By Vanessa Loaiza N.

Allegations of animal abuse or death require that in the State there are professionals with specialization in forensic veterinary medicine, a specialty that is responsible, among other things, for the application of the chain of custody, the handling of the place of the events and the autopsies of the animals.

For this reason, this week a group of specialists from the National Animal Health Service, the National System of Conversation Areas and forensic doctors of the Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ) receive training in these topics.

The two-day seminar is organized by the animal welfare NGO, Humane Society International (HSI) / Latin America, and the College of Veterinary Physicians of Costa Rica, and is taught by forensic veterinarian Julio César Aguirre, pioneer in Colombia in this area.

“Following the Animal Welfare Law, the Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ) must go to veterinarians to gather evidence in case of animal cruelty, and for us it is very important to support them in this task,” said Amanda Chaves, HSI / Latin America Company Animal program manager in the press release.

Since the end of last March, the judicial authorities recognized that they “work with their nails” to comply with the new Law Against Animal Abuse, which entered into force since June 2017.

The legislation introduced a new section in the Criminal Code that constituted three crimes, punishable by imprisonment, which punish animal cruelty, fraudulent death (derived from cruelty and fighting) and animal fights.

At that time, Wálter Espinoza, director of the Judicial Police, said that the entity lacks the necessary personnel and material resources to handle these cases. Last March there were at least 227 complaints.

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