The individualisation of a dog bite mark: a case study highlighting the bite mark analysis, with emphasis on differences between dog and human bite marks.
A person who keeps or controls a dog in his own interest is liable "without fault" should that dog cause harm to any person. By owning a dog, man welcomes into his home a beast that preserves much of its primordial self, and is capable of inflicting a fatal bite wound. The courts may require the forensic expert to identify which specific dog caused the damage or fatal bite in an effort to establish the owner/controller of the animal. Very little has been published on the individualisation of dog bite marks, the procedures to be followed when confronted with usable bite marks and the range of analysis techniques available. The authors advocate a multidisciplinary approach, and utilise a case study to demonstrate the protocol to be followed when analysing a dog bite mark. The paper also highlights differences between human and dog inflicted bites. The authors warn against over interpretation of poor quality bite marks and a final conclusion of absolute certainty.
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