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Veterinary body welcomes conviction of two women who treated animals illegally

Suthentira Govender Senior reporter
'South Africans rightly regard their pets as members of the family, and need to be protected from fly-by-nights,' says the veterinary council's legal affairs director. Stock image.
'South Africans rightly regard their pets as members of the family, and need to be protected from fly-by-nights,' says the veterinary council's legal affairs director. Stock image.
Image: 123RF/Jozef Polc 

The SA Veterinary Council (SAVC) has welcomed the recent conviction and sentencing of two women who practised illegally as veterinary professionals.

In the first matter, a Brakpan woman, Roxanne Barnard, was convicted in the Springs magistrate's court recently for contravening the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions Act.

“Barnard was once authorised by the SAVC to practise as an animal welfare assistant at the Brakpan SPCA — meaning she did not hold any veterinary or para-veterinary qualifications, but was permitted to perform certain stated primary animal healthcare services, supervised by a registered veterinarian.

“However, her authorisation was withdrawn when she was dismissed from the SPCA in 2017, and she was no longer allowed to render any animal-related services,” said Dinamarie Stoltz, SAVC’s legal affairs director.

A complaint was lodged with the SAVC that she had set up a business advertising veterinary services such as vaccinating and treating animals, and prescribing medicine.

She also claimed to be a qualified veterinary nurse.

The SAVC referred the matter to its investigations inspectorate which compiled information that the police submitted to the National Prosecuting Authority.

Barnard was found guilty of rendering services that only a veterinarian registered with the SAVC may render and was fined R2,000, with the option of a six-month jail term.

“She now has a criminal record and is banned from applying for SAVC registration or authorisation in the future,” said Stoltz.

The second matter involved Katharina Ott-Jayes, a German living in SA.

“A complaint was received that Ott-Jayes was vaccinating animals in the Western Cape with vaccines that were allegedly imported illegally, and that had expired in some cases.

“It has been alleged that Ott-Jayes may have been a veterinarian in Germany previously, but even if that was the case, she is not entitled to practise in SA unless she is registered with the SAVC,” said Stoltz.

 “The SAVC referred the complaint to the department of agriculture, land reform and rural development to investigate, as animal vaccines fall under the Fertilisers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act.”

The case was referred to court and Ott-Jayes was convicted in the Swellendam magistrate’s court of passing herself off as a veterinarian.

“It’s very important for the integrity of our professions that such individuals are punished for defrauding the public, and barred from practising. South Africans rightly regard their pets as members of the family, and need to be protected from fly-by-nights,” said Stoltz.

TimesLIVE


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