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Animal Behavior Evidence

By Sandra Muckelston

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Evidence as to the actions of animals occupies a small niche in the field of criminal evidence. Within the area of animal behavior evidence the major preoccupation has been with problems relating to tracking dogs, particularly bloodhound testimony.' The Montana Supreme Court, however, has not only been confronted with bloodhound testimony, but, with far more frequency, testimony of bovine behavior in cattle rustling cases. The problem posed by these cases has been whether testimony as to animal behavior is admissible as competent evidence, or inadmissible as hearsay. The following investigation sets forth the contradictory positions taken by the Montana Court. While allowing evidence of cattle behavior, the Court balked at admitting bloodhound testimony. Possible reasons for this divergence, such as a distinction between instinctive and learned behavior or distinctions between the species of animals involved, have
been suggested in order to attempt a determination of the present status of animal behavior evidence in Montana and what effect it may have on the increasing use of canine detection by police.


Katie Carroll

Date 1969
Volume 31
Issue 2
Pages 257-262
Publisher University of Montana Alexander Blewett III School of Law
Language English
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animal care
  3. Animals in culture
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Courts
  6. criminal law
  7. Law and legal issues
  8. Laws and regulations