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Faculty of Veterinary Science

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UP initiative leads in rhino poaching prosecution
Louise de Bruin
Posted on 05 Sep 2014

In 2009, Dr Cindy Harper, Director of the University of Pretoria (UP) Veterinary Faculty’s Veterinary Genetics Laboratory (VGL), established a method to obtain a DNA profile from a rhino horn. Poaching of rhinoceros for their highly valued horn was only beginning to show signs of increasing at the beginning of 2009. As poaching of rhinoceros rapidly escalated during the next few years, Harper, together with investigators from the Kruger National Park and the South African Police Forensic Science Laboratory in Pretoria, considered how the discovery could assist with the protection of rhino in this international war.

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UP vets receive Rhino Conservation Awards for their research
Louise de Bruin
Posted on 04 Aug 2014

On World Game Ranger Day, 31 July, the Game Ranger Association of Africa (GRAA) held its annual Rhino Conservation Awards Ceremony to acknowledge the committed efforts of individuals and organisations involved in the protection of our endangered species. Those honoured during the ceremony included Drs Gerhard Steenkamp and Johan Marais, two outstanding veterinarians from the University of Pretoria.

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Getting rid of rabies
Louise de Bruin
Posted on 01 Jul 2014

The Faculty of Veterinary Science’s Prof Darryn Knobel is in pursuit of eliminating dog rabies across Africa through a novel approach to rabies research. Rabies claims the lives of thousands of people across the continent every year but, for the first time in decades, using evidence-based research the elimination of this devastating disease is considered feasible. Knobel uses a simple method of understanding demographics to determine the vaccination thresholds required for rabies to die out.

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UP vets’ quest to save our heritage
Louise de Bruin
Posted on 24 Jun 2014

Three rhinos per day are lost to poaching in South Africa. At this rate there will be no more wild rhinos left in the country by 2020. The world should realise this has far surpassed a poaching problem. This is no longer about the person who trespasses to kill an animal so that he can feed his family. This is organised crime and a war we are losing.

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