Kent Vet Suspended for Dishonest Certification

By Royal College Of Veterinary Surgeons, PRNE
Tuesday, December 14, 2010

LONDON, December 15, 2010 - The Disciplinary Committee of the Royal Committee of Veterinary Surgeons
has suspended from the Register for eight months a Kent veterinary surgeon
found guilty of dishonest certification.

At the outset of the hearing held on 14/15 December, Takeshi Okano, of
Lakeview Veterinary Centre in Deal, Kent, admitted charges that, whilst
acting as Official Veterinarian, he had signed a number of certificates when
he knew that did not have all the information needed to do so.

On 23 June 2009, Mr Okano had been asked to act as Official Veterinarian
to examine four horses and sign the certificates necessary for their export
to the USA. The certificates required Mr Okano to certify he had received a
written declaration from the owners that the animals had been in the UK for
60 days previously. Mr Okano also signed certificates indicating that the
horses had only been in France, Ireland, or the UK for the same 60-day
period. Despite having received no such declarations, and having no
information whatsoever of where the horses had been, Mr Okano signed the
certificates. At the hearing, no explanation for Mr Okano's actions was

"The validity of any certificate is an integral part of the system
relating to the export or import of animals," said Mrs Beverley Cottrell,
Chairman of the Disciplinary Committee. "At Section G of the RCVS Guide to
Professional Conduct, emphasis is given to the importance of certification,
the importance of the signature and the guidance issued by DEFRA. These
provisions are well known to the profession."

The Committee was satisfied that Mr Okano's actions in signing the
certificates without the owners' declarations amounted to a serious departure
from professional standards. In reaching a decision on sanction, it
considered that, whilst a reprimand or warning would not be appropriate,
neither would removing Mr Okano's name from the Register be proportionate, or
necessary either in the public interest or to protect animals.

"Mr Okano is a young veterinary surgeon at the start of his career, who
from the outset admitted his actions," said Mrs Cottrell noting that the
testimonials from veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses and clients, and his
record of Continuing Professional Development demonstrated his commitment to
high standards within the profession. "In reaching this decision, we have
paid particular regard to the fact the false certification was neither
persistent nor concealed, nor was he a senior veterinary surgeon."

The Committee directed Mr Okano's name be suspended from the Register for
eight months.


1. The RCVS is the regulatory body for veterinary surgeons in the UK and
deals with issues of professional misconduct, maintaining the register of
veterinary surgeons eligible to practise in the UK and assuring standards of
veterinary education.

2. RCVS disciplinary powers are exercised through the Preliminary
Investigation and Disciplinary Committees, established in accordance with
Schedule 2 to the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966 (the 1966 Act). The RCVS has
authority to deal with three types of case:

a) Fraudulent registration b) Criminal convictions c) Allegations of
disgraceful professional conduct

3. The Disciplinary Committee is a constituted judicial tribunal under
the 1966 Act and follows rules of evidence similar to those used in a court
of law.

4. The burden of proving an allegation falls upon the RCVS, and the RCVS
must prove to the standard that the Committee is sure.

5. A respondent veterinary surgeon may appeal a Disciplinary Committee
decision to the Privy Council within 28 days of the date of the decision. If
no appeal is received, the Committee's judgment takes effect after this

6. It is a criminal offence contrary to section 19 of the Veterinary
Surgeons Act 1966 to practise as a veterinary surgeon unless registered in
the RCVS Register of Members. Further information, including the original
charges against Dr Jolaosho, and the Committee's findings and decision on
sanction, can be found at

For more information please contact:

Claire Millington, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons,

For more information please contact: Claire Millington, Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons,
+44(0)20-7202-0783, c.millington at

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