Livestock Investigations

Professional Livestock Investigator Certification

Course Description

This 40-hour course explores investigations of animal cruelty involving cows, goats, sheep, and other livestock animals.  This program involves classroom lecture, scenario-based learning, and other hands-on learning applications.  Students attending this course will also be certified in AACIS’ Investigative Body Condition Scoring system for livestock animals.  This course is designed for law enforcement, animal control, cruelty investigators, veterinary professionals, and prosecutors.

Course Topics

This course utilizes lectures from the core training blocks (CTBs) of the American Animal Cruelty Investigations School’s Training Curriculum.  The required lectures are appropriately weighted in their respective CTBs as required for all ACO certifications.

Training Block A: Legal Environment

  • Constitutional law
  • Animal case law review
  • Court preparation and testimony

Training Block B: Animal Knowledge

  • Beef and dairy cows
  • Sheep, goats, and pigs
  • Llamas, alpacas, and chickens

Training Block C: Investigations

  • Animal welfare assessments
  • Legal and recommended standards of care
  • Investigative body condition scoring

Training Block D: Special Investigations

  • Livestock hoarding
  • Auctions
  • Rodeos

Course Prerequisites and Restrictions

There are no prerequisites for this course. This course is restricted to employed animal control officers, law enforcement officers, and animal cruelty investigators.

Completion Standards

Students must attend all lectures, participate in all hands-on activities and scenario-based training, and pass a written exam with a score of 75% or higher.


Students successfully passing this course will receive the following AACIS certifications:

  • Professional Animal Cruelty Investigator: Livestock Investigations
  • Investigative Body Condition Scoring: Beef Cows and Dairy Cows
  • Investigative Body Condition Scoring: Swine
  • Investigative Body Condition Scoring: Goats and Sheep
  • Investigative Body Condition Scoring: Llamas and Alpacas
  • Investigative Body Condition Scoring: Chickens

Training Credits and Limitations

This course counts towards the 160-hour AACIS Animal Cruelty Investigator certification and the 270-hour AACIS National Humane Investigator certification.