Legalities Of Equine Massage Therapy
The Veterinary Act 1966
Treatment of animals within the United Kingdom is governed under the ‘Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966’, of whose primary intent is to make provisions for the management of the veterinary profession.
The Act makes provision to prevent non-veterinary surgeons from practising ‘veterinary surgery’, which it defines as the art and science of veterinary surgery and medicine which without prejudice to the generality of the forgoing, shall be taken to include:
The diagnosis of disease in animals derived from tests performed on animals for diagnostic purposes are only performed by a veterinary surgeon
The diagnosis of injuries to animals including tests performed on animals for diagnostic purposes are only performed by a veterinary surgeon
The giving of advice based upon such a diagnosis is only provided by a veterinary surgeon
The medical or surgical treatment of animals is only performed by a veterinary surgeon
The performance of surgical operations upon animals is only performed by a veterinary surgeon
Encompassed within the ‘Veterinary Surgeons Act 1966’, is the ‘Exemption Order 1962’, which provides an exemption to the general restriction on practising veterinary surgery by allowing animals to be treated by physiotherapy provided by non-veterinary surgeons, provided the animal has first been seen by a veterinary surgeon who has diagnosed the condition and decided that it should be treated by physiotherapy under the veterinary surgeon’s direction. ‘Physiotherapy’ in the context of the Exemptions Order includes all kinds of manipulative therapy, including equine massage therapy.
The ‘Code Of Conduct’ operated and upheld by the N.A.R.E.M.T. recognises, respects and adheres to the above orders, acts and executions of professionalism with integrity, care and respect.
Members of N.A.R.E.M.T are reminded of the need for horses to first be seen and diagnosed by a veterinary surgeon who has decided that the horse should be treated by equine massage therapy under that veterinary surgeon’s direction.
Every member of the N.A.R.E.M.T. operates under the ‘Code Of Conduct’ ensuring their treatment does not impinge upon, or into veterinary practice.