Livestock Injury and Mortality Investigations: A Reference Guide For WDFW Field Personnel


Published: March 2013

Pages: 33


This guide is intended to be used for general reference only. In no way does it attempt to describe every possible piece of evidence, every situation, the condition of every carcass, the amount of carcass that remains to examine, or the variability of injuries that an investigator may encounter during a livestock injury or mortality investigation.

The reference guide does not provide step by step instructions on how to perform an investigation because it is expected that, over time, each investigator will develop techniques that work best for them. However, this guide follows the same general layout of the livestock injury and mortality investigation form. The investigation form was designed in sections that pertain to the order an investigation should progress, from general to more specific. These sections include the initial report, the incident location, the type of animals affected, site description and physical evidence present, description and location of injuries, source of injuries, and the injury/mortality classifications. If the form is completed in order, no steps will be missed during a livestock injury and mortality investigation.

This guide has many pictures of injured and dead livestock. These photos were selected because they primarily represent the "classic" characteristics of a predator attack and, in some cases, the associated damage they caused. Please remember that every livestock injury and mortality investigation is unique due to a whole host of variables, and what you may observe during an actual investigation may be very different than what is illustrated in the photos.