The health and welfare of animals, and the associated health and wellbeing of people, are in everyone’s interest. The prevention and control of animal health and welfare issues contributes to a healthier and safer world. Good animal health and welfare also supports economic growth and prosperity. Equally, failures in assuring the health and welfare of animals and public health can have an enormous negative impact on animal populations, individuals and society at large.

The interests at stake require the involvement of well-trained and accountable people. Therefore, the practice of veterinary medicine must be restricted to people who are sufficiently qualified and who work in accordance with relevant scientific, professional and ethical standards.

Regulating the veterinary profession is aimed at protecting the public as well as animal health and welfare, by setting and maintaining standards for veterinary education and professional behaviour.

The regulatory process includes restricting admission to the profession to those who are suitably qualified, setting standards for professional behaviour and applying disciplinary measures when necessary. Transparency is assured by a register of suitably qualified veterinary professionals licensed to practice.

Standards for the practice of veterinary medicine are based on science and ethics, objectively justifiable and proportional to the goal to be achieved. Such standards are necessary both to ensure public trust in the veterinary profession and in the interest of the health and welfare of animals and public health.