Hooo-Hooo Volume 10, Nr 2 - Page 10

WildLife Group of the SAVA Post Mortem for Insurance in Wildlife Nick Kriek, Dept. of Paraclinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Pretoria nick.kriek@up.ac.za In the absence of a (correct) diagnosis, surgery is trauma, medicine is poison, and alternative therapy is witchcraft Kent Allen Introduction Because of the growth of the wildlife industry, and the logarithmic increase in the value of some of the animals, there is increasing pressure on the insurance industry to cope with the number and cost of the claims lodged for compensation of losses. Accompanying this trend there has also been an increase in the number of fraudulent claims, and the inability to deal with claims because of the poor quality of veterinary reports detailing the cause of death of a specific animal. Submission of inadequate veterinary reports may be the cause for declining the claim, or dismissal of a case if it eventually goes to court. Within the latter context, insurance companies are increasingly sending reports submitted by veterinarians for a second opinion either to veterinary pathologists, or to medical forensic pathologists to assess the findings and conclusions. Given this situation, there is a need for the profession at large to improve on the quality of the diagnostic workup, and the compilation of reports, to satisfy the legal requirements associated with this type of claim. It is a given that most veterinarians ha