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International Animal Rescue Saving animals from suffering around the world

DNA forensic techniques are helping to fight the slow loris pet trade

Did you know...In addition to our work rescuing, rehabilitating and releasing slow lorises, we use DNA forensic techniques to directly tackle the trade in Indonesia. 

The pet trade is not only a problem for the conservation status of this critically endangered animal, but also a serious welfare issue.
Looking at the bigger picture, and being proactive as well as reactive, enables us to make progress in putting an end to this horrendous cruelty. We collect data on how many lorises are being sold in markets, and collect blood samples from confiscated lorises which can be analysed to identify origin. This enables us to create a genetic database, which in turn allows us to focus our efforts on ‘hot spots’ for trade.

So far, we have rescued over 500 lorises, with every medical check we collect blood samples to help us gain an understanding of the main locations where lorises are being traded. 

This database also offers tools to provide forensic evidence against illegal traders in court. In the future, we hope that these techniques can be used for many other species that are being illegally traded.

We are the generation of people who can still do something about this but if we don’t act now, it will be too late for many species. 

We are grateful to Wildlife Crime Tech Challenge for their support of this innovative work. Watch the video below to find out more.