Problems and solutions in giving an expert evaluation

Martin, M.

Deutsche Tierärztliche Wochenschrift 113(3): 105-106


ISSN/ISBN: 0341-6593
PMID: 16669192
Accession: 004463698

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According to the law for the prevention of cruelty to animals, the officially employed veterinarians are the experts per se. All administrative legal steps are based on their reports. Such reports are also of major significance at court hearings. However, veterinary colleagues working in private practices or clinics are often requested to submit an expert evaluation in cases of cruelty to animals. The problems which occur in putting together an expert's report are often based on a lack of knowledge about the clear structure of such a report (preliminary details, description of the situation as found, assessments of results, evaluation of findings, justification). The situation is made more complicated by the two different languages of lawyers (that of administrative officials, advocates of district courts and higher district courts or public prosecutors) and of veterinarians. A detailed description and a clear assessment together with a detailed justification of the concluding findings are absolutely essential. By providing examples of the correct way to write an expert's report, both the problems and solutions to improve the situation can be pointed out. This will be of the utmost importance in the future when quality management of animal rights is introduced. Specific training should be introduced during studies, in training courses for district examinations and in practical, further education. In addition, the range of problems caused by the constantly rising number of expert's reports made as a favour should also be considered.