Images of bear undergoing autopsy leaked by UCD Veterinary students

Image Credit: Dominic Daly

Pictures were taken of a dead bear at UCD School of Veterinary Medicine and dispersed via social media last week. The school has a strict rule against taking or spreading private client data.

The UCD School of Veterinary is taking the matter extremely seriously. They have contacted Veterinary students urging them to delete the photos if they have come in contact with them. The bear had been submitted to the Pathology Department in UCD for a post-mortem examination. The images of the bear were seen by the referring veterinarian and the guardian of the bear, both of whom are reportedly extremely angry and upset. 

Dr Rory Breathnach, Hospital Director of the School of Veterinary Medicine has described the issue as “extremely serious and upsetting”. Deeming the behaviour “unprofessional”, they outlined how other than the upset caused to the animal's guardian, the distribution of the material also poses communication and PR pressure to those in charge of the animal. Dr Breathnach demanded that students who had taken photos remove them from WhatsApp or other social media platforms. Students should also delete the photos if received and inform others to remove and delete the photos. 

Dr Breathnach further outlined that breaking the “strict rule” of not taking or disseminating private clients data is a breach of the student code of professional conduct. He stated that the event is being taken “extremely seriously” and will “never be tolerated” in the school of Veterinary Medicine. It is unclear whether further disciplinary action will be taken at this time.