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Laboratory Investigations

Covering post mortem examinations and pesticide analysis

Post Mortem Examination

Post mortem examination is an essential element of the investigation. Other causes of death that may be unrelated to possible exposure to a pesticide can be identified, eliminating the requirement for analysis. Alternatively evidence consistent with poisoning being the cause of death may be gained, and appropriate tissue samples taken for analysis

Pesticide Analysis

Field information is used together with the findings of the post mortem examination to determine the extent of any analytical investigation. Analytical techniques and equipment capable of identifying low levels of pesticides considered to present possible hazards to vertebrates or beneficial insects are employed. Multi-residue methods are used for carbamate, organochlorine, organophosphorus, and pyrethroid compounds, and for anticoagulant rodenticides. These are supplemented by compound specific analytical methods for chloralose, metaldehyde, paraquat, strychnine and other compounds. Residues identified are subject to rigorous confirmation criteria for acceptance. The laboratory operates to an internal quality system accredited to the ISO 17025 standard for testing laboratories by UKAS, with some of the above methods included in the scope of accreditation.

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