Gundog crime in spotlight – DNA protection

October 31, 2022


Gundog Theft Awareness Week, part of the Pet Theft Awareness Campaign, which lasts until 7 November, aims to prevent crime against these working animals.

Breeds like pointers, spaniels and Labradors are known to be well-trained and well-socialised which makes them an easy target for dog thieves especially in rural locations.

It is estimated that nearly half of all stolen animals are working gundogs.

The drive started today and the police-backed Secured by Design member company, Cellmark Forensic Services, has explained how they are working to tackle this issue.

In addition to well-known dog theft prevention advice owners can ensure microchip details are up to date, keep up to date photos of your dog and be careful about what information you post on social media.

DNA Protected is a new police-backed crime prevention initiative that allows owners to store their dog’s DNA on a forensic DNA database.

The product has been developed with police by leading forensic company Cellmark Forensic Services to deter thieves, provide you with peace of mind and help police collar the criminals.

Just like human beings, a dog’s DNA is totally unique and cannot be changed and has been described as “nature’s ultimate identification system”.

Unlike a microchip which might fail or could even be removed, DNA will identify your dog for life.

A simple mouth swab taken from your dog contains thousands of cells, each containing your dog’s DNA.

By analysing the DNA collected on the swab sample, Cellmark will produce a DNA profile which can be used to confirm your dog’s identity.


Storing your dog’s DNA profile on Cellmark’s forensic dog DNA database makes it accessible to the police and means that if the worst were to happen and your dog were lost or stolen, it could help ensure that they are safely returned.

The DNA Protected kit comes with everything a dog owner needs to take the DNA sample and return it securely to the laboratory.

Also included is a collar tag and a window sticker to show criminals you have taken steps to protect your dog from theft.

Police sampling kits and DNA profiling are available at much reduced prices to enable police to sample a recovered dog that cannot be identified by other means to reunite it quickly with its owner and help prosecute the thieves.

Cellmark’s dog DNA profiling service is accredited to ISO17025 by the UK Accreditation Service (UKAS) and approved by Secured by Design, the official police security initiative.

Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI) is a police owned organisation which delivers a wide range of crime prevention and demand reduction initiatives across the UK.

The extensive Police CPI portfolio covers a variety of crime prevention initiatives, of which Secured by Design is the most well-known, with all initiatives designed to keep the public safe from crime and to reduce the demand on the police service.

Secured by Design (SBD) operates an accreditation scheme on behalf of the UK Police Service for products or services that have met recognised security standards.

These products or services – which must be capable of deterring or preventing crime – are known as being of a ‘Police Preferred Specification’.

There are many hundreds of companies who produce over 7000 individual attack resistant crime prevention products in more than 30 different categories that have met the exacting Police Preferred Specification.

This includes doors, windows, external storage, bicycle and motorcycle security, locks and hardware, asset marking, alarms, CCTV, safes, perimeter security products and many others.
SBD is the only way for companies to obtain police recognition for security-related products in the UK.

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