WINDHOEK: Agriculture, Water and Forestry Minister John Mutorwa on Tuesday tabled the Veterinary and Veterinary Para-professional Bill in the National Assembly.
He said the objectives of the Bill are to provide for the constitution, power and functions of the Namibian Veterinary Council, which would regulate the registration of persons practicing veterinary professions, as well as veterinary para-professionals.
This Bill will specify the required education, training and qualifications of persons practicing such professions, and provide for control over the practicing of veterinary professionals and veterinary para-professionals.
“It will also prohibit the practicing of such a profession without being registered; to repeal the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions’ Proclamation of 1984, and to provide for matters incidental thereto,” explained Mutorwa.
He highlighted some of the significant additions to the Bill which are not provided for in the current proclamation, such as the provision for regulations concerning the comprehensive registration of veterinary para-professionals.
Included in this category will be animal health technicians, wildlife para-professionals, veterinary diagnosticians and equine dental technicians.
Veterinary para-professionals render valuable services which supplement the services of veterinarians, and work under the direction of a registered veterinarian.
Mutorwa added that in the compulsory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) category, it is expected of any professional to keep him or herself informed of new developments in the field, world trends in the profession and to be conversant with current thinking and practice.
The Bill thus makes provision for all registered veterinarians to submit CPD points annually to be considered during registration.
The education and qualification requirements for any veterinarian wishing to be registered to practice his or her profession in Namibia will be regulated by using the newly-published minimum requirements of the Office of International Education (OIE) for “day one competency”.
To this end, the minister said the Veterinary Council is actively involved with the University of Namibia (Unam) in planning and endorsing the curricula and facilities of the tertiary institution’s proposed School of Veterinary Medicine.
“This will ensure that our future Namibian veterinary graduates will possess the required competencies to be unconditionally registered immediately upon graduation,” he noted, adding that the Namibian Veterinary Council is also compliant with the requirements of the National Qualifications’ Authority (NQA).
Mutorwa further stated that the composition of the council has been altered to reflect its objectives, and includes both appointed and elected Namibian veterinarians and veterinary para-professionals as well as a legal officer and chief veterinary officers of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.