Vet accused of inventing expert to greenlight heavy horse rider study

A leading vet has been accused of inventing an expert in order to greenlight a study into heavy horse riders.

Sue Dyson will appear before a disciplinary panel at the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons after allegedly forging a letter supposedly from a Government official.

As lead author she submitted a research paper – ‘Influence of rider:horse body weight ratios on equine welfare and performance – a pilot study’ – in November 2018.

Equine lameness expert Dr Dyson, 64, allegedly wrote a letter from a Dr J C Butler insisting that there was no need for the usual Home Office licence on the project. There is no surgeon with that name on the Royal College register.

She now faces accusations of “undermining a government system designed to promote animal welfare and research ethics”. The investigation could see her struck off if the claims are proven.

The study concluded larger horse riders cause temporary lameness and muscular and skeletal pain in the animals.

Dr Dyson held a senior position at the Animal Health Trust’s Centre for Equine Studies until May 2019 and is also a member of the International Equine Veterinarian Hall of Fame.

A representative for Dr Dyson said she cannot comment whilst the investigation continues.

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