The world of forensics combines crime scene investigation and proven scientific tests and techniques to uncover the often grisly details of a crime. With a core course on “Animal Crime Scene Processing”, that world is evolving to protect the animal kingdom too, thanks to a new program at the University of Florida.
There may be around 13,000 people working in the traditional forensic sciences, but that number suddenly grew as the University Florida, one of the best vet colleges in the country, certified its first class of veterinary forensic scientists, or pet veterinarians that can investigate animal abuses, cruelty cases and crime scene evidence.
We think of the made for television, homicide crime scene investigators, but at the worlds first veterinary forensic sciences class there are now vets that do similar work to uncover the details of crimes against animals. Sensing a growing need, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals helped to help develop the Veterinary Forensic Sciences Graduate Certificate for established vets or forensics experts. With these new credentials, suddenly their vast veterinarian career information lends itself more to the underbelly of vet science as they look at processing crime scenes and the legal aspects of animal cruelty.
The New York City Humane Law Enforcement officers helped to popularize the plight of animal cruelty and CSI like investigations on the Animal Planet show “Animal Precinct”, but U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Forensics Laboratory was the original and only lab of its kind to focus on veterinary and wildlife forensics. From Ashland, Oregon they serve the law enforcement officers and inspectors of all 50 states and nearly 200 countries across the globe and provide the incentive to grow the resources and specialists on a grand scale.
Some of the best vets have responded to the former lack of certification for forensics and improved their chances of uncovering the perpetrators behind the crimes. In fact, the newly minted forensic vets had to wade through veterinary forensic pathology much like their human certified counterparts.
Through the proven science methodologies, new veterinarian career information and the techniques similar to human crime scene investigation, these forensic veterinarians use the same types of testing, xrays, computer systems and examination labs to conduct their investigations possibly stemming the tide on animal cruelty.