GNR.770 of 24 August 2007:  Rules relating to the practising of the para-veterinary profession of animal health technician
(Government Gazette No. 30184)

As amended by


Government Gazette


R 867


12 June 2009







Services pertaining to the profession of animal health technician


Procedures performed on animals


Execution of services


Emergency treatment


Course of conduct for animal health technicians.

1.   Definitions.—Any word or expression in this Schedule to which a meaning has been assigned in the Act shall have that meaning, and
“Act” means the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions Act, 1982 (Act No. 19 of 1982), and the regulations made thereunder;
“Primary animal health care” means general care, disease prevention, parasite control, husbandry, housing and feeding of animals.
2.   Services pertaining to the profession of animal health technician.—For the purposes of the Act the following services shall be deemed to be services which pertain to the para-veterinary profession of animal health technician:
2.1         Surveillance and inspection of all livestock, poultry and game, and where relevant the reporting of all diseases listed by the Office International des Epizootics (OIE) guidelines in disease control areas, at livestock auctions, sales and during routine farm visits and inspections;
2.2         Implementation of vaccination programmes in livestock, in order to prevent, and/or control animal diseases and to strive towards establishing a disease free animal population and to administer these vaccines;
2.3         Implementation of parasite control programmes in livestock, in order to prevent, and/or control animal parasites and to strive towards establishing a parasite free animal population;
2.4         To carry out abattoir inspections and report in writing to the Veterinary Public Health Directorate/s of the National and Provincial Departments of Agriculture in respect of essential national standards;
2.5         To carry out meat inspections and other duties under the relevant abattoir legislation, if authorised thereto by the Provincial executive officer;
2.6         Perform delegated duties pertaining to regulated animal diseases, listed under the relevant animal disease control legislation, including the various eradication schemes, including but not limited to the—
2.6.1      Brucellosis eradication scheme;
2.6.2      Taking of samples for the diagnosis by a veterinarian of Brucellosis in animals and the testing of animals for tuberculosis by means of a intradermal tuberculin test provided that the animal health technician passed a course approved by the Department of Agriculture;
2.7         Extension services (including training and education) to farmers, community members and their children, to protect and promote the health and well being of animals;
2.8         The collection, capturing and evaluation of data and the compiling of reports whilst assisting with epidemiological and research projects;
2.9         The collection of specimens to assist in the investigation of reproductive and fertility problems in livestock;
2.10       The collection of samples, including blood smears, brain smears, impression smears, skin scrapings, wool scrapings, faecal samples but excluding the collection of samples by biopsy;
2.11       The examination and analysis of samples including blood smears, skin and wool scrapings, urine analysis and faecal samples and elementary clinical chemistry;
2.12       Carry out basic post mortem examinations and the collection and submission of samples for microbiological, toxicological, histopathological and serological investigation.
2.13       Artificial insemination provided that the animal health technician is registered as an inseminator with the Registrar Animal Improvement in terms of the Animal Improvement Act, 1998 (Act No. 62 of 1998);
2.14       Render primary animal health care to resource poor communities;
2.15       Perform other duties authorised in terms of any other legislation.
2.16       An animal health technician may assist a veterinary professional when the veterinary professional is performing surgery outside the theatre environment or under field conditions.
3.   Procedures performed on animals.
3.1         An animal health technician may carry out the following procedures on animals without veterinary supervision:
3.1.1      Open castrations of:   cattle under 3 (three) months;   sheep and goats under 2 (two) months; and   pigs up to 7 (seven) days;
3.1.2      Dehorning of immature animals under 4 (four) months;
3.1.3      Tail docking of:   pigs up to 7 (seven) days   sheep by using the open method under 2 (two) months and the elastrator method under 6 (six) weeks;
3.1.4      Feet trimming;
3.1.5      Branding
3.2         An animal health technician may carry out procedures on animals on instruction and supervision of a person registered to practise a veterinary profession, including but not limited to:
3.2.1      the lancing of abscesses;
3.2.2      the treatment of septic wounds;
3.2.3      the administration of injections and medicines

4.   Execution of services.
4.1         Notwithstanding the provisions of rules 2 and 3.2 an animal health technician shall perform the services referred to in rule 2 only during the course of employment:
4.1.1      with the state; or
4.1.2      on behalf of a person;   registered to practise a veterinary profession; or   employing a person registered to practise a veterinary profession; or
4.1.3      during the course of employment by a person;   registered to practise a veterinary profession; or   employing a person registered to practise a veterinary profession
4.2         Rules 2 and 3.2 shall not be construed in a manner so as to prohibit any other person registered to practise a veterinary or para-veterinary profession from performing procedures that pertain to their profession.
5.   Emergency treatment.—In a case of emergency an animal health technician may also render other services which fall within the scope of training and experience of an animal health technician and which are essential to save lives or relieve suffering in animals, on condition that a report thereon is made to the person referred to in rule 4 as soon as possible and the further treatment of such animal is entrusted to that person or another person registered to practise a veterinary profession.
6.   Course of conduct for animal health technicians.
6.1         A person who practices the para-veterinary profession of Animal Health Technician shall base his or her personal and professional conduct thereon that—
(a)          he or she is a member of a learned and honourable profession and is required to act at all times in a manner that shall maintain and promote the prestige, honour, dignity and interest of the profession and of the persons by whom it is practised;
(b)          he or she is morally obliged to serve the public to the best of his or her ability by maintaining, at all times, the highest standard of animal health care and professional conduct;
(c)          he or she is to work in co-operation with colleagues and members of other professions in a responsible and professional manner;
(d)          he or she will not permit himself of herself to be exploited in a manner, which may be detrimental to an animal, the public or the profession.
6.2         An animal health technician shall—
(a)          execute tasks discerningly and faithfully and shall refuse to take part in any unethical behaviour or procedure;
(b)          keep himself or herself informed of all the laws which affect him or her in the practising of his or her profession;
(c)          be familiar with the ethical rules applicable to animal health technicians and shall promote these rules at all times;
(d)          regard any information acquired during the course of his or her employment as confidential and shall refrain from divulging such information to any person except his or her employer;
(e)          refrain from expressing any criticism in public through which the reputation, status or practise of a colleague in the profession is or could be undermined or injured, or through which a reflection is or could be cast on the professionalism skill, methods of conduct of such colleague; and
( f )         at all times, keep detailed and accurate records of all information and procedures performed by him or her for at least three years.
6.3         All persons practising as Animal Health Technicians are working for the same good cause and they shall therefore co-operate with each other and the authorities concerned to promote that cause.
6.4         The methods employed by a person practising as an Animal Health Technician shall comply with the applicable minimum Good Laboratory Practice Code (GLP’s) and other standards as determined from time to time.

Links to African Council websites

Veterinary Statutory Bodies in Africa

Veterinary Council of Namibia

Veterinary Council of Zimbabwe (department of livestock and veterinary services)

Kenya Veterinary Board

Veterinary Council of Tanzania

Botswana Veterinary Association

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