have, in the past,been open-minded enough to print correspondence from those who
are not veterinary surgeons. I feel so incensed with the Preliminary
Investigation Committee of the RCVS, that I must again ask if you would air
information that is not available to your ordinary members.
The PIC of the RCVS is a disgrace; they offer a travesty of
investigating complaints from the Public. I know of no
complaint received by them and pertaining to the 2001 FMD epidemic that has been
passed to the Disciplinary Committee, not a single one. It has been mooted in
the past that a two tier system of ethics is allowed to operate within the
profession, I firmly believe that this is entirely consistent with the attitude
of the PIC to members employed by Defra, or, as here in Scotland,
1. If you are employed by Defra you can sign a false
certificate without fear of reprisal.
2. If you are a Defra employee, you can lie and a Nelson's eye
will be turned in your direction.
3. You may exhibit a lack of compassion for animals and a
disregard for the feelings or wishes of their owners, but that is acceptable if
you are a government vet.
The whole structure of the Veterinary profession is being
undermined by this ambivalent attitude. It is not fair to those vets who do
observe the high-minded principles and guidelines so much in evidence on the
RCVS website. How long before a member in private practice who lies, or signs a
false certificate, has recourse to the excuses trotted out by the PIC to
exonerate Defra vets? Only following orders is a reason for
signing a false certificate? Wasn't that the excuse attempted in the Nuremberg
trials of the Nazi war criminals ? Was it not rejected? How about lying ? Is
that now to be condoned, excused or plain ignored by the PIC ? They are placing
themselves in a very precarious position legally I would have thought, although
I am no expert. If a precedent has once been established, it can be used as a
defence in the future, can it not ?
Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to
Frances H. Fish B.D.S.