The RCVS Disciplinary Committee has ended an enquiry against a Cambridgeshire-based veterinary surgeon who had repeatedly breached court orders relating to the control of dogs, after finding that it did not render him unfit to practise.

Amir Kashiv faced a charge of being unfit to practise veterinary surgery after twice being found guilty of letting dogs roam freely on public highways or land not owned or controlled by him in Peterborough Magistrates’ Court, once on 20 April 2016 and once on 16 November 2016, and by having repeatedly breached court orders in relation to the same.

Dr Kashiv admitted the convictions, but denied that individually or in any combination they rendered him unit to practise veterinary surgery. This was therefore left to the judgement of the Committee.

In considering whether the convictions rendered Dr Kashiv unfit for practice, the Committee first considered the facts of the convictions.

Dr Kashiv had long taken in house dogs with physical and behavioural problems, at some stages having as many as 30 on his property. In 2014 neighbours became concerned by dogs escaping and noise nuisances, and on 14 November 2014 Dr Kashiv was served by the Police with a Warning Notice, requiring him to install adequate fencing within 28 days.

Four days later he was then served with an Abatement Notice for a Noise Nuisance about the dogs, and on 10 January 2015 he was then served with a Community Protection Notice requiring him to stop his dogs roaming and ensure adequate fencing.

After multiple subsequent escapes Dr Kashiv pleaded guilty of being in breach of the Community Protection Order at the Magistrates’ Court on 20 April 2016, receiving penalties amounting to £5,000 and costs of £6,000, as well as a two year Criminal Behaviour Order requiring him to reduce the number of dogs to no more than five with 28 days, and requiring his dogs to be supervised at all times while they were outside the house. 

Two months later one of the dogs was seen outside the property, resulting in another conviction for breach of the Criminal Behaviour Order on 16 November 2016, and Dr Kashiv was fined £250 as well as £250 in costs.

The Committee then considered whether this resulted in Dr Kashiv being unfit to practise veterinary surgery. It considered it a serious matter that a veterinary surgeon should allow himself to be made subject to a Warning Notice, and that, being subject to such a Notice, he should then be found in repeated breach of the Notice and invite prosecution. While the Committee accepts that it is difficult to fence his entire grounds, ten acres in total, the Committee took it as a mark against Dr Kashiv that he failed to address the concerns of the authorities by reducing the number of dogs he housed until he was compelled to do so.

Jane Downes, who was chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: "The Committee regards this as a case close to borderline. These offences, involving the mismanagement by a veterinary surgeon of his animals and repeated offences demonstrate that Dr Kashiv had a less than adequate insight in 2014 and 2015 into the seriousness of the situation or into the understandable concerns of his neighbours and of the authorities. They are capable of bringing the profession into disrepute so as to undermine public confidence in it.

"But, in the end, The Committee has concluded that Dr Kashiv is not unfit by reason of these convictions to practise as a veterinary surgeon. 

"It is apparent from the material before the Committee that Dr Kashiv is a dedicated veterinary surgeon whose life’s work has been devoted to the welfare of small animals and who has gone to extraordinary lengths, at his own expense, to do all that he possibly could to alleviate the suffering of, and rehabilitate, unloved and abandoned and unwell dogs.

"In all the circumstances and in the light of all the evidence the Committee finds that the convictions, whether taken individually or in any combination, do not render Dr Kashiv unfit to practice veterinary surgery."

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