The veterinary profession (veterinary surgeons/veterinarians) in Malaysia is currently being governed by the
Malaysian Veterinary Council, a body formed under an Act of Parliament i.e. Veterinary Surgeons Act, 1974 (Annex 1).
The Veterinary Surgeons Act, 1974 was promulgated with the following purpose:
An Act to make provision for the registration and practice of veterinary surgeons and for national purposes to provide for certain provision with regard to a period of service in the public services after registration;
and to make provision for purposes connected with the aforesaid matters.
Veterinary Services implemented in the country is under the jurisdiction of three bodies :
Department of Veterinary Services, Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based industries, Malaysia,
Department of Veterinary Services and Livestock Development, and
Veterinary Division, Ministry of Agriculture
These three bodies have respective legislations enforced for sanitary/zoosanitary requirements.
Other agencies which include the Department of Wildlife and the Fisheries Department are also authorized in the implementation of other Acts/Regulations related to welfare, care and protection of animal resources as well as the Local Governments who are authorized for the licensing of dogs by local authorities.
.: OBJECTIVES, DUTIES AND FUNCTIONS OF THE COUNCIL
The duties of the MVC are to protect, promote and maintain standards in the practice of veterinary medicine.
As such the MVC :
Registers veterinary surgeons
Sets standards of good veterinary medicine practice
Promotes and maintains high standards of veterinary medical education
Deal firmly and fairly with veterinary surgeons following the approved code of professional practice and ethics and their fitness to practice
Thefunctions of the MVC under the statute are as follows:
To authorise registration of veterinary surgeons;
To maintain a Register of all registered veterinary surgeons in Malaysia;
To issue practicing certificates to registered veterinary surgeons;
To recognise and accredit veterinary institutions;
To determine and regulate the professional conduct and ethics of veterinary surgeons;
To consider the cases of veterinary surgeons who, because of some mental or physical condition, may be unfit to practise medicine;
To advise and make returns, reports and recommendations to the Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries on matters relating to the practice of veterinary medicine in Malaysia;
To perform such other functions so as to give effect to the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1974 as may be prescribed in the Act or assigned by the Minister.
The MVC does not :
Have responsibility over veterinary surgeons employment;
Make decisions regarding Malaysia's veterinary workforce
Process applications for veterinary training in Malaysia
Provide continuing veterinary education courses or other veterinary training
Register veterinary facilities or training institutions, medicines or veterinary medical equipments;
Cover the registration and practice of para-professionals which include nurses or veterinary assistants. However the MVC may recognize/endorse para-professionals to practice certain procedures that have been trained or qualified for a specific purpose by specific institutions i.e. artificial insemination,
Endorse or recommend any veterinary surgeons, legal advisors, expert witnesses or veterinary services.
The MVC is not able to offer information on subjects under the jurisdiction of other medical institutions or governments, such as:
Veterinary medical advice
information about job availability
hospitals for general or specialized experience;
opportunities for medical education or research;
the recognition accorded by other veterinary regulatory authorities or veterinary institution towards medical qualifications obtained abroad;
salaried employment, whether public or private;
scholarships or funding; or
requirements for specialist qualification
For more information on the above, please direct enquires in the website under Links.
The MVC is a body corporate established by an Act of Parliament with perpetual succession and a common seal under the provisions of Section 3(1) of the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1974 with its legal powers derived from Section 4 of the same Act. The body advises the Minister of Agriculture and
Agro-based industries on matters and related to the Act.
The MVC operates as spelled out in Section 7 of the same Act under the provisions laid out in the First Schedule. The Council makes decisions through Para 2(1) of the First Schedule in their meetings which shall be held at least twice in a year. The Council meetings are presided by the President and in
his absence by a chairman elected by the members present.
The Council acts through various Committees and Secretariat.
.: LEGISLATIVE BASIS, AUTONOMY AND FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY
The Veterinary Surgeons Act, 1974 as mentioned was promulgated with the following purpose:
An Act to make provision for the registration and practice of veterinary surgeons and for national purposes to provide for certain provision with regard to a period of service in the public services after registration; and to make provision for purposes connected with the aforesaid matters.
The Act was given the royal assent on 30th July 1974 and came in force on 29th August 1974.
The Act has been reviewed by the Veterinary Community i.e. the Veterinary Association Malaysia (VAM) and special interest groups. Substantial changes, improvements and enhancements have been proposed and endorsed by the Malaysian Veterinary Council.
An amendment of the Act is currently being considered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries to be brought up to Parliament.
.: MEMBERSHIP REPRESENTATION
The MVC comprises of the 10 members appointed by the Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries :
Director General of Veterinary Services, Malaysia
Head of Department of the Veterinary Services in Sabah
Head of Department of the Veterinary Services in Sarawak
One member of Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universiti Putra Malaysia nominated by the
MVC of the University,
Members appointed on terms for 3 years
Two members from Part I of the Second Schedule recommended by the members of the profession
Two members from Part II of the Second Schedule recommended by the members of the profession
Two members from the veterinary community appointed by the Minister
The MVC is headed by the Director General of Veterinary Services, West Malaysia who will be the President of the MVC.
The Act in Section 3 explains in detail the provisions of appointment, eligibility and disqualification of members to the MVC. The proceedings of the Council is guided by the provisions of the First Schedule of the Act which includes the conduct of the meeting, quorum, voting and filling up of vacancies in MVC. The Public Authorities Protection Act 1948 [Act 198] shall apply to any action, suit, prosecution or proceeding against the MVC against any member, officer, servant or agent of the MVC in respect of any act, neglect or default done or committed by him in such capacity.
In addition, all members of the Council, while discharging the duties as such members, shall be deemed to be public servants within the meaning of the Penal Code [Act 574].
To assist in the implementation of the Act and operation of the MVC, other appointments include :
i. Registrar - who is appointed by the Minister under Section 10 whose functions is to maintain the Register of Veterinary Surgeons, vet applications for registration, issuance of Practicing Licenses
ii. Secretary of the MVC - who is a public servant of the Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based industries appointed by the MVC as per the provisions of Paragraph 4 of the First Schedule, whose function is to assist in the operation of the MVC
iii. MVC is empowered to form one or more committees under sub-section 3 of the First Schedule and may delegate to them some of the Council's function as the Council thinks fit under the provisions of the First Schedule. The Committees currently established are:
The Regulatory Committee
The Legislative Committee
The Qualifications and Accreditation Committee
The Preliminary Investigation Committee (PIC)
The Practice Committee
The Continuing Professional Development Committee
.:ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY OF DECISION MAKING
The MVC operates under the ambit of an administrative procedure spelled out in the First Schedule of the Veterinary Surgeons Act.
All MVC members are protected under the Act under the Public Authorities Protection Act and are considered public servants - MVC members are considered public servants. The MVC is responsible to inform the Minister on the proceedings of the MVC and advise the Minister to issue directions
Parts III to VI - Sections 5 to 32 of the Veterinary Surgeons Act spells out the accountability of the MVC in relation to :
.: REGISTRATION OF VETERINARY SURGEONS, PRACTICE AND VETERINARY MEDICINE
Registrar - appointment and function under Section 10
Register of Veterinary Surgeons, Malaysia under Section 11
Persons entitled to be registered as veterinary surgeons - Section 12
Persons holding any of the qualifications specified in the Second Schedule are eligible to be considered for registration on application in the prescribed form.
Evidence of qualification to be given before entry on the Register
The applicant for registration is required to submit evidence as the Registrar requires as proof of qualification or eligibility.
The MVC shall have the power to decide what degrees and additional qualifications may be entered into the Register.
Restriction of registration
Persons not eligible for registration are defined in Section 16 of the Act as those who at any time have been found guilty of an offence involving fraud, dishonesty or moral turpitude or an offence punishable with imprisonment as well as after due inquiry by MVC been found to have been guilty of infamous conduct in any professional respect.
In the event of an inquiry, the applicant is entitled to appear before MVC and
be heard personally or by his advocate and solicitor.
Changes and endorsement against the name/address or residence in the Register / Cessation of registration
A registered veterinary surgeon shall notify any change in his address or residence of practice to the registrar within thirty days of such change.
The MVC is entitled to make an endorsement against a name in the Register if MVC is satisfied that :
a) the person is deceased or no longer practicing veterinary medicine in Malaysia or b) ceases to be registered if the person is admitted to or confined in a mental hospital under the provisions of any law, however may be re-registered if MVC is satisfied that his mental condition warrants such registration.
Alteration in the register
Alterations in the register may be made by the Registrar when they is knowledge if a change in the name or address of any person registered under the Act or alter the qualifications, additional qualifications or any other particulars as well as removed the name of a person from the Register.
Application for registration
Any veterinary surgeon who desires to practise veterinary medicine after the thirty-first day of December of any year, shall not later than the first day of December of that year make an application in the prescribed form and shall pay the prescribe fee for a certificate to practice veterinary medicine during the ensuing year.
Annual practising certificate application and approval
Under Section 17 of the Act, the MVC if satisfied that the premises at, and the conditions under, are to the satisfaction of the Registrar as suitable, and shall cause an annual practicing certificate to be issue.
The Act stipulates the conditions, and penalty should an application be later than the prescribed date and as well as may issue an order to cancel the certificate is subsequently is found that the premises or under such conditions are found to be unsuitable for practice of veterinary medicine.
A registered veterinary surgeon who practices veterinary medicine commits an offence if :
a) he has not had an annual practicing of himself,
b) is in partnership with a registered veterinary surgeon not having such a certificate,
c) has in his employ a registered veterinary surgeon not having a certificate, or
d) is employed to carry on the business of a veterinary surgeon on behalf of a person not having such a certificate.
Temporary permit to practise application and approval
Section 13 allows the Council, with the approval of the Minister, to issue, upon application in writing, a temporary permit to practice as a veterinary surgeon (holding a qualification in veterinary medicine from other institutions other than those specified in the Second Schedule) subject to such conditions and restrictions as MVC may specify in such permit for a period not exceeding 6 months. The permit can be cancelled at any time.
Publication of list of registered veterinary surgeons issued with annual practising certificate
The MVC shall as soon as possible publish in the Gazette the list of veterinary surgeons to whom an annual practicing certificate for the ensuing year is given
.: RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF VETERINARY SURGEONS
The Act allows veterinary surgeons in practice privileges and their responsibilities in practice :
Privileges of registered veterinary surgeons and disabilities of unregistered persons are stated in Section 23 and 24 which includes charges for professional services and the issuance of veterinary certificates.
Exhibition of certificate of registration and annual practising certificate, of persons practicing veterinary medicine at premises. It is an offence if a veterinary surgeon does not display or permits to be displayed in any premise the annual practicing certificate(s) issued in respect of the approved premise.
.: INSPECTION OF PREMISES USED FOR THE PRACTICE OF VETERINARY MEDICINES
The Act under Section 28 allows for inspectors to be appointed by the Director-General of Veterinary Services to inspect premises where veterinary medicine is practiced or purportedly to be practiced and provides for an investigation mechanism to be implemented.
.: DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS
The Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics has been updated and shall be implemented in 2013.
The revision has been comprehensive since its last revision in 1983.
Disciplinary jurisdiction, proceedings of the MVC and the punishments are spelt out in Sections 29 and 30 of the Act. The aggrieved veterinary surgeon may appeal against the order or decision of the MVC as provided under Section 31.
The primary areas where disciplinary action may be taken include :
conviction in Malaysia or elsewhere of any offence punishable with imprisonment,
guilty of infamous conduct in any professional respect,
obtained registration by fraud or misrepresentation,
was not at the time of registration entitled to be registered or
whose name has been removed from any register of veterinary surgeon maintained in any place outside Malaysia.
Disciplinary action may include :
removal of his name from the register,
suspension of the veterinary surgeon for such period of time deem fit,
reprimand of the veterinary surgeon or
make any such order as aforesaid but suspend the application thereof, subject to conditions deem fit for a period or periods in the aggregate not exceeding two years.
.: OFFENCES, PENALTIES AND EXEMPTIONS
The offences cover fraudulent registration; offences, covering, exemptions and procedures of prosecution are covered under Section 32 to 37. The institution of prosecution will follow the direction from the Public Prosecutors Office.
These include fraudulent registration and the practice of veterinary medicine by any person who is not registered or exempted from registration under the Act. by way of action, taking of name, titles, use of instruments and any manner which constitutes practice of veterinary medicine.
A veterinary surgeon who allows an unregistered person to practice veterinary medicine on the premises used by or under the control of himself commits an offence of allowing covering against the Act.
.: POWER TO MAKE REGULATIONS TO IMPLEMENT THE ACT
The Minster has the power to make regulations to implement the provisions of the Act on
the advice of the MVC.
Three regulations are being proposed to be put in force to enhance the profession i.e. :
Veterinary Surgeons (Registration and Practice) Regulations
Veterinary Surgeons (Inspection of Premise) Regulations
.: SUPPLEMENTARY PROVISIONS FOR NATIONAL PURPOSES
A proposal is being made to amend this Section to allow for the use of the Act in needs for national purposes i.e. secondment of veterinary surgeons in the private sector in times of need - national surveillance or disease control/eradication programs.
.: SOURCES AND MANAGEMENT OF FUNDING
The MVC by virtue under Sections 15 and 17 collect fees and in Section 30, costs for disciplinary proceedings to fund the operations of the MVC.
The MVC under Schedule I of the Act shall pay MVC members who are not public servants gratuity due as public servants for the attendance of meetings and proceeding of the MVC.
The keeping of accounts and the audit of accounts of the MVC are determined in Schedule I of the Act.
Proposals to the Act are in placed to increase the fees to be charged to allow the MVC to meet its obligations to implement the provision of the Act.
The financing of inspection of premises and investigation under Section 28 is borne by the Veterinary Authorities in West Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak.
.: VETERINARY EDUCATION, TRAINING PROGRAMS AND CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL
The training and continuing professional education of veterinary surgeons and para-veterinary personnel is not under the ambit of the Malaysian Veterinary Council.
However, proposed amendments to the Act recommend that continuing professional development is required for the renewal of annual practicing certificates for veterinary surgeons who wish to practice. The continuing professional development and training programs shall be carried out by institutions or bodies approved by the MVC.
In addition, proposals include the conduct of examinations for accreditation as well as for additional qualifications and specialization recognition by MVC.
The country has two veterinary schools namely :
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universiti Putra Malaysia.
This school, located in Serdang, Selangor had its first graduates of veterinary surgeons in 1978.
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Universiti Malaysia Kelantan.
This school located in Kota Baru, Kelantan is expected to have its first batch of veterinary graduates in 2014
Training of para-veterinarians which include persons with degree/diploma in animal sciences is conducted in various institutions of higher learning and facilities recognized by the Malaysian Veterinary Council. The Department of Veterinary Services offers a certificate course leading to the course of veterinary assistants in the Malaysian Veterinary Institute(Institut Veterinar Malaysia), Kluang, Johor and veterinary nurses as well as numerous short courses in animal husbandry and veterinary matters in the Veterinary Institute Training Centre in Cheras, Selangor.
Universiti Terengganu Malaysia
Degree in Animal Science
Universiti Kelantan Malaysia
Degree in Animal Science
Universiti Pertanian Malaysia
Diploma in Animal Husbandry
Universiti Putra Malaysia
Diploma in Animal Husbandry
Institut Veterinar Malaysia, Kluang, Johor
Certificate - Veterinary Assistants
Competency in Artificial Insemination
Institut Pengurusan Veterinar, Cheras, Selangor
Certificate - Veterinary Nurses
Other organisations such as the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University Putra Malaysia, Veterinary Association Malaysia, Malaysian Small Animal Veterinary Association or its affiliates or sister organisations or institutions of higher learning or education institutes provide continuing education for veterinary surgeons and para-veterinary surgeons.
MALAYSIAN VETERINARY COUNCIL (MVC)
Department of Veterinary Services
Podium Block 4G1, Wisma Tani,
Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries
Federal Administrative Centre
62630 Putrajaya, MALAYSIA.