The Premier Natural Animal Therapy Organisation

Professional insurance for HATO members

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                                       ACN: 137251391


About HATO

Holistic Animal Therapy Association of Australia was formed in 1998 and the Holistic Animal Therapy Organisation (HATO) was established in 2009 to replace HATAA, so we are the oldest natural animal health organisation in Australia.

Our mission is to empower and support qualified natural animal health practitioners world-wide* by progressing the field of holistic animal health care. We aim to achieve this through supporting our members who are holistic animal health practitioners, holistic veterinarians, animal nutritionists, and other animal health professionals.

We also offer training in natural animal nutrition and holistic animal health and we actively educate the public about the benefits of natural animal health care and the correct nutrition and the importance of seeking professional advice for their animals. 

The goals of our organisation:  

  1. To represent animal therapists employing a range of healing methods and resources to address the whole animal - on physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels.
  2. To unify 'non-veterinarian' animal health professionals who are not adequately represented by existing associations with veterinarians. 
  3. To provide recognition for qualified holistic animal therapists and other animal health professionals and to offer members access to competitive professional insurance cover. 
  4. To provide a world-wide* directory for our members that connects pet owners with holistic animal health practitioners around Australia and Overseas. 
  5. To progress the field of natural animal health world-wide* through education, resources and networking.


Who are we?

HATO is an incorporated organisation representing natural animal therapists that practice a range of animal therapy disciplines.

The following natural animal therapies are acknowledged by our organisation:

Naturopathic Animal Care, Natural Animal Nutrition, Herbal Animal Medicine, Holistic Animal Health Care, Animal Homeopathy, Animal Iridology, Clinical Animal Nutrition, Remedial Animal Massage, Chiropractic for Animals, Traditional Chinese Animal Medicine, Holistic Veterinary Therapy, Bowen Therapy for Animals, Animal Acupuncture, Animal Shiatsu, Acupressure for Animals, Craniosacral Animal Therapy, Equine Touch, Myofunctional Animal Therapy, Myofascial Animal Therapy, Animal Communication, Holistic Animal Behaviour Training, Aromatherapy for Animals, Biochemic Tissue Salts for Animals, Tellington T-Touch Therapy, Flower Essence Therapy for Animals, Grief Counselling for Pet owners, Animal Kinesiology, Alexander technique for Animals, Animal Reflexology and Reiki for Animals.

HATO practitioners may offer herbal remedies for animals, homeopathic animal medicines, nutrient supplements, dietary recommendations for dogs, cats, horses and other animals and holistic pet food advice, animal massage, dog behaviour training, and many other types of professional advice, natural animal remedies and holistic animal health care, depending on the practitioners individual qualifications, their jurisdiction and their areas of knowledge in natural animal health.  

Sar Rooney BHSc., ND., DC., DASc., GDSc. (Hons) Zoology, is the Founder and Director of The Holistic Animal Therapy Organisation and her aim is to advance the field of natural animal health by improving the educational standards of natural animal health practitioners. 

Holistic Animal Therapy Organisation has the following aims:

To represent animal therapists who offer a diverse range of therapies to benefit the health and wellbeing of all animals.

To offer continued support and unification for natural animal therapists through interaction with other holistic animal health practitioners and relevant organisations. 

To provide training in holistic animal health and natural animal nutrition. 

To allow members to have access to dedicated, professional indemnity insurance at reasonable rates. 

Statement of Purpose:

  1. To advance the formal and professional recognition of holistic animal therapists world-wide*.
  2. To represent the interests of and provide support for natural animal therapists through professional advice, information and an opportunity for social interaction.
  3. To set professional standards, a code of ethics and to provide access to suitable education for practitioners.
  4. To seek affiliation and accreditation with like-minded groups and associations both in Australia and overseas.
  5. To promote public awareness of natural animal therapies and holistic animal care throughout the world*.
  6. To be a forum for discussion in natural therapies particularly with regards to the safety and efficacy in relation to natural medicines and holistic therapies for animals.
  7. To foster the teaching of natural animal health through media channels, community groups and educational institutions to increase the understanding of holistic animal health care.

*Excluding the US and Canada.


Position Statement on Animal Research

HATO does not condone using animals for scientific research where animals are harmed in any way. 

HATO practitioner members mainly work with traditional natural medicines or therapies – many of which have strong empirical evidence with a documented history of safety and efficacy over thousands of years. While HATO supports research to find new evidence for natural medicines using non-animal models, we do not condone or approve of harmful animal experimentation.  

In modern day medical and veterinary science it is now a requirement for natural medicines or therapies to be 'evidence-based' in order to be recognised as proven treatments. Unfortunately, this often includes research involving animals models.  

While HATO is opposed to any animal suffering, research articles that involve animal models are sometimes published on the HATO website or in HATO newsletters as the content of the research conducted may be of value to natural animal health practitioners and the general public.


Code of Ethics

  1. I conduct myself professionally at all times and will only use and apply healing methods that are safe and that I am qualified and permitted to perform. Above all, I will strive to do no harm
  2. I am aware of and abide by local, state and federal statutes at all times.
  3. I am aware of and abide by the rules, policies and guidelines set out in the HATO Code of Ethics and all other rules, regulations and legal requirements and I will maintain adequate professional indemnity insurance at all times. 
  4. I will not work outside my scope of practice, either in abilities or by law and I will provide clients with full disclosure regarding the scope of my practice and my training and experience.
  5. I ensure my role as an animal practitioner facilitates health and well-being through a range of healing methods, information and resources to address the whole animal and I readily refer clients to veterinarians and other suitably-qualified practitioners when I cannot provide the appropriate advice.
  6. I acknowledge and abide by the current Acts of Parliament as they apply to my profession, therefore I do not offer a veterinary or medical diagnosis or prognosis, nor make claim to cure disease, either personally or by means of the therapies I employ, nor claim to practice veterinary medicine in any of its branches, either verbally or in advertising unless I am a registered veterinarian. 
  7. I will not diagnose, prescribe medications, or perform surgery unless properly authorized and licensed to do so pursuant to the applicable law for the jurisdiction in which I practice.
  8. I ensure that animal guardians seek diagnosis and treatment from a registered veterinarian whenever necessary or appropriate for the welfare of their animals. 
  9. I will report to HATO any criminal convictions regarding myself or regarding any other HATO member of which I have personal knowledge.
  10. I do not denigrate other members of the healing or allied professions and I respect the privacy of the animal guardians I work with and honour their desire for confidentiality.
  11. I endeavour to maintain as high as possible a level of professional competence, seeking always to improve my professional standards and technical skills in my work.
  12. I encourage clients to take greater responsibility for their animal companions’ health and wellbeing and allow them to decide how to work with healing their companion’s distress, disease or injury, given all the information available.
  13. I respect the rights and dignity of each individual animal and their guardian and allow them to choose whether or not to accept my help. 
  14. I ensure that all my dealings with others are on an ethical and honest basis at all times. I will not use misleading, deceptive, irresponsible or fraudulent statements or advertising at any time. 
  15. I avoid the use of any medicines that contain animal substances that have involved any form of animal cruelty or death such as the bile products taken from the Asian black bears; rhino horn and other animal products that can be found in some Traditional Chinese Medicines (TCM).


Please note: The practice of animal nutrition, holistic animal health, animal naturopathy or other non-veterinary forms of animal therapy is not intended to replace veterinary care. HATO members that are licensed veterinarians can practice approved acts of veterinary science as appropriate within their jurisdiction. Please consult a veterinarian if you require a diagnosis or veterinary treatment. 


Membership with the Holistic Animal Therapy Organisation is open to all qualified practitioners of natural animal health.