Rhino horn DNA database set up to combat poaching

Rhinoceros

A new DNA database is being set up to hold genetic information about all the rhino horn held in museums and private collections in Britain.

The aim is to try to prevent freshly poached specimens being passed off as antique.

Museums will be asked to drill a hole in their highly valuable exhibits to collect the data.

Police say precise DNA knowledge will deter thieves and prevent smugglers making bogus claims.

Poachers are tempted by the high prices paid in China and Vietnam for rhino horn, which is used in traditional medicine in Asia. But there's no scientific proof that it has any medicinal properties.

More on This Story

  • Watch NewsroundWatch Newsround

    Watch the latest update from Newsround, CBBC's news programme for children.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.