26 June 2000
Irish vet struck off after cattle fraud

By FWi staff

AN Irish vet jailed in January for selling Irish cattle export certificates so that UK cattle could be passed off as Irish has been struck off the veterinary register.

Patrick Fox supplied blank certificates to a cattle dealer in early 1996 while working for the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development.

He was released from prison on 1 June, 2000 after being sentenced in January to 12 months imprisonment with six months suspended by a Dublin court.

On his release, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons disciplinary committee decided that Mr Fox should be struck off its register.

It found him guilty of selling the export certificates allowing UK cattle to be sold as Irish and fraudulently converting a cheque for his own use.

Committee chairman Dr Jerry Lucke said Mr Foxs actions jeopardised public health, animal health and welfare, and the European Union trade in cattle.

Dr Lucke said the disciplinary committee was appalled by the consequences that could have flowed from Mr Foxs actions.

“These offences were committed at the time when the BSE scare made the traceability of cattle essential to maintain public confidence,” he added.

Dr Lucke said that Mr Fox had no realistic prospect of having his name restored to the register “for a very long time”.