In Finland, the profession of veterinary surgeon may only be pursued by a person who has been licensed in Finland as a veterinary surgeon or holds temporary authorisation to practice as a veterinary surgeon. The practice of the profession of veterinary surgeon is governed by the Act on Access to and Pursuit of the Profession of Veterinary Surgeon (29/2000).
Citizens of states within the European Union or the European Economic Area are on certain preconditions and upon filing a notification entitled to provide in Finland the services of a veterinary surgeon on a temporary and occasional basis. In other words, a Finnish licence of a veterinary surgeon is not required, but a notification to Evira will suffice. The precondition for the provision of such services on a temporary and occasional basis is that the person has been licensed in some other EU or EEC state to independently practice as a veterinary surgeon.
The temporary authorisation to pursue the profession of veterinary surgeon can on certain preconditions also be granted to veterinary students.
Pursuant to Section 2 of the Act on Access to and Pursuit of the Profession of Veterinary Surgeon, only a person entitled to pursue the profession of veterinary surgeon may decide on a veterinary examination of an animal, diagnosis of diseases and the related treatment and medication. Provisions on the use of animals for experimental purposes are, however, issued separately. Unauthorised practice of the profession of veterinary surgeon is penalised with fine or imprisonment of up to three months .
The Finnish Food Safety Authority controls and monitors in the capacity of the central government authority the execution of and compliance with the Act on Access to and Pursuit of the Profession of Veterinary Surgeon and provisions issued by virtue of the Act. The Authority licenses the practitioners of the profession of veterinary surgeon in Finland, and Evira also decides on and receives applications for temporary authorisation to pursue the profession. The licensing process and the required documents vary depending on e.g. nationality and whether the degree has been obtained in an EU or ETA state or in a third country. A fee is charged for Evira's decisions.
Evira also controls the actions of veterinary surgeons. For the purpose of this control, Evira maintains a Register of Veterinary Surgeons, which contains data on persons who practice as veterinary surgeons. Veterinary surgeons are required to immediately inform Evira and the Regional State Administrative Agency of any changes in their contact information. Changes are to be submitted in writing or by e-mail to the Legal Affairs Unit of Evira at elainlaakarit evira.fi.
The Register of Veterinary Surgeons also includes a public information service that can be accessed to check if a person is licensed to pursue the profession of veterinary surgeon in Finland. The service provides basic information on all practitioners of veterinary medicine in Finland (name, identification number, information on the date of licensing, duration of temporary practitioner, authorisation and any licence restrictions). Data are updated on real time from the Register of Veterinary Surgeons.
For further information, please contact secretary Anita Venäläinen, Legal Affairs Unit,
gsm: +358 50 555 3982, e-mail: anita.venalainen evira.fi.