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* DNA testing on Sri Lanka's domesticated elephants to curtail elephant trafficking
Mon, May 26, 2014, 11:43 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

May 26, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Department of Wildlife Conservation is planning to use DNA testing as a tool to curb trafficking of elephants in the country.

The Department is reportedly in discussions with the Ministry of Wildlife Resource Conservation to require the owners to register their domesticated elephants with the Department and have DNA tests conducted on them as a way to identify the animals.

According to the Department, elephant trafficking in the country has increased and the DNA tests can be used to identify the animals in case of trafficking.

Wildlife Resources and Conservation Minister Vijith Vijayamuni Soysa recently said that it is difficult to curb illegal capturing of elephants due to lack of a proper legal system on the subject.

The Minister has proposed using DNA tests to identify and register the elephant cubs and the environmental activists have welcomed the proposal. It has been reported that the unscrupulous captors involved in illegal trading of wild elephants are catering to the demands of the island's tourism industry.

Pubudu Weeraratne, the Chairman of the Species Conservation Centre, while welcoming the move to DNA test tamed elephants, has told Ceylon Today that the move will not help curb elephant trafficking that is widely prevalent today.

The Minister meanwhile, has said that the necessary documents are in place to put forward a new law in Parliament to conduct DNA tests on the domesticated elephants and legalize them.

** Related Story :: Around 150 wild baby elephants captured in Sri Lanka within seven years

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