Vets – what does SAVA offer you?

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The SAVA represents most of the registered veterinarians and acts as the mouthpiece of the profession. This includes:

  • Communication with Government departments
  • Communication with SA Veterinary Council
  • Issuing of Position Statements
  • Input towards legislation and regulations
  • Legal action to ensure the rights of veterinarians are protected
  • Liaison with other veterinary and para-veterinary organisations in South Africa
  • Liaison with other Veterinary Associations in Southern Africa, Africa and the world.

The SAVA is actively involved in both internal and external marketing and communication. The aim is to market the SAVA to its members, to non-members within the veterinary profession, to industry and to the public. This is done through activities that have value to our members, that inform the public and that improve the image of the veterinary profession at large.

Projects include:

  • Veterinary Rhino Fund. Activities of the fund are primarily aimed at providing veterinarians with knowledge and skills to deal with rhinos that were injured during/survived poaching incidents.
  • A Day in the life of a South African Veterinarian coffee table book
  • Activities to promote the annual World Vet Day and World Rabies Day and other similar events.
  • Communication with members through
    • Electronic newsletters
    • VetNews (see below)
    • Bulk e-mails
    • Bulk sms
  • Marketing the role of veterinarians to the public
    • SAVA website, which is updated regularly with relevant information.
    • Social media, especially Facebook.
    • CyberVet – veterinarians answer questions posted on the Health 24 website by members of the public.
    • Radio interviews, articles in newspapers and magazines and presence at major events (such as 702 Walk the Talk).
  • Media releases (a media statement is information supplied to reporters – an official announcement or account of a news story that is specially prepared and issued to newspapers and other news media for them to make known to the public).


  • VetNews is the official mouthpiece of the SAVA and is distributed free to all its members. Through this magazine, the SAVA communicates with its members, providing news, information on activities of the Association and its groups and branches, developments in the veterinary field, industry news, important dates, practical information and CPD articles.
  • Classified advertisements, both for career opportunities and items offered for sale.
  • Available digitally (members only) on the SAVA website.
  • Free CPD points on the VetEDonline website, completing Vetnews CPD articles

Journal of the South African Veterinary Association (JSAVA)

  • TheJSAVA is a contemporary multi-disciplinary scientific mouthpiece for veterinary science in South Africa and abroad. It provides veterinarians in South Africa and elsewhere in the world with current scientific information across the full spectrum of veterinary science. Its content therefore includes reviews on various topics, clinical and non-clinical articles, research articles and short communications as well as case reports.
  • The JSAVA is published in digital format and is available free (open access).
  • Members of SAVA can publish in the JSAVA free of charge (non-members to pay a fee).

The COMMITTEES of the SAVA play important roles in representing interests of members and the profession as a whole. Some are “standing committees” working on an ongoing basis, while other committees are established on an ad hoc/as needed basis. The standing committees include:

  • Animal Ethics and Welfare Committee

The Animal Ethics and Welfare Committee addresses all matters related to animal welfare and animal use and advises the SAVA Board of Directors and members of the SAVA on these. Their task includes examining legal, ethical and social issues which challenge actions which can cause unnecessary harm to animals. An important component of their activities is to research background and propose position papers on matters related to animal ethics and welfare.

  • Ethics and Mediation Committee

The essential mandate of the Ethics and Mediation Committee is to mediate and attempt to amicably resolve conflict which has arisen for whatever reason between a member of the public and a veterinarian, as well as between veterinarians. In so doing the Ethics and Mediation Committee currently prevents around 85% of the complaints they facilitate from reaching the South African Veterinary Council, with all the stress and expense that then ensues.

  • Remuneration Committee

The Remuneration Committee annually considers and publishes remuneration guidelines for veterinary assistants, locums and veterinary nurses.

  • Awards Committee

The SAVA makes several awards in recognition of excellent service rendered to the SAVA and the profession as a whole. The Awards Committee manages the process (from calling for nominations to making recommendations on the awards to the Federal Council) and investigates possible new awards on an ongoing basis.


The SAVA creates an infrastructure for SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS where members with similar interests can meet and exchange information.  The special interest groups also organise regular congresses, all CPD accredited, to provide members with information on the latest developments.

  • The following groups are currently active:
    • National Veterinary Clinicians Group – companion animal practitioners
    • SA Equine Veterinary Association (SAEVA)
    • Ruminant Veterinary Association of South Africa (RuVASA)
    • Wildlife Group
    • Pig Vet Society
    • Poultry Group
  • Young Member’s Group – vets that have been qualified for five years or less.
  • Animal Behaviour & Interaction Group
  • Complementary Veterinary Medicines Group
  • Veterinary Public Health Group
  • Veterinary History Society of SA
    • The BRANCHES of the SAVA are regional structures, with as aim:
      • To promote the veterinary profession on a local basis and to cultivate goodwill and understanding amongst its members.
      • To promote a forum for the interchange of ideas amongst its members and to promote the idea of continuing professional education.
  • The following Branches are active:
    • Tshwane (Pretoria)
    • Johannesburg
    • Western Cape
    • Southern Cape
    • Eastern Cape and Karoo
    • KwaZulu-Natal
    • Northern KwaZulu-Natal and Midlands
    • Southern Free State and Northern Cape
    • Eastern Free State
    • Mpumalanga
    • Oranje-Vaal (Northern Free State and parts of North West)
    • The SAVA is currently working towards the establishment of a strong student group
    • A list of elective-friendly practices is available on the SAVA website.
    • Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

The SAVA is actively involved in events and other activities aimed at providing members with CPD opportunities. These include

  • Biennial SAVA Congresses.
    • Held every second year, usually over three days, with various lecture streams to provide something for everyone, all CPD accredited.
    • The SAVA Gala Dinner, where SAVA Awards are handed over, takes place during this congress. The congress also provides other opportunities to members to socialise and renew friendships.
    • Members get a handsome discount and pay a much smaller registration fee.
  • Special Interest Group Congresses.
    • Many of the special interest groups organise annual congresses, usually over two days, also CPD accredited.
    • These congresses also provide great opportunities to meet at a social level and to establish networks.
    • Again, members pay a discounted registration fee.
  • Branch mini-congresses and CPD events
    • Some branches arrange regular CPD evenings, whilst others organise annual mini-congresses. All are CPD accredited.
    • No better way of meeting and networking with colleagues that work in the same region.
    • Members pay a discounted registration fee.
  • VetNews
    • A CPD accredited article comes with each issue of VetNews.
    • Members can log in to the VetEDonline website (through a link from the SAVA website) to answer the multiple-choice questions linked to the articles.
  • Recording CPD Points
  • Funeral Plan
    • R10,000 funeral policy free of charge to members younger than 65 years.
  • Veterinary Wellness Programme

The SAVA Veterinary Wellness Programme aims to

  • Assist members in coping with the challenges of the daily job, by providing them with skills to and information on dealing with these.
  • Provide support to veterinarians in need.

This is done through:

  • The SAVA stress hotline, where colleagues make themselves available to talk members in need through difficult situations or to refer them to professional help.
  • Wellness sessions at all congresses
  • Regular articles in VetNews.
  • Practice support
    • Vaccination Certificates
      • Available in Afrikaans and English
      • Providing not only an all-in-one record of preventive health care, but also containing a wealth of general information for pet owners
      • Printed with your practice logo and details on the cover.
      • Plastic sleeves provided to keep them clean and make them last for the life of the pet.
      • Price per certificate includes packaging and postage
    • Name badges and various clothing items for practice staff
    • Classified advertisement in VetNews
    • Bulk sms and bulk e-mail service at a minimal fee to members
    • Remuneration guidelines 
  • VetProtect ‒ relevant and practice-based indemnity insurance.
  • Dr Major Henry Victor Brown Benevolent fund:

The MHVB Benevolent fund is yet another beneficiary for members of the SAVA who can apply for assistance when in dire straits. Example

  • SAVA stress management hotline i.e. payment of first professional consultation.
  • Assisting members who unexpectedly fall into financial trouble.
  • Assisting deceased members’ families when the need arises.
  • International benefits
    • Reciprocal benefits offered by the Veterinary Association of Namibia (VAN)
      • SAVA members who attend VAN Congresses pay discounted registration fees (the same fees as paid by VAN members).
    • Reciprocal benefits offered by the IVOC countries.

The South African Veterinary Association is a member of the International Veterinary Officer Coalition (IVOC).  Other member states are the USA (AVMA), Australia (AVA), Britain (BVA), Canada (CVMA) and New Zealand (NZVA). Member nations share the following reciprocal benefits:

  • When moving to one of the member countries, the first three months’ membership to any of the IVOC associations is free. The period of membership of previous Association is also recognised.
  • Members of IVOC associations pay concession rates at IVOC national conferences/ congresses (regional or special interest branch conferences not included).

Feedback to the SA Veterinary Council

We are in the fortunate position that the SA Vet Council regards the SAVA (representing three-quarters of the vets in South Africa) as the mouthpiece of the profession and as a sounding board for proposals. This necessitates input from our side. SAVA thus has a seat on the Council, as prescribed in the Veterinary and Para-veterinary Professions act!

All issues affecting the profession are therefore either forwarded to all members or, where specific topics are addressed, to chairpersons of the relevant groups or branches, for comment.

SAVA Member Benefit Partners

Lazarus Ford

Lazarus Ford and SAVA

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