Veterinary services are provided by municipalities, private veterinarians and veterinary clinics.
Veterinary services organised by municipalities are primarily the responsibility of statutory co-operative areas for environmental health.
The implementation of and compliance with regulations issued under the Act on Veterinary Service and related provisions are supervised by Regional State Administrative Agencies and Evira.
The “National Programme for the supervision of animal health and welfare and veterinary services organised by municipalities” steers municipalities in the provision of veterinary services.
Municipal veterinary services
The Act on Veterinary Service requires that municipalities ensure the provision of veterinary services and control of food safety, and allocation of resources for the supervision of animal health and welfare, for which the State is responsible.
Municipalities are obliged to provide basic veterinary services on weekdays for production animals. These services must be provided for other domestic animals as well if they are not otherwise available in the co-operative area in question. Basic veterinary services include preventive veterinary care for production animals. In addition, municipalities must provide emergency veterinary assistance to all domestic animals at all times of the day.
Moreover, municipalities may choose to provide veterinary services beyond the basic veterinary services for domestic animals, including various specialist veterinary services.
Municipalities may also acquire basic veterinary services and urgent veterinary assistance as outsourced services from private service providers.
Private veterinary services
Private veterinary services are provided by private veterinarians and veterinary clinics. Before commencing operations, private service providers are obliged to submit a notification to the Regional State Administrative Agency.
All companies providing veterinary services must employ an authorised veterinarian responsible for the operations. Providers of private veterinary services must have the appropriate facilities and equipment required by the quality and scope of operations, and adequate and appropriate staff.
The Act on Veterinary Service (eläinlääkintähuoltolaki 765/2009) and the Government Decree on Veterinary Service (valtioneuvoston asetus eläinlääkintähuollosta 1031/2009) issued under it include provisions on municipal and private veterinary services.
The Act on practising the veterinary profession (Laki eläinlääkärinammatin harjoittamisesta 29/2000) specifies the qualification requirements, rights and obligations of engaging in the veterinary profession in Finland.
The Act on co-operative areas for environmental health (Laki ympäristöterveydenhuollon yhteistoiminta-alueesta 410/2009) requires that municipalities organise the provision of veterinary services as part of environmental health care in sufficiently large co-operative areas for environmental health by the year 2013.