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Carmarthenshire

Dyfed Powys Police launch DNA database for dogs to protect against pet theft

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close up shot of a dog

Dyfed Powys Police are the first police force in Wales to launch a DNA Protected service in efforts to help dog owners protect against pet theft.

The force has teamed up with Cellmark Forensic Services to use their DNA Protected service which has been designed to assist with crime prevention and help ensure that the police can return lost or stolen dogs to their owners.

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The service will be launched in the Dyfed-Powys area on the 17 August 2022 after which dog owners will be able to buy a DNA testing kit, swab their dogs and ensure their dogs’ DNA is recorded on a National DNA database for dogs.

The service, which was originally launched by Gloucestershire Police, uses a DNA marker system, that has been developed for forensic analysis, to help investigate criminal cases involving the theft of dogs. Storing a dog’s DNA profile on a forensic dog DNA database will make it easily accessible to police forces and could help ensure a dog’s safe return if lost or stolen.

If a suspected lost or stolen dog is seized, their DNA can be checked, enabling officers to identify the rightful owner and return their pet. The kits also come with house stickers and collar tags to act as a deterrent to would-be thieves.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Cockwell said: “A pet dog is considered a member of the family and we understand how distressing it is when pets are lost or stolen. Each reported dog theft is taken very seriously, and the DNA Protected service will assist in reuniting stolen and lost dogs with their owners and assist in the detection of this type of crime”

David Hartshorne, MD at Cellmark Forensic Services said: “We are delighted that Dyfed-Powys Police is joining the growing number of police forces using DNA Protected to help combat dog theft.  Developed with the police, DNA Protected uses the power of forensic science to access nature’s unique identification system.  A dog’s DNA code cannot be lost, altered or removed and will stay with the dog for life.”

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The scheme is managed by Cellmark Forensic Services and the kits are available for £74.99. Anyone attending the Pembrokeshire Show will be able to purchase one for £59.99, a discount of £15.

The database is available for dog owners across the country to use.

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