Vet suspended after failing to reveal US conviction
A veterinary surgeon has been suspended from the Register for 18 months after being convicted of giving false statements about imported flea and tick medicines in the US and subsequently not declaring it when applying to register with the RCVS and in subsequent annual renewals.
Dr Craig Mostert admitted to his conviction but denied that it rendered him unfit to practise as a veterinary surgeon.
He also admitted to not disclosing his conviction to the RCVS but denied that it amounted to dishonesty or was misleading and that failing to do so amounted to disgraceful conduct in a professional respect.
The Committee noted that the conviction involved dishonesty in that the offence related to the making of false statements in relation to the value of the goods which were being despatched to the USA and that the products imported were not labelled as coming from a foreign market and were not labelled as needing to be administered by a vet.
It also considered Dr Mostert’s failure to declare the conviction to the College on three separate occasions, stating that it was inconceivable that an experienced veterinary surgeon, making a declaration of this kind to his regulator, would not have understood that a serious conviction in the USA was a conviction that he was obliged to disclose.
Committee chair Judith Way said that Dr Mostert had had a long and otherwise unblemished career and the case did not involve any actual harm to an animal or human.
However, a key aggravating factor was that the action that led to the conviction resulted in financial gain through the creation of a business enterprise and that Dr Mostert falsely declared the value of goods.
She said: “After careful consideration the Committee has concluded that in all the circumstances, a lengthy period of suspension would properly reflect the gravity of the case and satisfy the public interest. The Committee has decided that the appropriate length of suspension is one of 18 months.”