on the brink of extinction. But DNA testing and DNA kits could now be the key in helping the fight to protect those  most threatened species.

DNA Testing On The Spot

DNA kits mean DNA testing can be done on the spot. The DNA devices were unveiled at a global convention looking to show how the world can protect the planet and biodiversity. Conservation groups are promoting the device as a powerful tool in helping to catch poachers. The kits allow DNA testing on suspicious goods on the spot to instantly indicate whether they contain traces of endangered animals and species.

DNA Testing Kits – Important Weapon

The DNA testing kits are said to be a very important weapon in the fight to protect the planet. Developed by DNA forensic specialists in Britain, the focus of the DNA testing is to target the Asian market that sell medicines and alternative therapies that contain tissues taken from protected animals. Conservation group’s main concern is for the bears – the DNA testing will reveal whether the goods contain proteins that are found in the creatures. International trade laws are already in place to stop this  trafficking of endangered animals. However trials of the DNA testing kit have already managed to identify 16 cases of illegal products that were bound for the Asian market.

Illegal Exporting Thriving

Bears are particular target because of their high market value, but international law protects all species of the animal and the animals are not allowed to be exported or imported except for a few of the species  but under tight regulations. DNA testing reveal’s that illegal exporting is still thriving. Bear bile for example is used in the manufacture of Asian medicines and drives a busy black market. Animal welfare charities estimate that one gram of bear bile worth 50p in the bear’s locality of China may well fetch £35 in Japan. Bears are kept in captivity in China and DNA testing can help to confirm whether or not they are being used to illegally supply other countries.

DNA Testing Kits Help Catch Exporters

DNA testing kits used by Inspectors can take samples that will reveal instant results using a test strip that will identify bear proteins. Before the DNA testing kits were developed, samples had to be sent to labs which  took time and so made it difficult  for Inspectors to seize and act on the spot. The DNA testing kits are thought to be a  very  powerful tool in reducing the illegal black market that continually threatens endangered species.

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