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Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 The Forensic Working Group Profiling the Profilers: A Review of FWG Activity Dr Rob Ogden.

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Presentation on theme: "Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 The Forensic Working Group Profiling the Profilers: A Review of FWG Activity Dr Rob Ogden."— Presentation transcript:

1 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 The Forensic Working Group Profiling the Profilers: A Review of FWG Activity Dr Rob Ogden

2 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 Wildlife Crime in the UK A Partnership Approach: Members:160 organizations Government (Police, Customs, DEFRA, EA) NGOs – e.g. TRAFFIC, RSPCA, RSPB Commercial – BASC, S.U.N. Independent specialists – e.g. labs, vets etc. All stakeholders welcome provided they uphold the law PAW

3 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 An Introduction to the FWG What? Who? Why? How? PAW Steering Group PAW Secretariat - DEFRA FWG - Est. 1996

4 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 An Introduction to the FWG What? Who? Why? How? Government - DEFRA - HMRC CITES - Police Forensic - FSS - CSL - WDNAS Academic - Cardiff Uni. NGO - RSPB - RSPCA - TRAFFIC - TRACE Nat. Institutes. - RBG Kew

5 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 An Introduction to the FWG What? Who? Why? How? Role: To assess forensic techniques for wildlife crime To disseminate latest research and casework To promote and advise on the use of forensics To identify current and future needs To support R&D into new techniques

6 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 An Introduction to the FWG What? Who? Why? How? Activities: Undertake casework Facilitate the application of forensic analysis Develop networks, provide training Plan and implement research projects

7 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 Activities - Casework Questions:Techniques: What is it?Morphological ID DNA species ID Immunological ID Who is it? RelationshipsDNA profiling Where’s it from?DNA analysis Stable isotope analysis How old is it?Radioisotope analysis

8 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 Activities - Casework Examples: Shahtoosh investigation - HMRC & WDNAS Difficult to identify by eye from samples, very good fakes! Use DNA sequencing of single hairs to identify species

9 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 Activities - Casework Examples: Badger-baiting investigations - RSPCA, WDNAS & others Successful prosecution: e.g. Billington case DNA Species ID from a single hair Soil analysis, pollen analysis Result: 200 hours CS, £1000 fine, vehicle Multiple cases ongoing RSPCA and Police prosecutions Broader wildlife investigations

10 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 Activities - Casework Examples: Wild bird laundering - RSPB, Norfolk Police & WDNAS Application of DNA profiling Investigation of parentage claims Captive bred or wild caught?

11 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 Activities - Facilitation Making it easier to use forensic analysis: DNA sampling kits: Designed to collect DNA from crime scenes Over 100 kits distributed so far Already being used in casework Liaison with NWCU / PWCOs: Aim to facilitate rapid response in wildlife crime cases Designated point of contact with investigators Advice on call

12 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 Activities - Facilitation Making it easier to use forensic analysis: Funding: Forensic analysis costs money Investigations often hampered by cost Forensic Analysis Fund Planned as a central pot of money for assisting analysis costs Proposal under review – TRACE match-funding initially

13 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 Activities - Training & Networks Training in forensics: Police & Customs conference PWCO training courses CITES training courses International training courses Raise awareness Hands on experience Ask questions, meet the FWG

14 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 Activities - R&D Developing DNA profiling systems: 1.DNA profiling birds of prey Aim to allow identification of illegal breeding claims Work funded by DEFRA, includes six species O1O2 O3 O4??

15 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 Activities - R&D Developing DNA profiling systems: 2. DNA profiling badgers Aim to allow individual matches between evidence items Work funded by RSPCA, supported by the Badger Trust © Steve Jackson

16 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 Activities - R&D Identifying Traditional Asian Medicines - Bear Products: 1. Immunoassay field testing kit Aim to allow on-the-spot detection of bear products Work funded by WSPA

17 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 Activities - R&D Identifying Traditional Asian Medicines - Bear Products: 2. DNA Species Identification from Bear Bile Aim to provide definitive identification from tested products Work funded by Wildlife DNA Services and Bangor University

18 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 Activities - R&D Identifying CITES-listed timbers DNA Species Identification of Ramin Aim to provide cost-effective, high throughput rapid test Kew – WDNAS collaboration, funded by DEFRA Related species Ramin species

19 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 Activities - Survey Work Identifying Illegally Imported Meat: Aim to assess prevalence of CITES species Multi-agency approach Sampling work at Heathrow & London Forensic genetic species identification

20 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 PAW – FWG take home Nat. Agency FWG Academics Internationals NGOs Prosecutors Customs Police Reg. Agency Wildlife investigations usually involve multiple agencies! Forensic Lab

21 Forensic Investigation of Wildlife Crime – Strathclyde 2007 Further Information PAW:www.defra.gov.uk/paw/ PAW FWG: FWG Acknowledgements PAW FWG members Dr Ross McEwing – Wildlife DNA Services


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