Passing Veterinary Forensics – giving voice to those without one

Forensics is the used of science for legal means, in the case of veterinary forensics it is the use of veterinary knowledge to help in legal cases. Whether that case is animal abuse, a dog attack on a person, or even civil compensation claims between owners and breeders about sperm.

My question in the exam today was about behaviour forensics – so what causes animals to have behaviour problems… I was slightly cheeky with my answer here and put the number one cause as “Humans”… It’s true sadly that 99% of behaviour problems in animals are influenced or directly caused by humans and personally I doubt that there is any without a human influence. However I did manage to pass the exam with discussion of problems in dogs, cats, chickens, pigs, cows, horses and sheep.

However behaviour forensics is just a little part of the whole field of veterinary forensics. Personally I believe the point here to be about giving voice to animals without one. We are in the unique position of having an understanding of the common types of injuries seen in animals, and it is possible to tell when the injury does not match the story. It is also possible to tell the age of injury and even time of death by changes in the body.

This is an extremely interesting field, and one which I am sure I will write more on later.