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APO Launches Veterinary Medical Examination Hospital Course

* Although animal abuse cases in the country sometimes come under the spotlight, especially of suspected animal roadkill, they often end up as cold cases due to the lack of investigative manpower and resources or the absence of SOPs and relevant information.

In light of this, the Taipei City Animal Protection Office (APO) and Taipei Veterinary Medical Association organized the Introduction to Veterinary Forensic Medicine and Fundamental Practice of Medical Examination yesterday (July 28), inviting Assistant Professor Huang Wei-hsiang from NTU School of Veterinary Medicine – a long-term champion of animal abuse medical examination and forensic science research – as lecturer, attracting participation from over 200 veterinarians.

According to registered data, roughly 1/4 of the households in Taipei have pets, totaling approximately 160,000 animals, and these fur babies are often treated as an important member of the family. The APO and NTU School of Veterinary Medicine began collaborating in 2011 to develop veterinary forensic science as well as cause of death investigation of abused animals and crime scene forensics. Previous cases, such as the torturing and killing of feral cat Da Ju Zi and Ban Ban, cat abuse involving the use of acid in Songshan, and the Paraquat dog poisoning case in Neihu LOHAS Park, were solved by securing key evidence via professional veterinary autopsy and forensic toxicology. These demonstrate the importance of abuse medical examination, and a scientific approach to animal protection is the way of the future. The APO also launched the Taipei City Animal Abuse Forensic Medicine and Investigation Program this year by forming a veterinary autopsy team in conjunction with NTU for the purposes of investigating animal abuse and roadkill cases.

The APO indicated that veterinary forensic medicine symbolizes the continued advancement of animal protection and welfare in Taiwan. As the friendly capital, Taipei's accomplishments in promoting and materializing animal protection are nothing short of exemplary. In order to elevate the performance of animal protection-related investigations in recent years, the APO has supported the development of veterinary forensic medicine and forensic science in Taiwan, and a veterinary forensic medicine network will be created in Taipei City to constantly reinforce citizen education in scientific thinking.

In contemporary society where people generally have a consensus on animal protection, emerging fields of veterinary forensic medicine and veterinary forensic science will be promoted. Besides continuing to work with NTU School of Veterinary Medicine to conduct an autopsy on animal protection-related deaths, the APO will cooperate with veterinary clinics to promote medical examination of abused animals. In the future, animal protection investigations will be conducted by employing forensic science, so as to enhance the professionalism and comprehensiveness of animal protection work while minimizing unnecessary public panic and outrage. Upgrade the animal protection system in Taipei City.