Africa Biosystems Limited Aims to use DNA Technology to Fight Poachers

elephant-84186_640Africa Biosystems Limited aims to use cutting edge forensic technology to fight the escalating crisis of poaching and effectively pursue the prosecution of poachers and perpetrators. The rise in demand from Asia, coupled with the alleged involvement of crime syndicates and the willingness to pay top dollar on the black market has driven the gruesome and tragic killings on the continent. The poaching situation in Kenya too has escalated and is now arguably the greatest threat to biodiversity in the country.

The enforcement of wildlife trade legislation is hampered by a lack of capacity and experience to gather and analyze forensic evidence. This includes the accurate identification of illegally traded animal and plant parts, derivatives or trace evidence. There have been situations where diagnostic morphological characters have been lost (e.g. rhino horn, ivory, butchered meat) so it is impossible to determine the species or individual animal of origin. Authorities need to prove that a crime has occurred or link crime scenes with suspects or trade routes.

Prior to now, the level of wildlife crime did not warrant a high-tech lab geared because the number of samples of animals to process was not deemed enough. Furthermore, identification of whole animal in trade has been achieved based on recovery of the form / structure of the animal or local knowledge about the specific animal. That is not longer enough. With the killings on the rise, governments need to develop its own capacity to support ongoing poaching and illicit trade investigations.

ABL is able to advise on and furnish a fully outfitted lab with a specifically tailored workflow that will enable DNA samples to be take from wildlife carcasses and match them with the seized ivory, horns and illegal bush meat from smugglers and poachers. We propose a wildlife DNA forensics laboratory and a series of capacity building and training measures to support the Kenyan commitment to wildlife enforcement in Eastern Africa.

Africa Biosystems Limited believes that through the use of world-class life sciences tools, capabilities and processes we can enable Kenya to leapfrog older crime fighting techniques to enhance capabilities, legal system and scientists to protect our wildlife and conservation.

A successful wildlife forensic laboratory will be the prototype to use for all African countries that are battling this new, dangerous and bloody trade. Investing in Kenya in the short-term means ultimately investing in Africa.

For more information on a detailed concept paper, please contact info@africabiosystems.com

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