Learn how DNA analysis can bring justice to animals

Learn how DNA analysis can bring justice to animals at the AWSELVA Forensics Conference

Discover The Power of DNA in Animal Crime Investigations at AWSELVA’s Veterinary Forensics Conference, which will be held on Tuesday, March 19th in The Mary Brancker Room at 7 Mansfield Street, London W1G 9NQ.
Join us for a series of exciting presentations from world-class experts in a friendly atmosphere and a chance to talk all things forensics over a delicious lunch! Meet the speakers, make new connections and explore the use of DNA analysis in bringing justice to animals.

The conference programme includes the following talks:
"DNA: Silk purse or sow's ear?" - Dr Simon Newbery, BSc(hons) BVetMed MSc (Forensic Science) MRCVS, Veterinary Surgeon, Forensic Scientist, Veterinary Forensics Consultant to the National Crime Agency, United Kingdom.
Abstract: While DNA analysis can be a powerful tool in animal investigations by forensic veterinarians, it is important to consider the advantages and disadvantages when utilising it in a case. Also, what practical alternatives can be used by the Forensic Veterinarian?

"DNA use in Canadian animal cruelty cases " - Dr Margaret Doyle, BSc MVB MSc MRCVS, Forensic Veterinarian, VCA Canada Riverbend Animal Hospital, Canada.
Abstract: Dr. Doyle will present case examples illustrating DNA evidence use in animal cruelty investigations in Canada. Utilization of DNA can successfully establish breeding and origin of animals abandoned in distress, as well as identify species in illegal poaching. Use of DNA to definitively tie an animal to a crime scene assists in proving legal care and control of animal victims of violence in urban settings. These cases will illustrate a variety of scenarios utilizing DNA to identify animal victims, both living and deceased, and human perpetrators of abuse.

“The Canine DNA Recovery Project: Current Findings and Next Steps" - Dr Nicholas Dawnay, BSc PhD MSc, Senior Lecturer, School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, United Kingdom.
Abstract: The Canine DNA Recovery Project (CDnaRP) is a collaborative forensic project that aims to develop best practice methods for the collection and analysis of dog DNA recovered from attacked livestock and wildlife.

“The use of DNA profiling in livestock crime investigations” - Dr Richard Ellis, DPhil, Head of Genome Analysis, Animal and Plant Health Agency, United Kingdom. Abstract: The Animal and Plant Health Agency is at the forefront of livestock disease testing in Great Britain and has developed DNA based methods to ensure the provenance of samples; confirmation that a given tissue or blood sample originated from the animal in question. The methods, based on well-established short tandem repeat (STR) panels for cattle and sheep, are primarily used for testing assurance. However, there have been an increasing number of requests to investigate livestock crime, from both law enforcement agencies and farmers themselves. The evidence providing by DNA profiling has aiding in successful prosecution for several cases and has highlighted the benefits of this approach where other evidence is deemed insufficient.

The day-long event, which is open to all AWSELVA and non-AWSELVA members, is aimed at veterinary professionals, scientists, law enforcement officers, animal-related charities and anyone else who is interested to find out more about this fascinating subject.