Whether alive or dead, or even if an animal is no longer available for examination, it can still be possible to undertake a comprehensive veterinary forensic assessment of the matter.
This includes undertaking, or reviewing the following, across a range of species:
- Clinical forensic examinations: Veterinary assessment, ageing of lesions, treatment plans.
- Post-mortem examinations: Cause and manner of death, underlying conditions, time since death.
- Veterinary records: Assessment of Practice notes, appropriateness of treatment plans, comparisons with witness accounts.
- Radiographic assessments: Capturing and interpreting X-rays, ultrasounds, CT and MRI scans.
- Injury assessment: Determining the mechanism of injury, identification of deliberate or accidental trauma.
- Presence or absence of suffering: Determining the mechanism of suffering, extent, duration and avoidance.
- Behavioural evaluation: Including destruction and contingent destruction assessments, mental suffering and failure to meet behavioural needs.
- Breed typing: Morphological assessment of potential Section 1 Dogs (dangerous dogs Act).
All cases will be appraised using a joint veterinary and forensic approach, to maximise information and evidence recovery. Case review processes can be applied to matters involving animals for examination (dead or alive) and any related items (such as food bowls and cages). In the absence of any animals, the assessment of footage, images and documents (i.e. kennel records, veterinary notes) can be undertaken. Opportunities for additional forensic expertise will be identified and recommended accordingly.
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