Food Forensics in the Human and Pet-Food Industry: Use of a Simple Technology to Identify Commercially Important Species of Kangaroos from Western Australia
- *Corresponding Author:
- Peter B S Spencer
School of Veterinary & Life Sciences
90 South Street, Murdoch, Perth
Western Australia 6150, Australia
Tel: (+61-8) 9360 2489
Fax: (+61-8) 9360 6303, +45 3532 6085
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: June 27, 2013; Accepted date: August 22, 2013; Published date: August 27, 2013
Citation: Spencer PBS, Marshall K (2013) Food Forensics in the Human and Pet-Food Industry: Use of a Simple Technology to Identify Commercially Important Species of Kangaroos from Western Australia. J Forensic Res 4:190. doi:10.4172/2157-7145.1000190
Copyright: © 2013 Spencer PBS, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Kangaroos are internationally recognised and iconic wildlife. There are four species that are commercially harvested for human and pet meat in an industry worth more than US$150 million per year. Highly regulated controls govern the number, and the species that can be removed each year as many species undergo natural cycling in population number in response to stochastic fluctuations, such as rainfall (where populations generally increase) and periods of drought (decline in population numbers). At times when populations are too low, seasonal closures do not allow the harvesting of those species. This is when illegal killing is most detrimental and there is currently no method or comparative database to identify commercial game-meat kangaroo species. Here we generated a simple and discriminatory test that uses sequence data from mitochondrial DNA capable of differentiating amongst all the largest species of kangaroos (the wallaroo, western grey, eastern grey, and red kangaroo) in Australia. We present these data and we also include 18 suspected kangaroo sample seizures that formed the basis for the unambiguous, simple and relatively fast identification of seized kangaroo meat samples.