Veterinary medicine in the Netherlands is regulated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The veterinary chapter in the Netherlands is the Koninklijke Nederlandse Maatschappij voor Diergeneeskunde (KNMvD, Royal Dutch Veterinary Association) which is based in Houten, near Utrecht. Veterinary Medicine is regulated under the Wet Dieren (Law for Animals) of 2014.

Veterinary Specialist Recognition

The Netherlands has had a Council of Specialisation (later: Registration Committee) for veterinarians since 1982. The council includes members of the KNMvD, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University and has governmental observers. The title of veterinary specialist does not have a protected legal status in the Netherlands but is accepted by the KnMvD and the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University. There is a register of veterinary specialists. Diplomates of the Colleges of the European Board of Veterinary Specialisation (European Veterinary Specialists), the AVMA American Board of Veterinary Specialties and National specialists can apply to be included in the veterinary specialist register of the Netherlands. 

Originally, Dutch veterinary specialisation included six subject areas: general pathology, general radiology, and small animal ophthalmology, dermatology, surgery and internal medicine. Specialisation requires a 4-year training programme (including an internship). In 2000, for the six disciplines concerned, Dutch veterinary specialisation was replaced by EBVS system of European veterinary specialisation. National specialists, who do not meet the EBVS requirements, are still considered Dutch veterinary specialists (‘National specialist’ based on a decision by the Registration Committee) and have to undergo re-evaluation based on requirements similar to those of EBVS.

Advanced Veterinary Practitioners

Currently there is no Advanced Veterinary Practitioner status in the Netherlands.

Continuing Education of Veterinary General Practitioners

Continuing education is voluntary and does not lead to any post graduate qualifications. Continuing education was added to the to the Centraal Kwaliteitsregister Dierenartsen (Central Quality Register for Veterinarians) by the Kwaliteitsorgaan Dierenartsen (Quality Body for Veterinarians) in 2012. 

Veterinary Education

There is one veterinary school in the Netherlands - Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Utrecht University - and this has EAEVE approval. Dutch veterinarians are not entitled to use the title of Doctor, which is reserved for individuals with a Ph. D. degree, but can use the title Doctoranders abbreviated to drs.

Membership Organisations

The memerbship association, which also has a regulatory function, is the KNMvD, based in Houten, near Utrecht. The KNMvD has had a veterinary specialist section  - the Groep Veterinaire Specialisten - since 1986.