Improved DNA-Based Identification of Cervidae Species in Forensic Investigations

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The main reasons for wildlife forensic research are animal poaching, illegal trade, and falsified game meat products. Small trace amounts, old and degraded materials present the most common samples in revealing criminal activities in this field. This is the reason why it is crucial to use adequate and reliable methods and samples to identify animal species killed outside the hunting season or species protected by law. In this study, different endpoint PCR and real-time PCR protocols were compared in the identification of three Cervidae species (Capreolus capreolus, Cervus elaphus, Dama dama) from old and damaged material found in an enclosed area where the animals were kept. From a total of 129 samples, end point PCR provided results for 119 samples, while real-time PCR was successful in all cases. Also, we created and tested a protocol for simultaneous analyses of different types of samples, which is of great importance as when the amplification is carried out simultaneously it is more cost efficient and speeds up the process.

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Acta Veterinaria

The Journal of University of Belgrade

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