Welcome to the webpage of the South African Association of Veterinary Technologists. We are currently in the process of updating our site so please visit again.
The South African Association of Veterinary Technologists (SAAVT) was formed in 1969 to represent veterinary technologists who at that time were mostly employed by what is now called the Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute. From the onset the SAAVT was involved and determined to set a formalised study course for specific training of veterinary technologists and all this work culminated in the graduation of the first group of students to complete the veterinary technology course at the end of 1975 at the then Pretoria College for Advanced Technical Education making it the oldest formal para-veterinary qualification in South Africa.
In 1974 the SAAVT formed its first ad hoc training committee through which to engage the training institution to make suggested changes to the curriculum to ensure high standards. Since then the Association remained one of the major stakeholders making continued input regarding changes and improvements to the curriculum.
The 1976/77 annual report of the SAAVT makes mention of the fact that the probability to have veterinary technologist registered with a professional council should be investigated. At that time only medical nurses, pharmacists, medical technologists, medical doctors and veterinarians had to be registered in South Africa. About 10 years later veterinary technologists were officially recognised for registration and to date the SAAVT is the only professional body representing the interests of Veterinary Technology profession at the South African Veterinary Council.
The profession also had a number of interesting members such as a World War II fighter pilot who turned down offers to become a commercial pilot with a salary 6 times that he earned as veterinary technologist just because he loved the profession so much.
What is Veterinary Technology?
Veterinary technology can be defined as a branch of veterinary science that has as its goal the application of technology and laboratory techniques to analyse a diverse set of samples of animal origin to assist with the diagnosis, prevention, control, treatment and rehabilitation of illness and disease in animals.
What is a Veterinary Technologist?
The profession of Veterinary Technologist as it is currently applied in South Africa is unique in the world. Veterinary Technologists are purpose trained to perform laboratory work in veterinary diagnostic laboratories, veterinary research facilities and even veterinary vaccine production in disciplines such as Virology, Bacteriology, Serology, Biochemistry (Chemical pathology), Histopathology and Parasitology.
Training is offered by the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria and the qualification in Veterinary Technology is the only qualification currently accepted for automatic registration at the South African Veterinary Council.