A MOBILE vet, operating from Prestwich, has been struck off the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons' register after illegally importing puppies to the UK.

Viktor Molnar, aged 58, from Hungary was found unfit to practice veterinary surgery in his absence by a disciplinary committee on August 2, after pleading guilty to bringing in five miniature 'teacup' dachshund puppies, by-passing rabies laws and running an illegal pet shop from his home in Belroy Court.

The Committee said that Molnar had put "material interests over those of

the profession and the public" and that his actions had posed "a real risk" to the puppies.

Due to the seriousness of the offences committed by Molnar, the Committee concluded that the case could "only be properly dealt with" by removing his name from the register.

However the Committee did take into account that Molnar had "no previous convictions, or adverse professional findings against him".

A report by the RCVS disciplinary committee said: "The Committee finds that the Respondent’s conduct fell far short of that expected of a

member of the profession.

"This was not a one-off isolated incident but related to five individual puppies.

"The conduct was linked directly to the Respondent’s veterinary practice

and involved a substantial risk to animal welfare and human public health.

"The Committee finds that such conduct has the potential to bring the profession into disrepute and undermine public confidence in the veterinary profession as a whole."

Starting in 2015, Molnar offered puppies for sale on various websites in the UK, operating under the name Viktor Vet Mobile Veterinary Services.

However, after selling a dachshund to retired teacher Mary McFarlane, which later became ill, an investigation was launched by Bury Licensing Service.

The investigation revealed that the puppies were much younger than the ages indicated on their passports and vaccination cards, and therefore too young to be legally imported to the UK.

The puppies were also found not to have undergone rabies or tapeworm treatment and were consequently placed in quarantine.

Earlier this year, Molnar, now living in Kent, was sentenced to a 270-hour Community Order and disqualified from operating a pet shop or boarding establishment for 10 years, at Manchester Magistrates Court.

He was also ordered to pay £2,686.93 to Ms McFarlane to cover purchase and quarantine costs, and to pay £2,500 towards prosecution costs.

Commenting on the RCVS's decision, Angela Lomax, head of trading standards and licensing at Bury Council, said: “We are pleased that the convictions led to the outcome of the Disciplinary Committee.

"This sanction was to protect the welfare of animals and the public, but the actions taken should send out a clear message to others who wish to make financial gain from the importation of animals.”

Councillor Judith Kelly, cabinet member for corporate affairs and regulatory services, added: “Just as the judgment of the Magistrates Court had found, the Committee also considered Molnar unfit to practise because of the aggravating features of this case.

"Molnar put the local community as well as purchasers nationwide at serious risk of the spread of rabies by illegally importing the dogs.

"Unsuspecting buyers also had the heartache of receiving and caring for a very sick dog, as well as unplanned quarantine and vet’s costs.”