Tallahassee, Florida (Press Release) -- (Oct. 5, 2010) —
As part of its nationwide anti-poaching program, The Humane Society of the United States announced a new venture to support the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s efforts to fight wildlife crime. The collaboration includes a donation of high-tech equipment that will be used by the agency’s forensic lab to solve poaching cases with DNA evidence.
“Poachers are serious criminals that callously disregard wildlife protection laws. The Humane Society of the United States is very grateful for the tireless efforts of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers to crack down on this illegal activity,” said Jennifer Hobgood, Florida state director for The HSUS. “Science and technology can boost law enforcement’s capacity to apprehend these criminals and bring them to justice. We are thrilled to assist in that endeavor as part of our nationwide anti-poaching program.”
“The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is committed to managing fish and wildlife resources,” said FWC Captain Rett Boyd. “The forensic equipment given by The Humane Society of the United States is extremely helpful in fulfilling our commitment and we would like to express our sincere appreciation for the generosity and support.”
The HSUS’ donation includes a forensic alternate light source, which will vastly improve the agency’s ability to comprehensively examine crime scene evidence. The HSUS also donated a high-intensity UV lamp and a photo documentation kit.
Poaching crimes are notoriously difficult to solve, as they are often committed in remote locations with no witnesses present. Law enforcement agencies like the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are increasingly using cutting-edge forensic science to stay a step ahead of violators. In May, a Broward County alligator poaching case was solved when blood at the crime scene was matched to blood found in the perpetrator’s truck.
In another Florida case, an officer received information that a female deer had been shot and skinned. Most of the animal’s body was left behind, but her hide had been taken to another location. Through diligence, tenacity and good detective work, the officer was able to secure both the animal’s hide and body. He submitted samples of those items to the FWC forensic lab, and DNA analysis found a positive match confirming that both belonged to the same animal.
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