OAVT Member Update: Modernizing the Regulation of Veterinary Medicine in Ontario

The Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians (OAVT), the College of Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO) and the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) have been working collaboratively over many years towards a shared goal of modernizing the regulation of veterinary medicine in the province to strengthen public protection and more accurately reflect current practice.

This has included four years of policy research and consultations that culminated in the proposal Achieving a Modern Approach to the Regulation of Veterinary Medicine in Ontario, which was submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in 2018. An outcome of this work was the recommendation to create a new regulatory college that would regulate registered veterinary professionals together (RVTs and DVMs), and which addressed scope of practice.

The CVO and the OAVT, in conjunction with the OVMA, established a Legislative Reform Implementation Advisory Group, to collaboratively develop the pieces of the reform. To date, this work has included developing proposed amendments to the legislation (Veterinarians Act) such as College Council composition, as well as early work on the regulation which determines who can register with the college.

However, information was recently received from government to suggest that amending the Veterinarians Act is not currently slated to move forward in this mandate. Based on direction from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, the CVO, the OAVT and the OVMA understand that focus has shifted to regulatory amendments rather than changes to the Veterinarians Act at this time.

This was disappointing to the OAVT, the CVO and the OVMA, as updating the Veterinarians Act is the most efficient way to start the important changes to modernize the regulation of veterinary medicine in the province.

The priorities for the OAVT, which include seeing changes whereby animals are cared for by a team of regulated professionals and ensuring only Registered Veterinary Technicians can use the title and perform authorized activities that more fully use their formal education and training, are not possible without amending the legislation.

With this in mind, the OAVT will be increasing advocacy efforts to push for the legislative changes and we need your help with this. This could include writing letters to elected officials, attending meetings with MPPs or government officials, and sharing the importance of these changes via social media. We will continue to keep you updated on how you can be involved and what timelines will be.

We have created some resources to assist with advocacy and to explain government processes. These can be found on our new legislative reform webpage: www.oavt.org/reform.

Please also send any questions you may have about the modernization initiative or OAVT advocacy to advocacy@oavt.org. These questions will help us form an FAQ section on the legislative reform page.

Thank you for your participation in helping to ensure a strong foundation in which RVTs in Ontario can practice.

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