The Irish TV presenter and veterinary surgeon – whose clients have included Meghan Markle and Russell Brand – faced the accusation after fitting three bionic limbs to a tortoise named Hermes, to replace those that had been chewed off by rats as it was hibernating.
However, Hermes died around two months later, at the end of 2018, which Fitzpatrick said was from a suspected gastroenteric issue.
The tortoise’s death prompted a number of vets to complain to the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. Fitzpatrick was eventually cleared of any malpractice.
“I was suicidal,” he told Lauren Laverne on Desert Island Discs. “That’s the nuts and bolts of it.”
He said he had “no acrimony” against the vets who complained about him because “they are trying to do the right thing”.
‘But in this case they felt I didn’t look after the ethical welfare of Hermes enough and they wouldn’t have done it. They would not have offered this option to Hermes,” he said.
Fitzpatrick said he had been supported during that time by his girlfriend and their own pets.
Among Fitzpatrick’s song choices on Desert Island Discs were “One” by U2, “Love of My Life” by Queen, “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin and “Do Anything You Want To” by Thin Lizzy.
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