The RCVS Disciplinary Committee has refused an application from Leeds-based Gary Cassius Samuel for restoration to the Register on the grounds that his history of causing harm to animals means that he poses a continued risk to animal welfare.

Mr Samuel had been removed from the Register in 2018 for causing unnecessary harm to numerous animals.

After being tried and convicted of several animal welfare offences alongside his former partner at Leeds Magistrates Court, Mr Samuel was sentenced to 12 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for 12-months on the condition that he did 150 hours of unpaid work.

He was also ordered to pay a £100 fine and subjected to a disqualification order under the Animal Welfare Act for three years.

Mr Samuel’s application for restoration was based on the facts that he accepted the seriousness of his actions and that he did not challenge the DC’s 2018 decision.

The Committee also heard evidence that since his removal from the Register, Mr Samuel - who had run a first opinion veterinary practice for nine years prior to being struck off - has undertaken 340 hours of work experience with other veterinary surgeons and 20 hours of CPD. 

Dr Samuel was represented by Counsel who outlined in his submissions to the Committee how Dr Samuel’s former partner had sole responsibility for the animals and that she was involved in rehoming dogs and cats and that their relationship was ‘stressful’, that this made Dr Samuel neglect his professional obligations, and that Dr Samuel was now in a different relationship and his life had been ‘transformed’ since his conviction.

The College opposed Dr Samuel being restored to the Register.

Ms Curtis, Counsel on behalf of the College, submitted to the Committee that Dr Samuel continued to represent a risk to the welfare of animals and that to allow him to be restored to the Register would undermine public confidence in the profession.

She explained that even though his sentence and Animal Welfare Act Disqualification Order had come to an end, and he was now legally able to own animals, this should not be equated with him now being fit to return to the Register.

Dr Austin Kirwan MRCVS, chairing the Committee, and speaking on its behalf, said: “Where a veterinary surgeon has shown himself to be capable of such indifference to the welfare of multiple animals, there remained, in the Committee’s view, a real risk of that indifference manifesting itself again.

"A registered veterinary surgeon is entrusted with the care of animals, often when they are at their most vulnerable, and sometimes for prolonged periods of time.

"Given the nature of the animal welfare offences committed by Dr Samuel, the Committee considered there would be a real and significant risk to animals if the high level of responsibility and trust that comes with registration were returned to him.

“For a veterinary surgeon, conduct involving neglect of animals is at the highest end of the spectrum of serious professional misconduct.

"For the reasons outlined above, the Committee considered Dr Samuel continued to represent a risk to animal welfare and thus allowing him to be restored to the Register would seriously undermine public confidence in the profession.

"For all these reasons the application to restore Dr Samuel to the Register is refused.”

The Committee’s full findings can be viewed at

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