Leeds vet convicted of animal welfare offences to be struck off

A VET who kept 12 dogs in squalid conditions in a cellar below his practice in Leeds is to be struck off following a disciplinary hearing.

Gary Samuel was convicted in 2016 after animals were found in squalid conditions at Armley Vets.
Gary Samuel was convicted in 2016 after animals were found in squalid conditions at Armley Vets.

The disciplinary committee of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons ruled that Gary James Cassius Samuel was unfit to practise as a vet following his conviction for animal welfare offences at Leeds Magistrates' Court in January 2016.

The magistrates' court heard how in February 2015 police found 12 husky type dogs in a cellar at Armley Veterinary Practice, at a time when when Dr Samuel was practice principal.

The room was described as being dark, with a strong smell of faeces and urine and the the animals had little clean water or food, the court heard.

There were also three cats in the back room which an officer described as being "skin and bone" - one of which had to be euthanised.

Samuel was convicted of five offences contrary to the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

On March 7 2016 he was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months on the condition he completed 150 hours’ unpaid work and paid a fine of £100.

Dr Samuel appealed against his conviction with the appeal being heard in April 2018 .

His appeal was dismissed in respect of five of the charges but was upheld in respect of one charge.

Dr Samuel declined to attend the The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons' disciplinary committee's hearing earlier this month.

Committee chairman Ian Green, said: “The committee was sure that Dr Samuel must have been aware of the animals notwithstanding his continued denial.

"The committee concluded that Dr Samuel was unfit to practise because of the facts underlying the convictions. Dr Samuel had an overriding duty of care for the animals and to take action in relation to their health and welfare because they were living under the roof of his veterinary practice.”

The committee concluded that removal from the register was the most appropriate option.

Ian Green added: “The committee decided that the behaviour found proved was fundamentally incompatible with being a veterinary surgeon because in this case there had been a serious departure from standards as set out in the RCVS Code of Professional Conduct for Veterinary Surgeons…. Furthermore, there had been serious harm caused to a number of animals and a risk of harm to a number of other animals.”Dr Samuel has 28 days from being informed of the disciplinary committee’s decision in which to make an appeal.