LONDON, January 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
The Disciplinary Committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) on Tuesday [17 January 2012] suspended from the Register for ten months a Co. Tyrone veterinary surgeon, having found him guilty of serious professional misconduct relating to three convictions for contravening animal export regulations.
Whilst working as an Authorised Veterinary Inspector in Castlederg for the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), William Manson had falsely certified that he had inspected three consignments of sheep presented for assembly at Plumbridge Export Assembly Centre on 16 and 23 August 2009. At this week's two-day hearing, Mr Manson admitted that the convictions he had received at the Strabane Magistrates Court on 26 November 2010 made him unfit to practise veterinary surgery, but said in mitigation that he had examined the sheep nearby at Landahussy, a site he considered more suitable for a large number of animals.
The Committee was satisfied that Mr Manson believed the Landahussy site to be more suitable for large deliveries; the Committee also was satisfied that he did carry out a visual inspection of the sheep at the Landahussy site on 16 and 23 August 2009. However, the information Mr Manson provided on the three certificates was false and misleading. Mr Manson had also been reminded of the importance of complying with government regulations in a disciplinary case in 2004, following convictions for failing to notify DARD about changes in the number of sheep for which he was claiming a premium. The then Committee dismissed the case, deeming the convictions a result of his "genuine but regrettable oversight."
"Mr Manson's actions in certifying that he had examined the sheep at an approved assembly centre when he had not done so amounted to a serious departure from professional standards," said the Committee Chairman, Prof Peter Lees, speaking on behalf of the Committee. "If there had been a disease outbreak on either the Plumbridge or Landahussy site, such actions would have rendered contact tracings unreliable and inaccurate."
In mitigation, the Committee accepted medical evidence and Mr Manson's testimony that he was at that time under exceptional stress. He was working long hours in difficult circumstances without an assistant, and was under considerable personal pressure as a result of his wife's serious illness. It also took into account his age (66), exceptional testimonials produced on his behalf, and the impact on the community he served.
"The Committee has concluded that the removal of Mr Manson's name from the Register is neither proportionate nor necessary in the public interest nor to protect the welfare of animals," said Prof Lees. "A proportionate sanction in this case is to suspend Mr Manson's name from the Register for a period of ten months."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
- The RCVS is the regulatory body for veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses in the UK and deals with issues of professional misconduct, maintaining the Registers of veterinary surgeons and of veterinary nurses and assuring standards of veterinary education. It also has a 'Royal College' role, which means that it is responsible for postgraduate veterinary and veterinary nursing qualifications.
- RCVS disciplinary powers are exercised through the Preliminary Investigation and Disciplinary Committees, established in accordance with Schedule 2 to the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (the 1966 Act). The RCVS has authority to deal with three types of case:
- Fraudulent registration
- Criminal convictions
- Allegations of disgraceful professional conduct
- The Disciplinary Committee is a constituted judicial tribunal under the 1966 Act and follows rules of evidence similar to those used in a court of law.
- The burden of proving an allegation falls upon the RCVS, and the RCVS must prove to the standard that the Committee is sure.
- A respondent veterinary surgeon may appeal a Disciplinary Committee decision to the Privy Council within 28 days of the date of the decision. If no appeal is received, the Committee's judgment takes effect after this period.
- Further information about the hearing and the charges against Mr Manson, as well as the Committee's findings and decision, can be found at http://www.rcvs.org.uk/disciplinary.
For more information please contact:
Claire Millington, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons +44(0)20-7202-0783 / firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons