Netherlands, Utrecht

Forensic Veterinary Medicine

when 30 May 2019 - 8 July 2019
language English
duration 6 weeks
credits 3.5 ECTS
fee EUR 850

In this course students will acquire the following knowledge: the psychological and criminological theories behind domestic violence and animal abuse, the legal aspects of abusive situations, and the theories behind communication about domestic violence and animal abuse. They will also learn the following skills: how to recognize and address animal cruelty in practice, how to act after suspicion, how to collect evidence properly, how to report suspected animal abuse and domestic violence correctly, and how to act as an expert witness in legal settlement.

Scientific research shows that there is a connection between animal abuse and domestic violence. If serious animal abuse is occurring, other forms of domestic or family violence may also be present. Not only members of the veterinary team will be confronted with this kind of violence but also psychologists, physicians, criminologists, lawyers and many other professions. Since animal abuse and domestic violence is a One Health issue, it is very important that the different professions work together to solve what may turn out to be a complex multi-agency investigation. Although cases of animal or human abuse may not be common, it is vital that every opportunity to help the victim (animal or human) is taken.
This course is not only for students of veterinary science but also other interested students, for instance psychology, physicians, criminology, law and biology are very welcome.

The educational objectives of this study are:
- Possess knowledge regarding animal abuse and domestic violence;
- Psychological and criminological theories behind domestic violence and animal abuse;
- Legal aspects of abusive situations;
- Communication about domestic violence and animal abuse;
- Recognize animal cruelty in practice; and address in the practice
- Action perspective to know after suspicion:
- collecting evidence properly;
- reporting suspected animal abuse and domestic violence correctly;
- Can act as expert witnesses in legal settlement.

The group of maximum 20 students will be lectured about animal abuse, domestic violence and the connection between these topics. They will get theoretical back round, by means of scientific research. But also a lot of practical information will be given. And there will be workshops regarding collecting evidence, making photographs that can be used in court and communication about animal abuse and domestic violence. In small groups the students will also be working on a case. During the two weeks they will get information and have interactive sessions to give a presentation about this case.
Ultimately, a student can approach a case in a forensic way, get insights into the sampling of body materials, the pitfalls and possibilities of the forensic examination and can correctly conclude on the basis of findings. And he gets insight into some aspects and pitfalls related to the investigation, describing (interpreting) and documenting findings in veterinary forensic examination of living and deceased animal’s .The student will understand the method for sampling tracks and body materials, and monitoring the chain of custody.

Course leader

Nienke Endenburg, PhD

Course aim

Possess knowledge regarding animal abuse and domestic violence;
- Psychological and criminological theories behind domestic violence and animal abuse;
- Legal aspects of abusive situations;
- Communication about domestic violence and animal abuse;
- Recognize animal cruelty in practice; and address in the practice
- Action perspective to know after suspicion:
- collecting evidence properly;
- reporting suspected animal abuse and domestic violence correctly;
- Can act as expert witnesses in legal settlement.

Fee info

EUR 850: Course fee
EUR 350: Housing fee

Register for this course
on course website