Today’s Veterinary Business Staff
Performing veterinary procedures without a license in the United Arab Emirates could be a costly endeavor for the practitioner and employer.
The Middle East nation unveiled a law Oct. 8 that sets a fine of 10,000 to 200,000 Emirati dirhams ($2,722 to $54,450) for both an unlicensed veterinarian and the practice owner. Illegal practitioners could be imprisoned for at least a year, and clinic owners could see their hospital shuttered and equipment confiscated.
“The move aims to regulate the field of veterinary medicine and support services, enhance the efficiency of the profession in line with best practices and international standards, and safeguard the health of livestock and other animals in the country,” the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment reported.
Other provision of the law mandate that:
- “The veterinarian must explain the expected results of the proposed treatment to the owner of the animal. The owner has the right to accept or decline treatment unless the animal has an infectious or epidemic disease. In case of surgery, the veterinarian should obtain a written consent statement from the owner.”
- “Every veterinarian establishment must maintain records of names and addresses of owners, types of animals and their medical history as well as identification numbers, if any.”
The government announcement did not point to any ongoing problems with unlicensed veterinarians, but The National quoted one practitioner as saying he is competing against unlicensed clinics and practitioners who have failed licensing exams.
“They failed and yet insist to practice as a clinic, and the law doesn’t allow that,” Dr. Mahmoud Mohammed told the newspaper. “The old law used to punish them, but the penalties were light.”