Denmark and Osteopathy
In Denmark, order to use the term “Osteopath” (osteopat in Danish), one needs a qualification in human osteopathy. Since July 1st 2018 osteopaths have been authorized health professionals in Denmark. Since then, the right to call yourself an osteopath in Denmark has been reserved for those with an official authorization as a human osteopath. This also counts if you only work with animals.
It is allowed to work from an osteopathic approach, use osteopathic principles, techniques etc. without being an osteopath. So for those who have trained in Animal Osteopathy without a human qualification it is not allowed to use the term “osteopath”, but it is allowed to refer to the use of an osteopathic approach or similar.
The Danish Association of Human Osteopaths is called: “Danske Osteopater” and their website with further information in Danish can be accessed through this link: https://www.danskeosteopater.dk/
Treatments and terminology
According to “Lov om dyrlægegerning”/Danish Law on Veterinary Practice, the words “diagnosis” and “treatment” is reserved for vets.
Therefore anyone working with Animal Osteopathy in Denmark, who aren’t vets, are not allowed to use those specific terms about their work – however, they are allowed to practice, but need to use a different terminology. Words as “evaluation” and “therapy” are usually used about the osteopathic work.
There is no law or any regulations telling what non-vets are allowed to do in Denmark, only the above mentioned law says something about what is reserved for vets. The law is supplemented with verdicts and official interpretations stating that is not allowed for non-vets to practice acupuncture (anything the penetrates the animal’s skin) or manipulate (HVLTs and toggles).
The Danish Law on Veterinary Practice can be found here: https://www.retsinformation.dk/eli/lta/2020/40
The Danish Veterinary Association is: https://www.ddd.dk/
“Foreningen for Godkendte Hesteterapeuter”/“The Danish Association for Equine Body Workers” are working to improve the awareness of manual therapy (with an osteopathic approach) for animals.
The association is also working for this field of work to be included in Danish law and for better working conditions with less restrictions (in close copperation with vets). These plans have been discussed (with positive feedback) with the Veterinairy Association and the superior authority (fødevarestyrelsen). The association is currently working on gaining political interest in the case and they hope to begin a political dialog within 2021.
A similar association for canine practitioners is scheduled to be founded with 2021.
This article was written by Bettina Hvidemose, who runs her own school in Denmark. You can read more about The Centre of Animal Therapy, Denmark. HERE