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 Decision:
Bill 171, Enhancing Professional Care for Animals Act, 2024, received Royal Assent on June 6, 2024. Provisions of Schedule 1, the Veterinary Professionals Act, 2024, will come into force upon proclamation (other than those sections relating to transitional matters, which came into force upon Royal Assent). The provisions in Schedule 2 that amend the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians Act, 1993 will come into force upon proclamation.

Among other enhancements, the legislation better defines the scope of practice for veterinary medicine, improves transparency, and more closely aligns the oversight of Ontario's veterinary profession with other self-governing regulated professions in the province. Recognizing that veterinary care is delivered by a team, veterinary technicians will be required to be licensed by the regulatory college together with veterinarians. The College of Veterinarians of Ontario will be continued and renamed as the College of Veterinary Professionals of Ontario. Changes will also enable the complaints and resolutions process, including the investigations component, to be streamlined. A formal quality assurance program will also be enabled under the oversight of a Quality Assurance Committee to better ensure continual learning and competence of members of the profession.

The statute enables regulations to be made to operationalize the legislation by providing additional requirements for how veterinary medicine will be overseen in Ontario. This includes regulations related to non-veterinary care providers so that chiropractors, pharmacists, persons who belong to or practise a prescribed profession or other prescribed persons may carry out identified authorized activities involving animal care. These regulations, should they be made, may also indicate applicable processes, terms, conditions, limitations or prohibitions. Once the regulations are developed and approved, the rest of the legislation will be proclaimed into force.
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 14, 2024
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.

Contact Address:
Branch: Food Safety and Environmental Policy Branch (FSEPB)
Address:1 Stone Road West, Guelph ON, N1G 4Y2
Royal Assent Date:
June 6, 2024