The veterinary profession is a liberal and a regulated profession. The veterinary profession is practiced on the basis of a relevant professional qualification, in a personal, responsible and professionally independent capacity, by providing intellectual and conceptual services in the interest of the client and the public.

Veterinarians play an essential role in protecting animal health, animal welfare, public health as well as the environment by providing a wide range of services. A veterinarian’s function lays on him/her a variety of legal or moral obligations, namely towards: animals and their owners, customers, colleagues, veterinary team, society, Competent Authorities.

The activities of veterinarians comprise intellectual tasks for the proper discharge of their duties which require a high level of legal, technical and scientific knowledge. Recognition of the veterinary degree is based upon knowledge, skills and minimum training requirements. For obtaining the license to practice, additional requirements (e.g. registration with a competent authority, professional insurance coverage) need to be fulfilled.

The European Veterinary Code of conduct aims to set up a common set of rules at European level. It applies both to the provision of services within the territory where the service provider is established as well as to the provision of cross-border services.