Wildlife staff have received training in rhino horn DNA sampling in a bid to curb rhino poaching.
The two-day International Rhinoceros DNA Sampling Training Workshop, which began in Limpopo on Monday, trained wildlife experts from around the country to collect samples from animals that have been poached.
The training workshop was hosted by Department of Environmental Affairs and the University of Pretoria’s Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, in collaboration with the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC).
Law enforcement officers from each of the 11 African rhinoceros range states, as well as from China, Thailand, Vietnam and South African National Parks, participated in the workshop.
Special focus was given to the increased use of rhinoceros horn DNA sampling to combat wildlife crime. This includes specific investigative techniques and the increased use of wildlife forensics, which can be applied during follow up actions that should be taken when seizures are made, crime scenes are investigated, information is being gathered or evidence is being presented to court.
The officials have also been provided with focused training on the identification of rhinoceros horn, rhinoceros horn DNA sampling and wildlife crime scene investigation.
Participants have also been educated in the utilisation of ICCWC tools and services to enhance their wildlife crime investigation capabilities. More....