On September 5, 2018, the RF Government issued Executive Order No. 1851-r, which put before the State Duma a bill of amendments1 to RF Law No. 4979-1 of May 14, 1993 On Veterinary Medicine (the "Veterinary Medicine Law").

The bill is intended to clear up some legal uncertainty about the use of the term "specialist in veterinary medicine".

As matters now stand, the terms "specialists in veterinary medicine" and "specialists of the RF State Veterinary Service" ("Gosvetsluzhba") are often confused during compliance and enforcement processes. This, amongst other things, is why the question of proper certification crops up so frequently.

To address this uncertainty it is proposed that a new section 1.1 be added to the Veterinary Medicine Law, stating that veterinary medicine specialists are individuals with a university and college veterinary education who:

  • are authorized officers of the bodies and institutions that make up the Gosvetsluzhba system;


  • are not authorized officers of the bodies and institutions that make up the Gosvetsluzhba system.

Specialists who carry on a business in the world of veterinary medicine will have to register with the executive authority of their RF constituent entity that exercises powers in the field of veterinary medicine.

It is also proposed that the current Art. 4 of the Veterinary Medicine Law, which sets down the legal framework for veterinary activities, be repealed.

If the bill is made law, only specialists in veterinary medicine who are not authorized officers of the bodies and institutions that make up the Gosvetsluzhba system will have to undergo certification. Specialists' details will, as before, be included in the Federal State Veterinary Database.

At present, organizations and individuals that keep livestock and producers of animal products have to make livestock available for inspection, notify the authorities of any sudden deaths or herd- or flock-wide illness or unusual behavior and take action to isolate animals that they suspect are sick. It is proposed that only specialists who are authorized officers of the bodies and institutions that make up the Gosvetsluzhba system be empowered to demand that such organizations, individuals and producers carry out those duties and instructions to take steps to prevent and combat animal diseases.

We believe that, thanks to this unification of terminology, the amendments under consideration will, if passed, bring clarity to compliance and enforcement processes as concerns the activities of specialists in veterinary medicine, including their drawing up of veterinary covering documents for controlled products that are listed2 by the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation.


1. Draft Federal Law No. 544931-7 On Amendments to the Law of the Russian Federation On Veterinary Medicine in that Part Regulating the Activities of Specialists in Veterinary Medicine;

2. Order of the Russian Ministry of Agriculture No. 648 of December 18, 2015 On Approval of the List of Controlled Products that must be Accompanied by Veterinary Covering Documents.

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