Med. Weter. 2020, 76 (11), 621-625

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Fatal shooting of a dog by a ricocheting ball missile during hunting: Veterinary and ballistic judicial opinions
The paper presents the principles of assessing fatal shootings of dogs during collective hunting due to ricocheting bullets from firearms with threaded barrels for purposes of judicial review. Such assessments usually have two purposes. The first is to determine the cause of death, and the assessment is based on veterinary anatomopathological examination of the gunshot wound and the examination of the bullet or its fragments found in the carcass of the animal. If a direct examination is impossible, X-ray images are often used. The second aspect of the assessment is the analysis of evidence aimed at reconstructing the course of the event and determining whether the shot was due to a ricocheting projectile or to non-compliance with safety rules when using the firearm. Such analyses require knowledge of issues related to the construction and use of weapons and ammunition, as well as external ballistics of missiles. The assessment is based mainly on the analysis of tissue fragments and projectiles or their fragments recovered from the carcass of the animal. In addition, it is also important to reconstruct the course of the event on the basis of the documentation collected and sometimes an inspection of the area where the incident occurred.
Keywords: ricocheting, shooting, dog, firearm, forensic opinion, forensic expert