A Proposal to Modernize the Veterinarians Act

Regulation Number(s):
Instrument Type:
Bill or Act:
Veterinarians Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. V.3
Summary of Proposal:
The Veterinarians Act (the Act) is the legislative framework that governs the licensing of veterinarians in Ontario, the practice of veterinary medicine, as well as the accreditation of the facilities used to practice veterinary medicine. The Act also establishes the governance framework for the regulator, the College of Veterinarians of Ontario (the College).

The legislation was last substantively updated in 1989. Since the late 1980s, the practice of veterinary medicine has evolved significantly. Some parts of the Act and Regulation 1093 are out of date and in need of modernization. A move from an outdated legislative framework would allow for legislation and regulations that reflect the current practice of veterinary medicine and include more contemporary approaches to professional regulation and governance.

The goal of this modernization is to better define the scope of practice for veterinary medicine, improve transparency and align oversight of Ontario's veterinary profession with other self-governing regulated professions in the province, to uphold the public interest. By modernizing the Act, the government is laying the groundwork to increase the availability of veterinarian services for both pets and large animals.

The College authored and published a proposal to modernize the Act entitled, "Achieving a Modern Approach to the Regulation of Veterinary Medicine in Ontario". The proposal was informed by findings and recommendations from a consultation process led by the College. Consultations revealed several opportunities, challenges and needs experienced by veterinary professionals and the general public, including the following:

•An opportunity to more specifically define the scope of practice for veterinary medicine.
•A need to clarify the College's oversight authority as the regulator of veterinary medicine in Ontario.
•Recognition that veterinary care is delivered by a team and acknowledging the roles of veterinary technicians within the system (including providing title protection for the terms veterinary technician, veterinary technologist and any recognized abbreviations, and bringing these professionals under common oversight with veterinarians).
•A need to streamline the current complaints and resolutions process, including the investigations component.
•An opportunity to develop a formal quality assurance program to better ensure continual learning and competence of College members.
Other administrative changes to the legislative framework that would also be required or desirable based on some of the above changes. Additional details on the proposed changes to the Act are included in the discussion paper.

In addition, OMAFRA launched a webpage to provide opportunity for public input. This webpage will continue to be available throughout this posting. Input can be sent to

All suggestions gathered through the consultation process, including industry and public input, will be further assessed and considered by OMAFRA as it moves forward with the development of draft amendments.

We encourage you to review and consider the discussion paper. Comments and feedback can be submitted to OMAFRA using the Regulatory Registry, or via email using the contact information included in the discussion paper.

Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
It is anticipated that the proposed legislative changes would not increase costs for owners of veterinary practices, or lead to additional costs for livestock producers, farmers, or other animal owners. The proposed legislative changes would also not introduce any additional administrative, operational and or capital costs for impacted legislated parties.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
March 1, 2023
Comments Due Date:
May 30, 2023
Contact Address:
Branch: Food Safety and Environmental Policy Branch (FSEPB)
Address:1 Stone Road West, Guelph ON, N1G 4Y2