Frequently Asked Questions

This page was updated on 23 November 2006


Independent Vetshops are NOT regulated by Council.  Vetshops are trademarked under auspices of the South African Veterinary Association.

Vetshops that are part of Veterinary Clinical Facilities fall under the same rules that govern the Veterinary Profession

"Guidelines for Independent Vetshops"  Newsletter 23, December 1998 

The South African Veterinary Association (SAVA) and Council agreed to the SAVA guidelines for independent veterinary shops.

Guidelines for advertising services and products available from these shops will be communicated to the profession in due course.

The owner of the shop must be a veterinarian;

The staff employed within the shop must be adequately and appropriately trained and qualified to offer a service to the public becoming of a veterinary establishment;

Veterinary and Para-Veterinary supervision of such shops is essential.

Please note that it is illegal to sell any drugs registered in terms of Act 101/65 through such an outlet i.e. schedule 1 through schedule 7 because then the shop is trading as a pharmacy (this includes vaccines);

All "ethical" products labeled "for use by or under the control of a veterinarian" in terms of Act 36/47 should not be sold on the premises unless a veterinarian is present at all times; and

All other "over the counter" products registered under Act 36/37 can be sold freely and without restrictions.


Members of the profession kindly note that:-
It is accepted (as of 17 November 2003) that the SAVA has now included these so-called "Integrated Vetshops" in its definition of independent Vetshops and that the rules of Council do not place any limitation on sharing a waiting room with a Vetshop provided that this separate business is wholly owned by a registered veterinarian or para-veterinarian;
Advertisements of these integrated Vetshops should comply with the requirements of Rule 15, which currently allow the advertisement of prices of products, merchandise and foodstuffs sold but which prohibits incentives as the subject of advertisements;
If the rules on advertising need to be amended then the profession should make proposals for such amendments; and
Vetshops that are integrated with registered veterinary facilities will also be subjected to inspection.

Routine Surgery

"Routine surgery is not complicated abdominal, orthopedic or cardio-vascular surgery"

Animal Transport Vehicle

A private practitioner requires clarity on the wording that may be displayed on a vehicle used for collection of companion animals and delivery.

The practitioner was informed that:

-only the words " Animal Transport Vehicle", the approved name and logo of the registered facility and the telephone number may appear on the vehicle. The word "Animal" may not be replaced with the word "Pet" in the wording" Animal Transport Vehicle" ;

-an advertisement may appear on the vehicle as all mediums may be used for advertisements provided that the advertisement complies with Rules 15 (1) and 15 (3).  (Wording such as pet grooming, delivery of pet food, collection and delivery of pets may appear in the advertisement) 

The practitioner was advised to contact the administration if he required further information.

Abandoned Animals

An animal is left at the practice and requires an operation, however the owner after 3 days and numerous attempts cannot be contacted to obtain permission to proceed with the operation.  ( The cellular number is not the number of the owner, the landline number does not work etc.)

1.Assess the animal's condition upon re-examination, stabilise the animal's condition;

2.Send a registered letter to the owner to the address supplied by the owner and inform the owner that the animal will be referred to the local Animal Welfare Organisation; and

3.Refer the animal to the local Animal Welfare Organisation with the instruction that the animal's condition must be assessed and that if euthanasia is indicated a period of grace should be applied as the owner was informed by registered post that the animal was referred to the local Animal Welfare Organisation.  This will give the owner an opportunity to contact the Animal Welfare Organisation.

Note: Keep record of your communication with the owner, including correspondence returned by the post office marked "unclaimed".

Also refer to Council's policy under "Policies" on home page relating to retention of animals.

An extract is quoted for convenience
1." Abandonment

An animal can only be regarded abandoned if the owner/client is not contactable or if a written notice to collect the animal is ignored.

1.The notice should state that unless the animal is collected within a specified period of time the animal will be handed over to a recognised animal welfare organisation.

2.The notice should be issued in such a way that it is reasonably certain that the owner will receive it e.g., by fax, registered mail or telegram.

Record should be kept of where the animal is relocated.

(Published -August 2000)"