In a unanimous judgement handed down on the 5th of December 2018, the Constitutional Court ruled in favour of the South African Veterinary Association.
The matter before the Court was with respect to the process that was applied when the word “veterinarian” was inserted into section 22(C)(1)(a) of the Medicines and Controlled Substances Act, which would have prevented all veterinarians to dispense and compound medicines without obtaining a special license to do so.
The court ruled that, not only was the insertion of the word “veterinarian” done in a manner that is inconsistent with the Constitution and ordered it removed from the Act, but also that the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces must bear the costs of the application.
In this matter SAVA has preserved the right of veterinarians to practice their chosen profession in serving people and animals in South Africa responsibly and efficiently. We will continue to rely on authentic and appropriate CPD programs to maintain the highest standards.
The impact it would have had, had we lost would have been devastating to a very large group of people. This includes not only veterinarians, but their staff, families and in particular, their clients and ultimately society at large, too.
The victory, that is arguably the biggest event in the Veterinary Association’s history, has been led by a team of dedicated individuals, namely advocate Johan Ströh SC, advocate Rene Doms and the attorney and veterinarian Dr Trudie Prinsloo (also a SAVA member), the SAVA President Dr Charlotte Nkuna, Dr David Gerber and supported by the Board of Directors of SAVA.
A special mention must be made towards Dr Johan Marais, SAVA’s immediate past President – it was during his presidency of the Association that SAVA launched its application.
On behalf of all the veterinarians in the country, whether they be SAVA members or not, their families, staff, clients and the South African community at large, I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks for their persistent yet patient efforts in bringing this matter to a satisfactory close.
Below you will find the media release and the judgement by the Constitutional Court.