The Premier Natural Animal Therapy Organisation

Professional insurance for HATO members

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For the safety of your dogs, cats, horses or other animals, please ensure the practitioner you seek advice from about natural health care or nutrition is appropriately qualified in the field they practice in.

Just as medical doctors are not qualified to practice on animals, most natural health practitioners for humans are not qualified to practice on pets. Allowing untrained practitioners to treat your pets could be putting them at serious risk (please refer to the article below). 

At the very least, it is essential that animal health practitioners have received training in animal anatomy and physiology, which is very different to humans. In addition, if you are seeking advice about nutritionally-balanced, natural diets for your dogs, cats or horses, it is important to consult an animal nutritionist that has been trained in this area. The same applies when seeking advice about herbal medicines or nutrient supplements for your pets.

To provide safe and effective advice, the practitioner should have qualifications in holistic health care for animals, not humans.

To find a qualified holistic animal health practitioner or animal nutritionist please search our website.

To become a qualified animal nutritionist or holistic animal health practitioner please look at our accredited courses here:  or email us at and request course information on our Certificate in Animal Nutrition and our Diploma in Holistic Animal Health.

Our online courses are available to students world-wide and there are no prerequisites for the Certificate in Animal Nutrition.

Please note: The Certificate in Animal Nutrition is a prerequisite for the Diploma in Holistic Animal Health.



It has come to our attention that a small number of naturopaths, herbalists and other practitioners (that are only trained in human health care) are prescribing nutrient and herbal supplements for animals without any formal qualifications in animal nutrition, animal anatomy and physiology or other areas of animal health care. 

This puts the health and safety of animals at risk as their requirements are very different to humans and there are many natural medicines that should be avoided in animals. Furthermore, the nutrient requirements for each animal species can differ significantly and recommending nutrient therapies for animals requires an understanding of their unique nutritional needs. 


In addition to putting animals at risk, the untrained practitioner could also be placing themselves at risk legally and may be liable for any damages caused or purported to be caused. If the professional lacks the appropriate qualification, their professional indemnity insurance would also no doubt be invalid. 

A person practising a profession (a professional) must not act outside the scope of their expertise. 

Many insurance companies will ‘provide’ professional indemnity insurance policies to practitioners that are not adequately trained but it is highly unlikely they will actually cover them when they go to make a claim if they do not have the appropriate qualifications. 

In other words, insurers can use this as a loop hole due to the practitioner’s lack of accreditation in the animal health field. It is therefore the responsibility of the practitioner to ensure they are properly trained in the field(s) they practice in; only work within their scope of practice and maintain membership with a professional holistic animal therapy organisation so they can practice in the best way possible for their animal clients and ensure they are practicing with full insurance cover. 

Put simply, to practice safe and effective natural health care for animals - practitioners must be trained appropriately. 

If you would like to offer informed advice to pet owners and consult in the field of holistic animal health and arrange professional insurance cover through our affiliated insurance company, you may want to enrol in our next online ‘Certificate in Animal Nutrition’ or ‘Diploma in Holistic Animal Health’ so you can help support and maintain the wellbeing of dogs, cats and horses. 

To find out more please email us at:  or visit for more information. 




The Australian paralysis tick (Ixodes holocyclus) is of significant medical and veterinary importance as a cause of dermatological and neurological disease, yet there is currently limited information about the bacterial communities harboured by these ticks and the risk of infectious disease transmission to humans and domestic animals. Ongoing controversy about the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (the aetiological agent of Lyme disease) in Australia increases the need to accurately identify and characterise bacteria harboured by I. holocyclus ticks.  

Ticks are the second most important vector of pathogens to humans after mosquitoes and the chief cause of vector-borne diseases in domestic animals and wildlife. 

This research provided the first evidence of a relapsing fever Borrelia sp. and of novel “Candidatus Neoehrlichia” species in Australia. The results raise new questions about tick-borne pathogens in I. holocyclus ticks. 

You can read the full study here:

Inhibition of the endosymbiont “Candidatus Midichloria mitochondrii” during 16S rRNA gene profiling reveals potential pathogens in Ixodes ticks from Australia’: 

Source: Alexander W. Gofton, Charlotte L. Oskam, Nathan Lo, Tiziana Beninati, Heng Wei,Victoria McCarl, Dáithí C. Murray, Andrea Paparini, Telleasha L. Greay, Andrew J. Holmes, Michael Bunce, Una Ryan and Peter Irwin. Parasites & Vectors 2015, 8:345 




Sheep given supplements of organic selenium above United States government recommendations showed improved growth, weight and immunity, according to new research at Oregon State University. 

In a new study published in the Journal of Animal Science, OSU researchers show that maximum selenium levels permitted by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may be too low for sheep to reach optimum growth and health. 

Selenium is essential for cellular function in animals and aids development. Large selenium doses can be toxic, but too-low levels can impair growth and compromise the immune system. 

"When sheep don't grow to their potential or have weak immune systems, it can be a sign of insufficient selenium," said Gerd Bobe, co-author of the study and an OSU professor. "Our research shows higher levels of selenium can result in healthier animals that grow bigger and that can improve returns at the marketplace for farmers and ranchers." 

Normally, grazing animals eat ample amounts of selenium from grass and other plants grown in soils naturally containing the element. Yet the soils of the Pacific Northwest are low in selenium, and the region's livestock often need it added to their diets to avoid health problems. 

A challenge is that the range between selenium deficiency and selenium toxicity can be narrow; current FDA regulations limit the amount of dietary selenium supplementation for animals grazing on selenium-scare soils – up to 0.7 mg per sheep per day or 3 mg per beef cattle per day. 

In OSU's experiments, pregnant ewes were given selenium doses up to five times higher than the FDA's allowed level – an amount of supplementation researchers determined to be not harmful to sheep. The element is carried into the bodies of offspring, helping young animals during development. 

At the highest amount, ewes gave birth to lambs that grew to be 4.3 pounds heavier than average after 60 days. Furthermore, survival was 15 percent higher in lambs receiving the highest amount of organic selenium supplementation. As farmers look to sell sheep at five to six months old, weight and health metrics are keys to profitability. 

Selenium also boosted an important gauge of the lambs' immune systems. Levels of immunoglobulin G, a protein that defends against pathogens and is essential for lamb survival, were elevated by 48 percent in Polypay ewes and 23 percent in all ewes given five times maximum FDA-permitted levels of selenium. 

The changes were measured in colostrum of ewes – a mother's first milk that is rich in immunoglobulins and vital for building the immune system and protecting against pathogens. 

OSU has a long legacy of selenium research. Half a century ago, OSU animal scientist Jim Oldfield was the first to identify severe selenium deficiency as a reason for several deadly diseases in animals, including cardiomyopathy and white muscle disease. 

A new generation of OSU research is attempting to determine how much selenium and in what form is best for optimal growth and health of sheep and cattle. 

Consumers may also benefit from eating meat from selenium-supplemented animals, as its one of the major sources of the element in the U.S. diet. Human observational studies suggest that regions with low selenium intake have a greater risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, Bobe said. 

"Consuming selenium-enriched foods may be a viable alternative for getting extra selenium," said Bobe, an expert in human and animal nutrition. "Plus, selenium-enriched animal products, including meat, are sold in other countries at a premium price." 

Journal reference: Journal of Animal Science. Provided by Oregon State University

SOURCE: Article courtesy of PHYSorg



Wound Healing and Anti-Inflammatory Effect in Animal Models of Calendula officinalis L. Growing in Brazil


Calendula officinalis is an annual herb from Mediterranean origin which is popularly used in wound healing and as an anti-inflammatory agent.

In this study, the ethanolic extract, the dichloromethane, and hexanic fractions of the flowers from plants growing in Brazil were produced. The angiogenic activity of the extract and fractions was evaluated through the chorioallantoic membrane and cutaneous wounds in rat models. The healing activity of the extract was evaluated by the same cutaneous wounds model through macroscopic, morphometric, histopathologic, and immunohistochemical analysis. The antibacterial activity of the extract and fractions was also evaluated.

This experimental study revealed that C. officinalis presented anti-inflammatory and antibacterial activities as well as angiogenic and fibroplastic properties acting in a positive way on the inflammatory and proliferative phases of the healing process. 

CITATION: Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative MedicineVolume 2012 (2012), Article ID 375671, 7 pages,


Leila Maria Leal Parente,1 Ruy de Souza Lino Júnior,2 Leonice Manrique Faustino Tresvenzol,1 Marina Clare Vinaud,2 José Realino de Paula,1 and Neusa Margarida Paulo3