British farrier struck off over cockfighting involvement

Spikes fixed at cock's feet at a cockfight in Otavalo, Ecuador.
Spikes fixed at cock’s feet at a cockfight in Otavalo, Ecuador. © Superbass

A British farrier convicted over his involvement in cockfighting has been struck off by the disciplinary committee of the country’s Farriers Registration Council.

Raymond Glyn Weedall, of Winsford, Cheshire, was found guilty at a December hearing of the disciplinary committee of the council of serious professional misconduct.

The finding was made on the grounds that Weedall had been convicted in May 2012 of various offences under the Wildlife and Countryside act 1981, the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and the Fire Arms Act 1968 following his prosecution by the British RSPCA.

These convictions included keeping cockerels for use in connection with animal fighting for which, among other things, Weedall had received a lifetime ban from owning or keeping animals.

On considering the case, the committee found that all offences involved cruelty and some showed a level of cruelty at the extremes.

The committee found that involvement with and keeping birds for cockfighting inevitably involved public abhorrence and amounted to serious misconduct in a professional respect for a farrier.

“Animal welfare is at the heart of the Farriers (Registration) Act and the husbandry issues referred to earlier along with the cruelty and the repugnance of the public for cockfighting make it inevitable that the charges, when viewed as a whole, amount to serious misconduct in a professional respect,” the committee’s chairman, Commodore Richard Bridges, said.

The committee also found a charge relating to the possession of unlicensed shotguns and ammunition amounted to serious misconduct in a professional respect.

On the direction of the committee, in the absence of an appeal, Weedall’s name was removed from the register of farriers on January 13.

This means Weedall can no longer legally carry out farriery or describe himself as a farrier, or any term which suggests he is one. For him to do so would be a criminal offence under the Act.

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