Vetstream is pleased to welcome a new content provider, Forensic Access, to its range of online CPD courses to Vetacademy. At the forefront of forensic science in the UK since 1986, Forensic Access provides a comprehensive range of services and consultancy covering all forensic science disciplines. It has the only dedicated Animal Forensics Division in the UK and provides industry-leading animal forensics training and CPD for veterinary professionals, to support evidence-based investigations of crimes against animals.
L-R: Debbie Rushton (Account Manager, Forensic Access), Mark Johnston (Managing Director, Vetstream) Karen Schembri (Marketing Manager, Forensic Access)
With the Government’s proposed change to animal welfare legislation (a plan to increase the maximum sentence for animal abusers to five years’ imprisonment), it is essential that vets and nurses are properly prepared to assist in animal abuse and welfare cases. The pressures this creates calls for the provision of quality CPD and education to address the issues veterinary professionals may be facing, which is where Forensic Access can help.
Their 16-hour online course, The Forensic Process, has been developed by Dr Samantha Pickles (Lead Forensic Scientist with Forensic Access) and Dr David Martin (Veterinary Surgeon with the Brownlow Vet Group), to support participants in managing and recognising cases requiring forensic involvement. Launching on Vetacademy on 16th September, it is the first and only CPD veterinary forensic course for vets (16 hours) and boasts a version designed specifically for vet nurses (8 hours).
Dr David Martin told us “Unfortunately, hundreds of animal welfare investigations are being conducted every year and some have occasionally been lost due to unintentional errors in dealing with the process. This course, the only one of its kind, will unify the care and treatment of animals using the standards and regulations required by the legal system”.
The course will aid in understanding the forensic process in relation to each veterinary role and why there is a need to record information correctly and in a certain format. It is uniquely interactive and follows a real-life welfare case from start to finish, as well as studying a case of deliberate animal injury, alongside numerous other case examples. Participants will also be given the opportunity to create their own forensic casefile (in the same manner as do ‘traditional’ forensic scientists), in the form of downloadable templates, which can be used for future working.
The course covers the following modules:
Mark Johnston, Manging Director of Vetstream says “Training in forensics is not readily available for the veterinary market and yet there is an increasing awareness of the importance that the veterinary profession plays in the investigation and legal processes of such cases. We are delighted to have been selected as a preferred online training provider, by Forensic Access. Led by the highly-respected Professor Angela Gallop, whose scientific teams conducted the re-investigations of numerous prominent cases including Stephen Lawrence, Rachel Nickell and Damilola Taylor, we are confident of providing the very best training in forensics. We encourage vets and vet nurses in all types of practice to take advantage of these excellent courses, which are available via Vetacademy.org”.
Professor Gallop has long been an advocate of collaborative working as the best way to ensure forensic science contributes maximally to society. She says: “We developed our unique Animal Forensics Division in response to the number of requests we are receiving to assist with animal welfare and abuse cases, and acknowledging growing awareness of the link between human and animal abuse. By combining veterinary practice with forensic science procedure, we have created a bespoke training programme to support the vets and nurses who are integral to such investigations, and to enhance the service they provide to investigators and the courts. Working together in this way, we hope to play an important part in bringing perpetrators to justice and preventing further acts of cruelty to animals, and humans, alike.”
Launched in 2011, Vetacademy provides a range of online, cost-effective CPD, available to buy as individual modules or specially curated bundles. The wealth of materials varies from clinical information to related multimedia, provided by trusted veterinarians across the world.
Click here to view Forensic Access courses on Vetacademy