Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Toxicity: malicious intoxication

Contributor(s): Steven Gallego, Birgit Puschner, Nicola Bates

Introduction

  • An act of malice resulting in harm or death of an animal is considered animal cruelty in some countries and a criminal offense.
  • Determining a person’s malicious intent is a difficult and very contentious legal subject best left to law enforcement and a judicial system.
  • Distinguishing between malice and accident can be especially difficult at best.
  • In a suspected incident of malice, it is imperative that the clinician gather and document incident case data as completely possible and involve the appropriate authorities early in the investigation.
  • A clear line linking toxicologic data indicating a xenobiotic’s presence and consistency with the presenting signs and the pathologic data is key to demonstrating cause and effect.

Presenting signs

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Geographic incidence

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Malice

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Public health considerations

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Sample collection and submission

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Gwaltney-Brant S M (2016) Veterinary forensic toxicology. Vet Pathol 53 (5), 1067-1077 PubMed.
  • Giorgi M & Mengozzi G (2011) Malicious animal intoxications: poisoned baits. Veterinarni Medicina 56 (4), 173-179 AgriJ (pdf download).
  • Vandenbroucke V, Van Pelt H, De Backer P & Croubels S (2010) Animal poisonings in Belgium: a review of the past decade. Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift 79, 259-268 VDT (pdf download).

Other sources of information

  • Trestrail III J H (2000) Forensics. In: Criminal Poisoning. Springer Science & Business Media. pp 77-79.
  • Trestrail III J H (2000) Proving Poisoning. In: Criminal Poisoning. Springer Science & Business Media. pp 81-85.

Organisation(s)

  • ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. Tel: +1 (888) 426-4435. Website: www.aspca.org.
  • Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS). Tel: +44 (0)2073 055 055. Website: www.vipisglobal.com.


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