Dog-fighting investigations go high tech with DNA database

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A new DNA database is unveiled at UC-Davis.

Davis, Calif.

-- A new DNA database has been designed to help investigate and prosecute dog-fighting cases and will be maintained at the University of California-Davis (UC-Davis) School of Veterinary Medicine’s Veterinary Genetics Laboratory.

The national database is the first of its kind and was established through the combined efforts of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), the Humane Society of Missouri and the Louisiana SPCA.

Known as Canine CODIS (Combined DNA Index System), the database contains individual DNA profiles from dogs seized during dog-fighting investigations and samples from unidentified dogs at suspected dog-fighting operations. Included in Canine CODIS are 400 samples supplied by the Humane Society of Missouri following its record-breaking dog-fighting raid in July 2009.

Canine CODIS is modeled after the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation’s human CODIS, which is used to assist investigators in criminal and missing persons cases.Information from the database will be available only to law enforcement agencies for a fee to help them establish connections between breeders, trainers and organizers of illegal dog fights.

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