A Body Farm First
Why Canada is opening its first human decomposition facility in 2020
Luke Turner | | Quick Read
They already exist in the Netherlands, Australia, and the US – but the human decomposition facility set to open in Becancour, Quebec, later in 2020 will be Canada’s first. Popularly known as “body farms,” these research sites play a crucial role in our understanding of the decomposition process in different environments (1). From shallow graves to empty vehicles, human bodies donated to the institution will be studied over days, weeks, and months to monitor a variety of factors associated with decay.
“Most facilities are located in very warm climates but, in Canada, we’re particularly interested in understanding what happens when a body is in sub-zero temperatures,” said Shari Forbes, Director of the Secure Site for Research in Thanatology, in a recent TV interview (2). Forbes aims to work closely with police and forensic services to improve the way that bodies are recovered, identified, and analyzed to estimate time since death.