Forensic veterinary medicine is an extremely broad subject covering the entire range of animals with which veterinary surgeons are involved. Cases may involve situations as diverse as physical abuse (eg, beating, stabbing or strangulation), gunshot wounds, trapping injuries, dog worrying, poisoning and malnutrition resulting from neglect. This series of two articles illustrates the basic principles of forensic work, the first of which discusses the protocol for investigating and reporting on cases involving live animals. The second article, to be published in the June issue of In Practice, will describe how to carry out a postmortem examination in suspected cases of abuse and how to interpret the findings.
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