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Code Of Ethics

The 5 main principles of Ingraham method

  1. Always gain the animal's consent
  2. Never put plant compounds in the food of an animal
  3. Always allow an animal to self-select the plant compound 
  4. Never diagnose
  5. Never restrain an animal

The practice of Applied Zoopharmacognosy is not intended to replace veterinary care; therefore it does not diagnose, dose or treat. Instead it facilitates the enhancement of an animals environment.

Legality of the Ingraham Method of Applied Zoopharmacognosy

Please be aware that the following only applies to those in the UK. Jurisdictions in other countries may have different laws concerning animal self-medication.

There has been some discussion on the legal status of allowing animals to self-medicate, especially in regard to whether it contravenes the Veterinary Surgeons Act (1966). The Veterinary Surgeons Act (1966) states that it is illegal for non-veterinarians to perform an act of veterinary surgery on an animal. According to the act, “veterinary surgery” means:

…the art and science of veterinary surgery and medicine and, without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, shall be taken to include:

(a) the diagnosis of diseases in, and injuries to, animals including tests performed on animals for diagnostic purposes;

(b) the giving of advice based upon such diagnosis;

(c) the medical or surgical treatment of animals; and

(d) the performance of surgical operations on animals.

As stated above, it is illegal to diagnose an animal with a disease or perform a diagnostic test. Applied Zoopharmacognocists do not diagnose, they simply offer the plant extracts on the basis of the symptoms displayed by the animal.

The IAZ has been legally advised that allowing animals under the care of others to self-medicate with plant extracts is permissible as it would not constitute an act of veterinary surgery. This is because the plant extracts that are offered are not controlled substances that can only be possessed by a veterinary surgeon. It would be an act of veterinary surgery if you administered a product that could only be legally possessed by a veterinary surgeon. If the product is on general sale (as plant extracts are) then non-veterinarians are allowed to possess it. This is why providing an animal with an over-the counter wormer does not constitute an act of veterinary surgery. 

Remember that if you are not a vet then it is illegal to diagnose or give advice based on a diagnosis.

It is essential to obtain insurance before allowing animals under the care of others to self-medicate. You must also seek permission from the carer before offering any extracts.

If you would like further information on our code of ethics please contact the office: