The Super 15 rugby trophy has been marked with synthetic DNA which can be traced in 26 countries, it has been reported.
This was a security feature which was invisible to the naked eye, the Saturday Star reported.
Super rugby winners, the Chiefs, joined the Hamilton police in New Zealand this week in an anti-crime initiative which saw the trophy and the Ranfurly Shield (similar to the Currie Cup) being marked with the synthetic DNA.
According to the newspaper the synthetic DNA was produced by forensic marking company Selecta DNA and invisibly marks property or premises with a unique synthetic profile.
It stayed on valuables indefinitely and the solution glowed bright blue under ultraviolet light.
Carolyn Hancock, director of the DNA Project in South Africa, said synthetic DNA was a substance which contained a unique identifier.
"This could simply be a barcode or it could be a very short piece of synthetically manufactured DNA," she was quoted as saying.
"If this stretch of DNA is added to an inanimate object, then once the object has been retrieved after a burglary, the DNA can be sequenced and traced back to its owner through a database held by the company who sells the product.
"In the same formula is a UV tracer which can be detected under UV light," Hancock said. – Sapa