Zoopharmacognosy Practitioner:  Siobhan Pestano


Photo Credit: S. Pestano

Photo Credit: S. Pestano

Natural selection has favoured those animals who find medicinal substances in the wild.
— Cindy Engel, author of "Wild Health"

Animal Behaviour & Welfare FdSc; Practitioner in Applied Zoopharmacognosy ProDip IAZ

I have always felt closely connected to nature, the environment and animals, and have long been fascinated by the healing powers of plants.

After many enjoyable years working in the areas of environmental protection, conservation and education (plus some time in the film industry to help fund my studies), I took a degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare.   It was during this time that I discovered the absolutely fascinating world of Zoopharmacognosy.   After seeing the first practical demonstrations, watching an animal select only specific remedies - so deliberately, and with such certainty - I knew immediately that this was the direction I wanted my work to take: a science that can help animals with both behavioural and physical issues, naturally and at their own pace.

I have conducted Zoopharmacognosy sessions with a wide variety of animals: domestic pets, farm animals and wildlife, and used it to help more than 200 stray animals in rescue centres.

I am inspired on a daily basis by the simple pureness of the remedies, and the innate knowledge of each animal to optimise its own health, given the opportunity.

I have full Professional Insurance as an Applied Zoopharmacognosy Practitioner, and adhere to the Applied Zoopharmacognosy Code of Ethics at all times:

Code Of Ethics

I have comprehensive, professional insurance as an Applied Zoopharmacognosy practitioner.

I work within and have respect for all directives of:

  • The Protection of Animals Act,1911
  • The Veterinary Surgeons Act, 1966
  • The Veterinary Surgery Exemptions Order, 1962
  • The Animal Welfare Act, 2006

and any other relevant law in effect now or in the future.

The practice of Applied Zoopharmacognosy is not intended to replace veterinary care; therefore it does not diagnose dose or treat. To do so would be in contravention of The Veterinary Surgeons Act, 1966.

Instead it facilitates the enhancement of an animal's environment, and the owner is taught how to work with secondary compounds for the health maintenance.

A substance must NEVER be imposed on an animal that has not selected it.  This includes placing extracts in food, or restricting the animal’s movement so it cannot move away. 

Client confidentiality is maintained at all times, and I abide by the Data Protection Act.  Any information obtained during consultation will be kept in the strictest confidence unless the owner or carer gives written permission for it to be shared with the veterinary surgeon or other interested parties.

While it is not a legal requirement to ask a vet's permission to hold a consultation with me, your vet should be informed:  both of the animal’s condition, and of the consultation. This is not only a professional courtesy, but more importantly, ensures that the animal will not miss out on veterinary care that it might need.