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RCVS Disciplinary Committee
Vet suspended from Register for failing to follow TB test procedures

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CARDIGANSHIRE veterinary surgeon Dewi Wynn Lewis was found guilty of serious professional misconduct by the RCVS Disciplinary Committee on July 19 over his failure to follow required procedures for TB testing in cattle and for falsely certifying test results. The committee ordered his name to be suspended from the RCVS Register for five months.

Mr Lewis faced a charge of failing to measure accurately, or at all, the skin folds on some or all the cattle in a herd in Moylegrove near Cardigan, resulting in inaccurate certification of their disease status.

Nicole Curtis, counsel for the Royal College, said that Mr Lewis, of Priory Veterinary, Pwlihai, had attended the herd belonging to a client, Helen Winsor, in his capacity as an Official Veterinarian (OV) on April 6 and 9, 2009. He was carrying out intradermal comparative tuberculin tests on a 104-head beef herd in which one animal had earlier provided two inconclusive skin tests before reacting positively in a gamma interferon test. This animal had been slaughtered, but the results of subsequent tests on it were not available at the time Mr Lewis performed the whole herd test.

Mrs Curtis explained that, in the advice from Animal Health to its OV staff, the veterinarian is required to measure a skin fold on the animal's neck using callipers before administering injections of avian and bovine tuberculin. On returning for the second visit around 72 hours later, the practitioner is again required to use callipers in measuring the skin reactions at the two injection sites and properly record those measurements with the rest of the animal's details.

When carrying out the tests, Mr Lewis was assisted by Ms Winsor, her sister and a part-time stockman, all of whom gave evidence to the Disciplinary Committee. Ms Winsor told the committee how Mr Lewis …

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