Laws and Regulation for Veterinary Practices

The purpose of this code is to assure the community the best services of which Veterinarians are capable of and to promote cooperation and harmony within the ranks of the profession. In addition, exemplary professional conduct not only upholds honor and dignity, but also enlarges our sphere of usefulness, exalts social standards and promotes the science we cultivate. There are four (4) guiding principles for Veterinary practitioners:

  1. To pursue his profession with dignity and integrity.
  2. To serve the community to the outmost of his ability.
  3. To ensure the welfare of animals committed to his care.
  4. To seek no personal advantage at the expense of his professional colleagues.

It is not possible to cover the entire field of Veterinary Medical ethics in this code. Professional life is too complex to classify one’s duties and obligations to his clients, colleagues, and fellow citizens into a set of rules. However, it is the solemn duty of all members of the association to conduct themselves in accordance with the spirit of this code.

ARTICLE I
PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

Section 1. Exemplary personal and professional behavior is expected of all members of the association.

Section 2. No member shall belittle or injure the professional standing of another veterinarian.

Section 3. Members of the association shall avoid the impropriety of employing methods to attract public attention or claim of possessing superior knowledge or skill in the treatment or prevention of any disease. It is unethical to guarantee a cure.

Section 4. A Veterinarian shall have the right to refuse to render service to certain patients or to accept a case. In case of acceptance, the Veterinarian is obliged to perform to the best of his/her clinical ability. A Veterinary practitioner shall not solicit clients.

Section 5. A Veterinary practitioner should strive to be well informed and up to date of the latest trends and progress in veterinary science for the benefit of the patient, colleagues, profession as a whole.

Section 6. A Veterinary practitioner should not accept remunerations or fees from pharmacies or drug companies for prescribing their products.

Section 7. It is unethical for a referring Veterinarian to accept payment from the attending Veterinarian in connection with referral cases. However, upon the patient’s discharge, the referring Veterinarian should send the attending Veterinarian a detailed medical report of the case.

Section 8. A Veterinary practitioner should recognize the value of seeking an opinion of a colleague for the welfare and benefit of the patient.

Section 9. In an emergency or in the absence of the original attending Veterinarian, a substitute Veterinarian shall have the moral duty to render the necessary services needed and endorse the said patient back to its original attending Veterinarian as soon as the emergency shall have been over and/or the patient shall have been stabilized.

Section 10. No Veterinarian should aid or abet the Veterinary practice of an unlicensed individual nor allow his name and qualifications to be used for such purpose. It is unprofessional to aid in illegal practice of others.

ARTICLE II
CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY

Section 1. It is the primary duty of all members to serve the public by giving the best professional services to the patient and client, and to conduct himself / herself in a manner that uplift the veterinary profession.

Section 2. In case of calamities or natural disasters the Veterinarian is encouraged to assist in alleviating the sufferings of animals in their vicinity.

Section 3. Members of the association may involve or volunteer themselves in socio-civic projects of delivering of veterinary services, most especially in underprivileged areas.

Section 4. It shall be the duty of the Veterinarian to report to duly designated authorities cases of animal diseases of economic and or of public health importance and or according to reportable diseases.

Section 5. A Veterinarian who engages in a commercial enterprise that directly/indirectly concerns animal health and production must conduct the business in such a manner that Veterinary ethical standards are maintained.

Section 6. A Veterinarian must not sell biologicals to any layman without prescription.

Section 7. It is undesirable both from a professional and public point of view that a Veterinarian in the conduct of his/her private practice should be subject to the direction or control of a lay person or persons.

Section 8. A Veterinarian should observe all laws, upholds the honor and dignity of the profession and accept its self-imposed discipline.

Section 9. The issuance of official documents or regulations pertaining to the practice of Veterinary medicine, like certificate of health and the likes, the Veterinarian shall indicate or affix his/her signature indicating Professional Regulation Commission(PRC) registration or professional Veterinary License Number, Professional Tax Receipt(PTR) and Tax Identification Number(TIN) in the said document(s) .

ARTICLE III
ADVERTISEMENT

Section 1. Subject to existing provision of the Philippine Veterinary Medical Association Code of Ethics (Article IV, Section 31-36) a Veterinarian may advertise his field of practice.

Section 2. In addition, no Veterinarian, clinic or entity should not use the logo and the name of VPAP without the consent of the association.

ARTICLE IV
ENVIRONMENT

Section 1. As professionals and concerned with public health as well as protecting the environment, it is the duty of practicing Veterinarian to follow proper procedures in disposals of waste materials, carcasses, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, biological, used instruments and medical supplies, most specially material of infectious origin as per guidance of Philippine laws on environment protection.

ARTICLE V
ANIMAL WELFARE

Section 1. The well being of animals is a prime responsibility of Veterinarians. They are called on to oversee and treat animal diseases, develop programs of preventive medicine, and administer a variety of regulations related to hygiene and epidemic control. It is the objective of this ruling to prevent or reduce suffering of a stricken animal and to promote the well being.

Section 2. It is ethical to use the animal for food, clothing, recreation, work and research.

Section 3. Standards of Husbandry and Production. Normally acceptable standards could often be improved. Husbandry that leads to high levels of morbidity and mortality in livestock is readily recognized as poor. Low standards maybe the result of ignorance, gross errors, or deliberate neglect. The aim of a Veterinarian is to rectify and eliminate poor husbandry levels whether for livestock, pets, laboratory
animals, or captive wild animals.

Section 4. Veterinary Care. Animal health and welfare are obviously related. The basic practical objectives in animal welfare is to prevent diseases, the specialized domain of Veterinary Medicine termed animal health.

Section 5. Control of Suffering. Animal welfare has an implicit role to provide aid for animals in state of crises, adversity, and suffering which ensures monumental or medical aid in any distress. The forms of welfare at such time may range from first aid through therapy, to rescue. The animal in pain may need anesthesia, tranquilization or analgesia or if the life of the animal cannot be saved, the ultimate course of action may be euthanasia.

ARTICLE VI
SUMMARY FOR SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES AND APPLICABILITY

Section 1. Scope. This rule shall govern the summary procedure for settlement of disputes arising from violation of VPAP’s code of ethics in relation to the PVMA’s code of ethics. This rule shall not apply to a case where the practitioner’s course of action (complaint) is subject to jurisdiction of regular courts nor to a case where the offense charged is within the competent jurisdiction of the VPAP.

Section 2. Determination of Applicability. Upon receipt of a written complaint, the VPAP Ethics Committee shall issue an order declaring
whether or not case shall be governed by this rule.

Section 3. Pleadings. The only pleading allowed to be filed are the complaint and the answer thereto and no other. All pleadings shall be verified.

Section 4. Composition and Duty of the VPAP Ethics Committee.

4.1. Membership of the Ethics Committee.

4.1.1. A minimum of three with a maximum of five members shall be nominated by the general members every election period.

4.1.2. Qualified for nomination shall be past officers of VPAP, incumbent officers are disqualified.

4.1.3 It shall be the duty of past members of the committee to endorse any case filed within the period of office to the new officers of the committee within one month after the oath of new officers.

4.1.4. Members should be at least five (5) years of VPAP membership.

4.2. Duty of the Ethics and Legal Committee. Within fifteen (15) days after the committee determines that the case falls under this procedure, They may, from an examination of the allegation therein and such evidence as may be attached thereto, dismiss the case outright if no meritorious ground is apparent there from. If no ground for dismissal is found, it shall forthwith issue an order, which shall state that this procedure shall apply.

Section 5. Answer.Within ten (10) days from service of the order the respondent shall file his answer to the complaint and serve a copy thereof on the complainant.

Section 6. Effect of Failure to Answer. Should the respondent fail to answer the complaint within the period above provided, the ethics committee, on motion of the complainant shall render judgment as may be warranted by the facts alleged in the complaint and limited to admonition, for first violation; reprimand with fine of five thousand pesos (P5,000.00), for second violation; suspension with fine of ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00), for third violation; or expulsion, for fourth violation, as the case may be, from VPAP Membership.

Section 7. Preliminary Conference. Appearance of Parties not later than thirty (30) days after the answer is filed, a preliminary conference shall be held at the VPAP Center without the assistance of counsels. The failure of the complainant to appear in the preliminary conference without valid excuse shall be a cause for the dismissal of his complaint.

Section 8. Record of Preliminary Conference. Within five (5) days after the termination of the preliminary conference, the VPAP Ethics Committee shall issue an order stating the matters taken up therein, including but not limited to:

8.1. Whether the parties have arrived at an amicable settlement, and if so, the terms thereof.

8.2. The stipulations or admissions entered into by the parties.

8.3. Whether, on the basis of the pleadings and the stipulations and admissions made by the parties, judgment shall be rendered within thirty (30) days from issuance of the order.

8.4. Such other matters intended to expedite the disposition of the case.

Section 9. Submission of affidavits and position papers or the expiration of the period for filing the same, the Ethics Committee shall render judgment limited to the dismissal of the complaint or harmonization, reprimand with fine, suspension or expulsion, as the case may be, from VPAP membership. The committee shall not resort to clarify procedures to gain time for the rendition of the judgment.

Section 10. Affidavits. The affidavits required to be submitted under this rule shall state only facts of direct personal knowledge of the faints which are admissible in evidence, and shall be cause to expunge the inadmissible affidavit or portion thereof from the record.

Section 11. Strict application of the periods. Other than the rules herein which are liberally construed, the periods provided for filing of pleadings are strictly applied.

Section 12. The decision of the Ethics Committee is final and executor, upon confirmation of the VPAP board.

ARTICLE VII
EFFECTIVITY

Section 1. This Code shall take effect within 15 days after ratification on June 21, 2002 during the 30th VPAP Annual Scientific Conference held at the Hotel Intercontinental, Makati City.

Section 2. This Code of Ethics shall be published in the VPAP Forum Newsletter and/ or in the souvenir programs of annual scientific conferences.