Forensic And State Veterinary Medicine

The Department of Forensic and State Veterinary Medicine was founded in 1936 as a teaching unit known as the Seminar for Forensic Veterinary Medicine, and the first head was the parasitologist, Prof. Dr. Ivo Babić. In 1941 it was expanded to the Seminar for Forensic and State Veterinary Medicine, and in 1978 the Department of Forensic and Administrative Veterinary Medicine was created, as a scientific and teaching organizational unit within the Faculty.

In 1945 Mato Winterhalter was appointed Assist., having trained in the field of forensic and state veterinary medicine, and he was appointed as the first full-time teacher at the Seminar.

Immediately after its foundation, the Seminar was located in the premises of the Department of Parasitology at the old location of the Faculty in a rented building at Savska cesta no. 23. In 1940 the main building was built at the present location of the Faculty in Heinzelova ulica, and the Seminar moved to premises on the first floor, opposite the Dean’s office, where the Department is today. The premises of the Seminar, now the Department, consisted of practice rooms with about fifty work stations, a library, the head’s study, a room for Assist.s, a hall in which the Museum of the History of Veterinary Medicine was housed, and utility rooms. From 2016 to 2017 construction work was undertaken at the Department, whereby the Assist.s’ room, and the museum hall were converted into a single space, bringing together the forensic laboratory (ForensicLAB) of the Department. The museum collection was temporarily moved to the newly decorated hall way until a special space has been created to unite all museum collections in a single Faculty museum.

Since December 2017 the Laboratory, under a decision by the Minister of Agriculture, has been authorized as the official laboratory for veterinary work in analyses for genotypization of animals, using test methods for establishing the unique DNA profile of animals (dogs, cattle, ungulates, sheep and goats), by multiplication of short tandem report polymerase chain reaction (STR, PCR) according to the recommendations of the International Society for Animal Genetics).

The first lectures in the two related compulsory courses, Forensic Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Regulation were held in the 8th semester of the 1923/1924 academic year. Over the course of history the title of the subject, its position in terms of semesters, and the number of hours taught changed, and in the latest curriculum for integrated undergraduate and graduate study of veterinary medicine, dating from the 2005/2006 academic year, classes in the compulsory course Veterinary Legislation and Regulatory Affairs are taught in the 10th semester, and the compulsory course Forensic Veterinary Medicine in the 11th semester. In this curriculum teachers from the Department also teach the elective course Responsibilities in Veterinary Medicine in the 11th semester, and Biological Traces and Evidences in Forensic Veterinary Medicine in the 12th semester. From the 2013/2014 academic year, Prof. Dr. Petar Džaja, due to the retirement of the previous historian Prof. Dr. Vesna Vučevac Bajt, was appointed head of the compulsory course Introduction to Veterinary in the 1st semester, and the elective courses History of Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Ethics in the 2nd semester.

Staff from the Department have taken part over its history in teaching many postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. At the end of 2013, Prof Dr. Petar Džaja and Prof. Dr. Krešimir Severin filed a request to Department the procedure to adopt a new curriculum for a specialised postgraduate study in Forensic Veterinary Medicine, and the first generation of students enrolled in the 2014/2015 academic year. The study is primarily intended for future and current expert witnesses in the field of veterinary medicine, veterinary inspectors, and other staff from the competent state bodies of the Ministry of Agriculture, environmental protection inspectors from the Ministry of Environment Protection and Nature, veterinary experts employed in veterinary organizations, animal shelters and insurance companies, and veterinarians providing professional assistance to scene of crime investigators. Completion of the study leads to the academic title of Master in Forensic Veterinary Medicine. Teaching staff at the Department participate in teaching other specialised postgraduate studies at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and university PhD study in Veterinary Sciences. Prof. Dr. Krešimir Severin, as part of the PhD study, participates in teaching the compulsory course Methods of Scientific and Research Work and several branch oriented courses.

Teaching staff from the Department have taken part in the life-long education of veterinary experts through training courses. In recent years, Prof. Dr. Petar Džaja took part within the Croatian Veterinary Chamber in teaching a Training Course for drivers/attendants of Live Animals (from 2009) and the life-long training courses in Inspection of the Meat of Poultry, Game, Sheep, Goats, Rabbits and Ungulates and Inspection of Poultry Meat (from 2012). Prof. Dr. Petar Džaja and Prof. Dr. Krešimir Severin take part in teaching the life-long learning course in Liability in Veterinary Work and The Scene of Incidents of Interest for Forensic Veterinary Medicine (from 2014). Prof. Dr. Krešimir Severin has also participated in teaching the Training Course for Work with Experimental Animals and Animals for Production of Biological Preparations in the field of the ethical principles and legislation related to using experimental animals, since it was founded (2012). It is organized by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine on the basis of authorizaton by the Office for Veterinary Medicine and Food Safety at the Ministry of Agriculture.

Staff from the Department of Forensic and State Veterinary Medicine, since it was founded and right up to the present day, have undertaken professional activities including work as permanent expert witnesses in forensic veterinary medicine. In order to resolve many civil, administrative or criminal court cases, they present expert explanations using findings and their own opinions, as veterinary expertise and/or court testimony, and all these cases have been carefully stored and archived since 1924, and are important teaching material for educating students on graduate and postgraduate courses. Currently the Department has more than 500 different court cases, reports and inquiries. Both current members of staff, Prof. Dr. Petar Džaja (since 2006) and Prof. Dr. Krešimir Severin (from 2014) have been appointed as permanent expert witnesses, and every year take part in resolving about ten court cases.

prof. dr. sc. Petar Džaja

redoviti profesor u trajnom zvanju
Petar Džaja

prof. dr. sc. Krešimir Severin

Predstojnik, redoviti profesor
Krešimir Severin

dr. sc. Slaven Reljić

znanstveni suradnik

Magdalena Palić, dr. med. vet.

Magdalena Palić, dr. med. vet.

Marija Šestić

Marija Šestić

Veterinary Studies in English

State Veterinary Medicine

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