SVA Position Statement Regarding Animal Communication

By Admin | News

Aug 01


The Singapore Veterinary Association (SVA) promotes and recognises the importance and value of the Human-Animal bond, especially in a time when pets are increasingly being seen and treated as family members. On a broader level, the SVA also believes that individuals in society are free to profess and practice their personal beliefs, subject to general laws that safeguard public order, public health and morality. In addition to general laws, the SVA also believes that the practice and propagation of personal beliefs should not infringe on animal health and welfare. 

The practice of Animal Communication is the non-evidence-based use of a non-verbal telepathic language between a human and an animal using a “heart-to-heart” intuitive connection. It is sometimes described as “an exchange of mind works” via the sending of energy, thoughts and feelings. Some pet owners may engage Animal Communicators to try to understand their pets’ innermost thoughts and feelings, find their lost pets or communicate with deceased companion animals. 

Recently, the SVA has received feedback from practising veterinarians in Singapore regarding a number of cases where Animal Communicators recommended a delay or change in veterinary treatment for pets that they have communicated with, against veterinary advice. Some pet owners have also intentionally delayed veterinary treatment as they wanted to consult an Animal Communicator before seeing a veterinarian. These events put animal health and welfare at significant risk. 

The SVA is against the use of Animal Communication as a tool for diagnosing and treating animals, including Animal Communication advice and practices that would potentially delay veterinary medical attention. The reasons are outlined as follows:

  1. Animal Communication practices are non-evidence-based practices. They are based on belief and have no scientifically verifiable evidence or data to support their claims, and go against the grain of scientific principles. 
  1. Animal Communicators are not accredited or licensed at a national level. At the current time, no prior knowledge of animal welfare, medicine, physiology or disease processes is required in order to practice as an Animal Communicator. There is no licensing or regulatory framework for quality assurance or disciplinary process for errant practitioners. 
  2. Interfering with veterinary treatment can pose a threat to animal welfare, well-being and quality of life of animals. Veterinarians have a moral and ethical obligation to support animal welfare and well-being. Belief-based or anecdotal advice, in the absence of context and medical knowledge, are open to subjective interpretations that may threaten animal health and welfare.
  1. Interfering with veterinary treatment disrupts the Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR). A VCPR is established where a veterinarian has medical knowledge of a patient’s condition and has assumed responsibility to make sound clinical judgments regarding a patient. The client, being the caregiver of the patient, works with the veterinarian to make a well-informed decision pertaining to the management and treatment of the animal. This will ensure the best clinical outcome to improve patient health and welfare. A third party with incomplete knowledge of the patient history, understanding of disease processes or medical training nor in close consultation with the case veterinarian, may adversely affect the decision-making process.

Notwithstanding, the SVA believes that there is a role for Animal Communication in pet owner grief management for deceased pets, or in cases where animal health and welfare are not put at risk. However, when it comes to veterinary diagnosis and treatment, practices must be evidence-based and grounded in science. 

Statement issued on 1 August 2022

Singapore Veterinary Association Executive Committee