DNA tests for buffaloes

Update: September, 24/2019 - 08:00
DNA test was believable evidence in conflict related to missing buffaloes. — Illustration of

DNA testing might be common on English TV programmes like The Jeremy Kyle Show, but in Việt Nam, it seems its livestock queuing up to find out if the baby is theirs.

At least that's how a dispute between the owners of some buffaloes in the northern mountainous province of Điện Biên was sorted out.

The area's livestock owners often allow their livestock to wander from place to place, leading to regular disputes over ownership.

Lường Văn Hoa, who lives in Thanh Luông Commune, Điện Biên District, sent a petition to the provincial People’s Court saying one of his buffalo was missing. The buffalo has a scar on his left ear.

Then Hoa saw Quàng Văn Tơ owned a buffalo with the same traits. Hoa claimed it was his missing buffalo. Hoa asked Tơ to give it back, but Tơ refused.

The provincial People’s Court decided to take DNA test the buffalo. The test was conducted by the provincial Institute of Breeding.

The test showed the missing buffalo had a blood-relationship with a buffalo in Hoa’s flock.

Tơ lost the case so had to pay all costs, including for the DNA test.

Phạm Văn Nam, tribunal president of the Điện Biên People’s Court, told Tuổi trẻ (Youth) newspaper that DNA testing had been considered suitable evidence in such cases since 2014.

However, expenses for the test were quite high, more than VNĐ7 million (US$300), some 20-30 per cent of the buffalo’s value.

Thus people only brought such suits if both sides were convinced they owned the buffalo, said Nam. — VNS