A Kelso woman who specialises in breeding rare sheep and cattle is vowing to continue her campaign


by David Knox

A Kelso woman who specialises in breeding rare sheep and cattle is vowing to continue her campaign against two veterinary surgeons who signed the death warrant for 300 of her animals during the foot-and-mouth outbreak last year. And if her complaints are upheld by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, both vets could be struck off.

Dr Francis Fish has been campaigning for almost a year to receive answers from both the government and the RCVS.

Dr Fish, who rears her livestock at Eckford, told The Southern: "It would seem like there had been a cover-up with the entire situation.''

She claimed the officials who killed her animals ignored government procedures.

"They neither tested the animals, or even looked at them, yet they signed the forms which stated they had foot and mouth. "None of my animals had foot and mouth.

"I have the paperwork that proves they did not follow proper procedures," she alleged. Dr Fish and her husband, John, were served with two Form As, which gave intent of slaughter, for the two fields where their sheep were kept. Within hours their rare breeds were dead.

If the vets are found guilty of serious professional misconduct, the RCVS can impose the ultimate sanction by striking them off. Their cases, along with other vets, will be heard before a private meeting in London today (Thursday).

Since her sheep were slaughtered last April, Dr Fish has written to everyone she can think of in a bid to get justice.
"For weeks after it happened I couldn't sleep or think straight. I was traumatised by the whole thing," she said.

Although the RCVS confirmed that a private meeting will be held today, they refused to comment on individual cases.

Geoff Gill, from the RCVS, said: "The meeting will be dealing with general issues as well as a review of procedures during the foot-and-mouth outbreak. If there was to be an investigation, it would be confidential. All enquiries are held in private."