The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is supporting DNA analysis to tackle dog thefts, as part of a new crime prevention initiative.
DNA Protected schemes use a DNA marker system, developed for forensic analysis, to help investigate criminal cases involving the theft of dogs. DNA sampling kits usually comprise of a swab for the owner to take a mouth swab from their dog. The dog’s DNA is then tested and its profile stored on the providers database, making it easily accessible for Police to help reunite a missing dog with its owner.
Supt. Brian Kee, PSNI lead for Rural and Wildlife Crime, said, “Of course, we have been proactively working with a number of partners over recent years, but this will add a new dimension in terms of reuniting lost or stolen dogs with their owners. Two important aspects in protecting pet dogs are awareness raising and crime prevention, and DNA protection being one of many precautions available to owners.
"It is important that we equip owners with crime prevention deterrents so they can protect their pets. Dog theft can have a massive impact on the owners and their families and we are committed to doing all that we can to prevent dog thefts from happening.”
David Hartshorne, Cellmark Forensic Services’ Managing Director said, “We are proud to be partnering with PSNI and providing DNA Protected in support of this important crime prevention initiative.”