RCVS warns profession against employing ‘fake vet fraudster’

The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) is warning the veterinary profession not to employ a man called Peter Keniry who has “repeatedly and fraudulently practiced as a veterinary surgeon in the UK”.

Keniry recently served over one year’s imprisonment, following a three-year prison term handed down at Taunton Crown Court in October 2017. He was convicted for fraud by misrepresentation as he used a legitimate registered veterinary surgeon’s details.

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The RCVS played a proactive role in his arrest and trial after its chief investigator, Michael Hepper, was alerted to the fact that he was working at a veterinary practice in Somerset.

Hepper said: “Mr Keniry was known to the RCVS as we have assisted in previous police investigations into him for similar offences. Mr Keniry has impersonated legitimate members of the veterinary profession using fraudulent documentation and this is why we have published photographs of him to raise awareness with veterinary practices and to try and stop him being employed in the future.”

Keniry has since been released from prison and, given his history of repeat offending, the RCVS has urged the profession to be aware of his identity and be attentive when hiring new veterinary surgeons.

RCVS, registrar Eleanor Ferguson, added: “Whilst we acknowledge that convincing fraudsters like Mr Keniry can be very difficult to prevent, we would urge veterinary practices to be vigilant. For example, it is recommended that potential employers contact the RCVS Registration Department to make checks, always interview a potential employee face-to-face, ask to see supporting identity documents, prepare questions which confirm where and when they studied, and obtain references. If they are employed, it is wise to mentor the new member of staff to oversee their performance.”

“For members of the public we recommend that, if they have concerns about the legitimacy of either a veterinary surgeon or veterinary nurse, they talk to someone else in the practice about their concerns or contact us so that we can make further enquiries. Members of the public can also check on the status of veterinary professionals using our Find a Vet search tool.”

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