Utilizing ticks as forensic indicators in a livestock investigation
Although forensic parasitology remains in its infancy compared with more developed fields like forensic entomology, parasites can be useful forensic indicators. We present the case of an individual who disobeyed animal health legislation and crossed animal quarantine boundaries and two state lines with a cattle tick (Rhipicephalus australis) infested horse. Following recognition of the infestation by animal health officers, the individual asserted that the infestation had occurred either during transport or upon arrival at the site of discovery, and that they had not contravened quarantine legislation. Utilizing ticks as forensic indicators, knowledge of the life cycle and minimum age of ticks on the infested horse indicated that the individual’s assertions were false, and that they had in fact transported the tick infested horse from a cattle tick endemic region across state lines and quarantine zones.
KeywordsForensic parasitology Cattle tick Rhipicephalus australis Forensic acarology
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Conflicts of interest
No conflicts of interest declared.
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal participants.
This article does not include participants that require informed consent.
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