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Vets protest against Alan Walker’s punishment

Vets have rallied to the cause of a fellow professional who was struck off for backdating vaccination entries on three passports.

More than 300 vets have signed a letter protesting at the punishment given to Alan Walker by the disciplinary panel of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) early last month (news, 8 February).

In the letter, which was hand delivered to the assistant registrar of the RCVS on 1 March, the signatories ask that Dr Walker be tried before a new disciplinary committee. This has since been rejected by the RCVS and Dr Walker will now be taking his case to the government’s Privy Council.

Dr Walker, 60, told H&H he had been overwhelmed by the response of the veterinary profession.

“I didn’t expect any of this,” he said. “I’m humbled by the incredible reaction.”

Since he is appealing against the disciplinary panel’s decision, Dr Walker is allowed to carry on with his veterinary work. A date for his Privy Council hearing is yet to be set.

“I’m grateful that I can carry on in practice. I’m a pretty robust person, but it has been tough,” he said.

The letter was the brainchild of Richard Stephenson, a Shropshire-based vet.

“I’m just an ordinary practitioner and I’ve never got involved with veterinary politics before,” said Mr Stephenson, “but that doesn’t stop me thinking that Alan was dealt with very harshly. I’ve only met him twice, but it was his first offence in a 26-year career and I felt I had to do something.

“None of us condones the offence — we are complaining about the lack of proportionality.”

Read this news report in full in the current issue of Horse & Hound (22 March, ’07)

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