Webinar: Animal DNA in Criminal Investigations

A webinar on June 29, 2017, hosted by the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence will provide an overview of the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory Forensic Unit at UC Davis, and the types of cases encountered in a non-human DNA laboratory. Also included will be the DNA analysis in dogs and sampling and submission of evidence.

While committing a sexual assault in a residential backyard, Rusfus Sito Nanez III rolled in some canine feces which later helped link him back to the victim’s home resulting in his conviction. The Veterinary Genetics Laboratory Forensic Unit at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine played a key role in the trial and conviction of this serial rapist. As the only crime laboratory in the country accredited for analysis of DNA from domestic animals, VGL-Forensics has been serving federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies as well as the general public for over a decade. The laboratory receives a wide variety of cases from all over the world, with sample types and species unlike those encountered by its human counterparts. Cases range from human-on-human crimes where dog or cat biological evidence links a suspect to the crime, to large-scale dog fighting, species identification, and animal cruelty cases. Recent case examples will be presented in addition to other high-profile and cold cases.

The species most commonly encountered in casework at VGL-Forensics is dog. This presentation will detail the development and implementation of the DogFiler panel, the first published DNA profiling system for dogs that meets SWGDAM validation guidelines. It will also discuss mitochondrial haplotyping in dogs and the utility and challenges of this method. Other differences and similarities between non-human DNA analysis and human DNA analysis will be highlighted, as well as an introduction to sampling non-human DNA evidence and submitting evidence to the VGL-Forensics laboratory.

The webinar features speaker Christina Lindquist, director and quality manager at the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory Forensic Unit at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

Click here to register and learn more.

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Item of Interest

The language barrier between English-speaking investigators and Spanish-speaking witnesses is a growing problem. (Updated 28 February 2011)