Mid Wales

Cardigan vet Dewi Wyn Lewis suspended over TB tests

A Ceredigion vet has been suspended for five months after regulators found he did not perform bovine TB tests properly and took short cuts.

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) said Dewi Wyn Lewis, of Priory Veterinary, Cardigan, was guilty of serious professional misconduct.

He appeared before its disciplinary committee to deny the charges.

The RCVS said Mr Lewis was experienced and highly thought of, and it did not believe he would do the same again.

He was accused of taking inaccurate skin fold measurements on cattle and false certification relating to two visits he made to a farm in April 2009 to undertake TB testing.

The RCVS said Mr Lewis accepted he had not carried out the TB tests in the way required by Animal Health (AH), an agency of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), and had taken short cuts to save time.

However, he denied the charges, arguing that although instructions to vets clearly required the use of callipers to measure the skin folds of cattle necks on day one of testing, not using callipers and using his finger and thumb did not amount to failing to measure.

The RCVS said Mr Lewis also argued that there was inconsistency in AH's instructions on calliper use on day two cattle testing.

In written form this required using callipers for measuring every animal, but in practice it accepted use of callipers when a TB reaction could be detected by manually palpating the skin. This was accepted by the committee.

Mr Lewis said he had done what AH required, and had used callipers on the cattle he identified for closer examination, said the RCVS.

The RCVS committee said: "In reaching this decision it is relevant that the false certification was not dishonest and that there was professional and personal mitigation put forward on behalf of Mr Lewis.

"The committee has paid regard to the fact that Mr Lewis is an experienced veterinary surgeon who is highly thought of in his local area. It does not believe that there is any likelihood that he will repeat his previous conduct."

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