The RCVS Disciplinary Committee has refused an application by Warwick Seymour-Hamilton to be restored to the Register of Veterinary Surgeons.

Mr Seymour-Hamilton was originally removed from the Register in June 1994 for failing to maintain his practice’s equipment and facilities in working order and for a total disregard of basic hygiene and care for animals, thereby bringing the profession into disrepute.

The restoration hearing on 20th May was Mr Seymour-Hamilton’s seventh application for restoration. Previous applications had been heard but refused in July 1995, June 2010, February 2015, March 2016, May 2017 and April 2018. However, as the Committee makes its decision on the merits of the case before it, those previous applications were not considered as relevant to its current decision.

The Committee heard oral evidence from Mr Seymour-Hamilton and were shown clear bottles with liquid, a container with tablets and petri dishes with grown cultures as detailed documentary evidence. In respect of any concerns regarding keeping his veterinary practice up-to-date, Mr Seymour-Hamilton said that “you never lose that skill” and explained that he kept up-to-date through extensive reading and conversations with veterinary surgeons in Europe. 

However, the Committee had significant concerns as to his fitness to practise safely as a veterinary surgeon for a number of reasons, including that nearly 25 years had passed since he was last in practice and that there was little, if any, evidence of him keeping up-to-date with the knowledge and skills required to practise as a veterinary surgeon.

Ian Green, chairing the Committee and speaking on its behalf, said: "The applicant worryingly did not accept that he was in any way deskilled by the passage of time. The evidence that the applicant has provided showed limited interaction with other veterinary surgeons and there is no documented evidence of the discussions or structure of the meetings he had with veterinary surgeons in Europe.

"There is no evidence of a prolonged and intense period of re-training by way of relevant study to demonstrate that a sufficient level of competence to return to practise has been achieved. In the absence of such evidence the Committee was of the view that there would be a serious risk to the welfare of animals if the applicant was restored to the Register.

"Further, it was a grave concern to this Committee that the applicant demonstrated worrying attitudinal issues towards individuals of a different religion and his attitude to employing a minor when he knew it to be against the law. Such attitudes are incompatible with professional standards the public would expect of a veterinary surgeon."

Finally, with no evidence of public support for the applicant, the Committee concluded that the application for restoration should be refused.

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