ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS
1. Short title
Veterinary Surgeons Council
3. Establishment of Council
4. Functions of Council
5. Meetings of Council
Registration of Veterinary Surgeons
7. Prohibition of unregistered persons from practising as veterinary surgeons
9. Application for registration
10. Examination to qualify to practise as veterinary surgeon
11. Qualifications for registration
12. Registration as veterinary surgeon
13. Register of veterinary surgeons
14. Declaration made by registered veterinary surgeons
15. Additional qualifications
16. Notification of change of name and address
17. Certificate signed by Registrar admissible
18. Striking off and removal of veterinary surgeon from the Register
19. Restoring name of veterinary surgeon to Register
Effect of Registration
20. Use of title and description of veterinary surgeon
21. Drugs to be purchased, kept, used, prescribed or supplied
22. Validity of certificate issued by veterinary surgeon
Code of Ethics
23. Council to issue Code of ethics
24. Required standards of practice
26. Certification and attestation
27. Premises, supplies etc. to be properly maintained
28. Canvassing or touting prohibited
Provisions Relating to Discipline
29. Inquiry into misconduct
30. Allegations to be supported
31. Appearance before Council to address allegations
32. Council may hear witnesses and receive documentary evidence
33. Registrar may summon witnesses
34. Penalty for failure to obey summons or to give evidence
35. Parties to hearing entitled to legal representation
36. Order made after inquiry
37. Service of Order upon veterinary surgeon
38. Appeal to the High Court
39. Private practice
40. Application for licence to establish private practice
41. Validity of licence
42. Renewal of licence
43. Licence not exemption from obtaining other licences
44. Revocation of licence
45. Appeals against refusal to grant licence to establish private practice
46. Indemnity of council and its members
47. Offences and penalties
49. Transitional provisions
Act 35, 1971,
S.I. 30, 1973,
Act 41, 1973,
Act 22, 1978,
Act 4, 1979,
Act 7, 1980,
Act 18, 2006,
Act 24, 2008,
S.I. 15, 2011.
An Act to make provision for the regulation of veterinary surgeons; for the establishment of the Veterinary Surgeons Council and for matters incidental thereto and connected therewith.
[Date of Commencement: 11th March, 2011]
Preliminary (ss 1-2)
This Act may be cited as the Veterinary Surgeons Act.
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-
(a) any kind of mammal, except man; and
(b) any bird, fish, reptile or insect;
"Association" means the Botswana Veterinary Association registered under the Societies Act;
"Chairperson" means the Chairperson of the Council, appointed under section 3 (1) (a) of the Act;
"Committee" means a committee of the Council, established under section 6(1);
"Council" means the Veterinary Surgeons Council established under section 3 (1);
"Director" means the Director of Veterinary Services;
"game" means any animal specified in the Sixth and Seventh Schedules to the Wildlife Conservation and National Parks Act;
"licence" means a licence issued under section 39 to establish a private practice;
"member" means a member of the Council, appointed under section 3(1);
"para-professional" means a person, other than a veterinary surgeon, authorised by the Council to carry out designated duties relating to veterinary medicine under the supervision of a veterinary surgeon;
"private practice" means the rendering of veterinary services by a veterinary surgeon for hire, gain, fee, compensation, reward received or promised or offered directly or indirectly;
"Register" means the register of veterinary surgeons kept under section 13;
"Registrar" means the Registrar of Veterinary Surgeons appointed under section 8;
"repealed Act" means the Veterinary Surgeons Act;
"veterinary biologicals" means-
(a) any live, live attenuated or inactivated vaccines, and sera and antisera used in animals for prophylactic immunisation of animals against animal diseases;
(b) any live intestinal microflora used for probiotic purposes;
(c) any interdermal tuberculin for diagnostic tests;
(d) any enzymes for the treatment of diarrhoeas, improvement of starch, fibre digestion and restoration of gut microflora of all species; or
(e) any material for therapeutic use produced using biotechnological means of recombinant DNA;
"veterinary surgeon" means a person registered as a veterinary surgeon under section 12 (1); and
"veterinary surgery" includes the practise of veterinary medicine and the giving or providing of any treatment, test, advice, diagnosis or attention such as is normally performed, given or provided by veterinary surgeons at an established location.
Veterinary Surgeons Council (ss 3-6)
(1) There is hereby established a Council to be known as the Veterinary Surgeons Council which shall consist of the following members-
(a) the Chairperson, who shall be appointed by the Minister;
(b) three veterinary surgeons elected by the Association;
(c) one person, not being a veterinary surgeon or biologist, who the Minister considers appropriate;
(d) one veterinary surgeon who is a member of staff of the Botswana College of Agriculture elected by the Botswana College of Agriculture Council;
(e) the Director who shall be an ex-officio member;
(f) one person representing the Attorney General; and
(g) one veterinary surgeon from the Department of Wildlife appointed by the Minister responsible for wildlife.
(2) Within 30 days of the commencement of this Act, the Association shall submit to the incumbent Chairperson of the Board registered under the repealed Act names of three veterinary surgeons elected by the Association to be members.
(3) The Chairperson shall convene the first meeting of the Council as soon as practicable after the commencement of this Act, and may, when circumstances demand, convene a special meeting as he or she may think necessary.
(4) At the first meeting of the Council, the members shall elect from among their number a Vice-Chairperson, who shall hold office for a term of three years, unless he or she sooner resigns or ceases to be eligible to be a member.
(5) At the expiration of the term of office of the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson, or if for some other reason their offices become vacant before such expiration, a new Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson, as the case may be, shall be elected by members at its next meeting, or as soon thereafter as may be convenient or practicable.
(6) The Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson may resign from office without such resignation terminating his or her membership of the Council and shall have the option of retaining membership to the Council.
(7) The members, except the member referred to in subsection (1) (e), shall hold office for a period of three years, and shall be eligible for reappointment.
(8) The Minister shall, within 21 days of the appointment of the members, notify the public in the Gazette of the names of the persons appointed as members.
The Council shall-
(a) regulate the practice of veterinary medicine and para-professionals and the registration of persons practising such professions;
(b) determine the minimum standards of training required for degrees, diplomas and certificates entitling the holders thereof to be registered to practise as veterinary surgeons or para- professionals;
(c) exercise effective control over the professional conduct of persons practising as veterinary surgeons or para-professionals;
(d) determine the standards of professional conduct of persons practising as veterinary surgeons or para-professionals;
(e) encourage and promote efficiency in, and responsibility with regard to, the practice of veterinary medicine and that of para-professionals;
(f) protect the interests of veterinary surgeons and para- professionals and to deal with any matter relating to such interests;
(g) maintain and enhance the prestige, status and dignity of veterinary surgeons and para-professionals and the integrity of persons practising such professions;
(h) manage its own budget through a subvention or grant from government until such time as the Council is able to source its own funding; and
(i) do such other things as may be necessary for, or conducive to, the achievement of the objects of the Council.
(1) The Council shall meet at least twice every year for the transaction of business at such times and places as the Chairperson may determine, and upon the giving of written notice to every member, of the meeting, by the Registrar, of not less than 14 days:
Provided that if the urgency of any particular matter does not permit the giving of such notice, a special meeting may be called upon giving a shorter notice.
(2) The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings of the Council, or, in his or her absence, the Vice-Chairperson shall preside at a meeting of the Council.
(3) In the absence of the Chairperson and the Vice-Chairperson, the members shall appoint from amongst themselves a Chairperson.
(4) The quorum at any meeting of the Council shall be the Chairperson or the Vice-Chairperson and any four members.
(5) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Council shall regulate its own procedure.
(6) A decision of the Council on any question shall be by a majority of the members present and voting at a meeting of the Council and, in the event of an equality of votes, the person presiding shall have a casting vote in addition to that person's deliberative vote.
(7) A decision of the Council shall not be rendered invalid by reason only of a vacancy on the Council or by reason of a person who was not entitled to sit as a member having so sat.
(8) The Chairperson shall cause to be recorded and kept, minutes of all proceedings of the meetings of the Council.
(9) Where a member is present at a meeting of the Council or committee at which meeting a matter which is the subject of consideration is one in which he or she is directly or indirectly interested in his or her private capacity, the member shall as soon as practical at the commencement of the meeting disclose such interest, and shall not, unless the Council otherwise directs, take part in any consideration or discussion of, or vote on, any question with respect to that matter.
(10) A disclosure made under subsection (8) shall be recorded in the minutes of the meeting at which it is made.
(11) Where a member of the Council or a Committee fails to disclose his or her interest in accordance with subsection (9) and a decision by the Council or a committee is made benefiting such member, such decision shall be null and void.
(12) A member who contravenes the provisions of subsection (9) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding P2 000, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or to both.
(1) Subject to subsection (4), the Council may appoint such committees as it may consider necessary to assist it in the performance of its functions under this Act.
(2) The Council may appoint as a member of a committee any person who is or is not a member, but the chairperson of a committee shall be a member.
(3) The Council may assign to any committee such other functions as it may determine including investigating disciplinary cases and imposing penalties on persons who contravene this Act.
(4) The Committees that the Council may establish under this Act shall include-
(a) the Professional Conduct and Ethics Committee;
(b) the Grievances and Disciplinary Committee;
(c) the Registration and Certification Committee;
(d) the Private Practice and Licensing Committee;
(e) the Research and Publication Committee; and
(f) any other Committee that the Council may consider necessary.
(5) A committee shall meet for the transaction of business at such times and places as the Council may determine.
(6) Subsections (3) to (12) of section 5 shall, with the necessary modifications, apply to committees.
Registration of Veterinary Surgeons (ss 7-19)
(1) No person, including a person employed by the Government as a veterinary officer or otherwise, shall-
(a) practise veterinary medicine;
(b) hold himself out, or allow himself to be held out, as a veterinary surgeon; or
(c) hold himself out, or allow himself to be held out, as qualified to practise veterinary medicine, unless he is registered, in accordance with the provisions of this Part, to practise as a veterinary surgeon.
(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1), the Council shall consider, for temporary registration, any veterinary surgeon not resident in Botswana for research purposes or any speciality work to be done in Botswana for a limited period of time.
(3) Nothing in subsection (1) shall be construed as precluding an unregistered person, authorised by the Council, from providing, performing or giving, in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 1, any treatment, test, advice, diagnosis or attendance which is specified in that Schedule.
(4) The Council shall maintain a list of all unregistered persons authorised by it to carry out, in accordance with the provisions of Schedule 1, any treatment, test, advice, diagnosis or attendance which is specified in that Schedule.
(1) There shall be a Registrar of Veterinary Surgeons who shall be appointed by the Minister from among veterinary surgeons who are permanent residents or citizens of Botswana and who are employed in the Public Service.
(2) The Registrar shall be the Secretary to the Council and shall be responsible for-
(a) the day-to-day administration of the Council; and
(b) the registration of veterinary surgeons, as directed by the Council.
(3) The Council shall, from time to time, inspect the office of the Registrar so as to ensure that the office is properly run and records are properly kept.
(1) A person who wishes to be registered as a veterinary surgeon shall apply to the Registrar.
(2) The application referred to in subsection (1) shall be in the prescribed form, (or a form approved for the purpose by the Council), and shall be accompanied by-
(a) the prescribed application fee;
(b) proof of academic qualification , in the form of a degree, diploma, certificate or any other document, or a copy thereof certified by or on behalf of the university or institution which granted or issued the original thereof, that the applicant possesses the requisite qualifications for registration as a veterinary surgeon;
(c) a recent photograph of the applicant with his signature on the back and certified as a true likeness by a Commissioner of Oaths;
(d) written evidence, satisfactory to the Council, that the applicant is a person of good character and repute and a fit and proper person to be registered as a veterinary surgeon, from the-
(i) where the applicant is a non-citizen, an equivalent body of the applicant's country of origin, or
(ii) veterinary school from which the applicant obtained qualifications referred to under section 9 (2) (b); and
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