In May 2008, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the Maples Center for Forensic Medicine at the University of Florida College of Medicine partnered to host a conference on veterinary forensic sciences. This conference was organized by the ASPCA’s Dr. Randall Lockwood and Dr. Melinda Merck, and Dr. Jason Byrd with the University of Florida. The majority of attendees at the Veterinary Forensic Sciences Conference voted to create the International Veterinary Forensic Sciences Association (IVFSA), and additionally voted to make Veterinary Forensic Sciences Conference an annual event.
The purpose of the IVFSA is to:
- Promote the health, welfare and safety of animals through the fostering of current and novel techniques of forensic science and crime scene processing to circumstances of animal abuse, neglect, cruelty, fighting, and death.
- Apply forensic science techniques to legal investigations involving animals as the victim of criminal offenses and civil disputes.
- Educate the animal welfare community, law enforcement, crime scene analysts, forensic scientists, veterinarians, attorneys, judges, and pathologists on the application of forensic science techniques and crime scene processing methods to cases of animal abuse, neglect, cruelty, fighting, and death.
- Inform the law enforcement and legal community on the various scientific disciplines that can be utilized for the interpretation of collected physical evidence related to any crime scene where an animal’s presence or absence is relevant.
- Advance and foster excellence in the veterinary forensic sciences.