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Horse owners told: don’t ask vets to backdate vaccination records

Vets are calling on the public to stop asking vets to backdate vaccination certificates after a practitioner was banned by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) for falsifying information on a horse passport.

Chris House, president of the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA), told H&H: “The pressure on veterinary surgeons in this area is unreasonable.

“We cannot condone backdating of vaccination records. Owners should ensure vaccinations are done on time.”

The call comes after Norwich vet Andrew Illing was struck off for six months by the RCVS on Thursday (16 July) for backdating the passports. of two horses.

Mr Illing, senior vet at Chapelfield Veterinary Partnership, admitted backdating the records to read that the equine flu injections had been given six days before they actually were after a request from the horses’ owners.

His case follows that of Eleri Wyn Jones of The Vet Practice in Dolgellau, who was reprimanded by the RCVS for being “reckless” about the date on which a horse had been vaccinated (news, 2 July).

Her colleague, Iwan Wyn Parry, was suspended for a month in January over a similar allegation.

Nick Skelton’s vet, John Brennand Williams of the Avondale practice, Banbury, was struck off in November 2007 for certifying the show jumper’s horses were fit to travel, although the results of mandatory medical tests had not been returned (news, 19 June 2008).

And Hook Norton vet Dr Alan Walker was also struck off (news, 8 February 2007) for backdating vaccinations on racehorse passports. He appealed and was allowed to return to work.

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (30 July, ’09)

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