Eric Weisman pleads guilty to three misdemeanor charges in bizarre veterinary medicine case

Eric Weisman, an ex-chiropractor and purveyor of vegan pet food, pleaded guilty recently to three misdemeanor charges relating to his failure to obey a 2003 injunction barring him from the practice of veterinary medicine. Weisman received a year in jail and $1,000 fine for each charge, but will avoid serving time should he obey the conditions of his probation.

So brings to a close a bizarre case that we documented last summer, in which Weisman -- who dispensed nutritional info for both humans and animals through a cable access show among other means -- was originally charged with 58 counts that included practicing medicine and veterinary medicine without a license.

Weisman was formally trained as a chiropractor, but lost his license after years of complaints to the Minnesota Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Nevertheless, he achieved a measure of success from his self-formulated vegan pet food, Evolution Diet, and through his cable access show, "Health Now!", despite having no formal training in animal nutrition. He got into trouble for claims he made about his pet food's ability to prolong an animal's life, and for having no published research to back up those and other claims. That led to an injunction from the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine, barring him from practicing medicine on animals.

The charges leveled against him in June by Little Canada city attorney Trevor Oliver stemmed from a cat that Weisman brought in for a necropsy to the University of Minnesota. A veterinarian who took the cat filed a report saying that it was in such terrible shape, Weisman could be guilty of animal cruelty. That complaint led to a raid on Weisman's home, where 29 files were seized seeming to show that Weisman was diagnosing disease and giving nutritional recommendations to both animals and humans.

Oliver ultimately agreed to drop 55 of the counts, according to the Pioneer Press, in part because, while Weisman did agree he violated the terms of his injunction, any advice he gave out was prefaced by a disclaimer that he is not a doctor. Weisman told the paper this deal proves all his charges were false.

Read the whole, strange background story in our cover story here.

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