In the event that you are a holder of another qualification, but practised the profession of AHT for a continuous period of at least five years prior to 4 June 2004 (the date on which the profession was promulgated) and seek registration your qualification will be evaluated on receipt of your application for registration. You have to apply before 4 December 2004.

AHT's who are not in possession of prescribed  qualifications or qualifications not accepted by Council must apply before 4 December 2004 to sit an examination and if passed, they will be entitled register as Animal Health Technicians

The examination will consist of an oral and practical component; 

The Merck Veterinary Manual will serve as the main reference document for this examination.  Study material for the qualifications in Animal Health from the North West University and Unisa can be used to assist prospective candidates in preparation for the examination.  Basic knowledge about the major diseases of animals will be required.  The examination is not testing the veterinarian, but the person who assists the veterinarian;

The successful completion of a Tuberculosis and Brucellosis course, which is approved and audited by the National Directorate Animal Health, as well as the submission of a certificate by the National Director (Senior Manager)  Animal Health, stating that the candidate passed the said course, is a prerequisite if the AHT is required to perform these TB and Brucellosis tests;

Candidates will have to obtain an overall pass mark of 50% and a sub minimum of 40 % will be required in both the oral and practical component;

Of the practical component of the examination 50% may be substituted by the presentation of a logbook by the candidate, (certified by the supervising veterinarian or supervisor at the rank of Chief or Control AHT, Assistant Director or Deputy Director) reflecting practical procedures carried out by the applicant during his/her period of employment; and

The examination will in all probability be conducted after 4 December 2004.  A northern and a southern panel will examine candidates.

Animal Health TechnicianAnimal health technicians are members of a learned and honourable profession and are required to at all times act in a manner that shall maintain and promote the prestige, honour, dignity and interests of the profession.   Animal health technicians fulfil an important task with regard to the health of both the animal and human population in South Africa and are mainly responsible for the maintenance of primary animal health care.    

No person may practise the profession of an animal health technician unless the person is registered with the SAVC.

The "Course of conduct for animal health technicians" is part of the rules pertaining to animal health technicians and has been included under "Rules".

Services pertaining to the profession of animal health technician








FORMAT OF EXAMINATION: Specify - Oral, Written, Practical, Combinations:


1. Have you received and been through the syllabus provided?


2. Are course objectives adequate for registration requirements?


3. Were you exposed to enough of each component of the examination to make a fair assessment?


4. Was the Department co-operative with you as a monitor?


5. Did an external examiner attend the examination?


6. In your opinion have students been passed that should have failed or vice-versa


7. Judging from the examinations and your knowledge of the course, are syllabus and course objectives sufficiently broad based and suitable for students wishing to pursue a career as an animal health technician?


METHODS OF EXAMINATION (Circle chosen mark out of 10)

1. Are the methods of examination appropriate to the syllabus?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2. Is the emphasis on oral, written and/or practical methods of examination suitable for the syllabus?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

3. Does the method (s) of examination test the student sufficiently broadly in the course content?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


1. Are the questions relevant to the curriculum/study guide (s) and fair to the students?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2. Is there a good balance between questions testing factual knowledge and practical or problem solving questions?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

3. Are the questions clear and concise?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

4. Is the degree of difficulty of questions appropriate?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

5. Do the students communicate their knowledge adequately in written form?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

6. Do the students communicate their knowledge adequately in oral form?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


1. Do the marks awarded correspond closely to the monitor's assessment for each student or sample of students?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

2. Do the examination marks correspond closely to marks awarded during the course of the year?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

3. Does the final mark reflect a fair proportioning of examination and year marks?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

4. Overall is the course content and standard of training and evaluation adequate for the purpose of entitling the holder of the degree to register as an animal health technician?

Yes / No


If you have awarded points of 5 or less for any question, state briefly your reasons and any immediate steps that should be taken to remedy the inadequacies in a typed report not exceeding one A4 sheet annexed to this form. You may also elaborate on positive impressions for any high marks awarded.

Date: _______________________ Signature: ________________________

Mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Candidates should be able to demonstrate and/or explain how to do the following during a practical/ oral examination:

1.    Restrain the head of a cow and pull out the tongue

2.    Restrain the head of a cow and relieve choke

3.    Estimate the age of the cow, sheep, goats, horse based on the incisors

4.    Put a temporary halter on a cow

5.    Put a nose tong (nose lead) in the nose of a cow

6.    Cast a cow using a double half-hitch or burley casting method

7.    Use the tail restraint to keep an animal from kicking

8.    Dose a cow using a dosing gun

9.    Pass a stomach tube in a cow

10.           Give an intramuscular injection

11.           Give a subcutaneous injection

12.           Give an intravenous injection in the various farm animals in the various locations,  

i.e.     tail vein,  jugular, etc.

13.           Examine and evaluate the mucous membranes in an animal

14.           Take the temperature, pulse and respiration of an animal.

15.           Read a thermometer quickly and easily.

16.           Examine in the live animal the main lymph nodes of animals, for example, the mandibular, prescapular, prefemoral, popliteal and supramammary lymph nodes.

17.           Lift and examine the feet of a cow, use hoof knife, hoof trimmer

18.           Restrain sheep and goats for vaccination, examination of feet etc.

19.           Trim hooves of sheep and goats.

20.           Estimate the live mass of animals

21.           Calculate dosages of drugs based on live mass of animal.

22.           Do a skin scraping/ wool scraping

23.           Collect a sample from a suspect rabies animal with correct completion of documentation.

24.           Prepare a blood smear from a cow, horse, sheep, goat or dog

25.           Stain a blood smear using diff quick, giemsa.

26.           Bring a blood smear into focus under oil immersion on the microscope.

27.           Identify anaplasma, babesia and white blood cells on the blood smear

28.           Perform a very basic post mortem (PM) on an animal.

29.           Prepare brain smears from heart water suspect animals.

30.           Identify heart water organisms in the endothelial cells on the brain smear.

31.           Collect blood from the coccygeal vain

32.           Collect specimens from PM for histopathology, eg. take thin slices of liver, kidney and fix in formalin.

33.           Collect specimens from PM for bacteriology/ toxicology/ serology eg. Take sterile swab without contamination from surrounding tissue.

34.           Apply an elastrator band to dock the tail of a lamb/piglets

35.           Perform the open method for tail docking/castrations

36.           Castrate an animal using a burdizzo.

37.           Do a California Milk Test (CMT)

38.           Collect a sterile milk sample for culture from all quarters and a bulk tank.

39.           Recognise an antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, oxytocin, oestrogen, etc and tell when or under what circumstances they could be used

40.           Recognise a dosing remedy.

41.           Recognise a dipping remedy.

42.           Perform an interdermal tuberculin test and interpret after 72 hours.

43.           Collect handle and transport sheathwash samples

44.           How to attend to a swelling on an animal that is suspected of being an abscess or a septic wound

45.           How to collect a faecal sample

46.           How to perform dehorning and/or branding

Candidates who write the examination should be able to identify the following instruments and describe/ explain what they are used for:

1.    Burdizzo

2.    Emasculator

3.    Elastrator

4.    Elastrator bands

5.    Hot dehorning bolt

6.    Keystone dehorner / guillotine

7.    Wire saw, OB wire saw, dehorning wire saw, embryotomy wire saw

8.    Hoof trimmer for small stock

9.    Hoof trimmer for large stock

10.           Hoof knife

11.           Trochar and cannula

12.           Dosing gun/dosing syringe

13.           Rumen magnet

14.           Ear notcher

15.           Tattoo applicator tong (sheep/cattle)

16.           Dental float

17.           Horse twitch

18.           Nose tongs

19.           CMT paddle

20.           Fetal extractor/calf puller

21.           OB chains/rope

22.           Vaginal speculum

23.           Gag/mouth speculum

24.           Nasogastric tube/stomach tube

25.           Vaccutainer sleeve

26.           Scalpel handle/blade

27.           Petri dish

28.           Micro-haematocrit tube

29.           Different gauges and lengths of hypodermic needles and what they are used for.

30.           Different sizes of syringes and what they are used for.

Links to African Council websites

Veterinary Statutory Bodies in Africa

Veterinary Council of Namibia

Veterinary Council of Zimbabwe (department of livestock and veterinary services)

Kenya Veterinary Board

Veterinary Council of Tanzania

Botswana Veterinary Association

You are here: Home SAVC About the Council