1. WHAT QUALIFICATIONS DO VETERINARIANS NEED?
Students who will be admitted to the degree programme will need 6 years to complete their Bachelor of Veterinary Science (BVSc).
WHAT ARE THE ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOR THE BVSC DEGREE?
All school-leaving applicants will have to submit Grade 11 results with the required subject combination and an Admission Point Score calculated from the performance levels of the 6 main subjects of 30 and more. The minimum subject requirements are as follows:
• Two languages at home or first additional level of which one must be English, both at level 4
• Mathematics at level 4 provided Physical Science is at level 5 or more
• Physical Science at level 4 provided Mathematics is at level 5 or more
• Two other subjects (excluding Life Orientation) at level 4
All candidates are also required to complete the Institutional proficiency test which is currently the National Benchmark Test (NBT). Applicants who perform at the basic level in the NBT will not be considered for admission.
2. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE WHEN CONSUMERS SEEK THE SERVICES OF A VET?
It’s very important that you find a vet and establish a good ongoing relationship to get the best treatment for your pet. You should feel comfortable with the way the vet is handling your animal.
3. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION TO INCLUDE THAT CONSUMERS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT VETS?
The veterinary profession in South Africa is a learned and honourable profession and veterinarians and veterinary specialists are expected to at all time act in such a manner as to maintain and promote the prestige, honour, dignity and interests of the profession. The profession serves the public and the interests of their animals in the light of the latest scientific knowledge.
4. HOW CAN A CONSUMER TELL IF THEIR VET IS RELIABLE?
Consumers must make sure that their veterinarian is registered with the South African Veterinary Council (SAVC).
The SAVC is the regulatory body for the veterinary and para-veterinary professions in South Africa and has a statutory duty to determine scientific and ethical standards of professional conduct and education.
To keep their registration up to date, vets have to take advantage of continuing education programs to keep up on the latest techniques and research, which is important for your pet’s health and treatment.
Is your vet a member of the SAVA?
The South African Veterinary Association (SAVA) is a voluntary professional association of veterinarians in South Africa. The SAVA is committed to upholding the highest professional and scientific standards, and to utilising the professional knowledge, skill and resources of our members, to foster close ties with the community and thus promote the health and welfare of animals and mankind.
5. WHAT GOVERNING BODIES SHOULD A REPUTABLE VET SHOULD BELONG TO?
No person may practise a veterinary profession unless the person is registered with the SAVC or authorised to perform specific procedures.
6. WHAT ARE THE DANGERS OF NOT USING THE SERVICES OF A REPUTABLE VET?
What to expect when visiting a reputable vet:
When you call or visit your veterinarian, you can expect to be asked for information about your animal and details of its medical history, especially if this is your first contact with that particular vet. The veterinary professional shall maintain records for each animal or group of animals which are legible, accurate and permit prompt retrieval of information. You can expect to receive a fairly accurate estimate of costs for routine procedures such as vaccinations and sterilisation. If the situation is more complex, it may be harder to estimate what the ultimate cost will be. Your vet will give you an idea, though, and keep you informed as the diagnosis and treatment proceed. Unlike your local doctor, veterinary hospitals have a wide range of equipment on-site, and usually offer all the necessary diagnostic tests and treatments in one place. If there’s a serious problem, your vet might recommend a visit to a veterinary specialist who has particular expertise.
You can also receive prescription medication for your animal from your vet, along with helpful advice about how best to take care of your animal – feeding, socialising, exercise and training.