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New legislation a step forward for veterinary medicine

March 7, 2024

The Council of College of Veterinarians of Ontario (College) is optimistic and energized with its new governing legislation, presented in Queens Park today, says the College President.

“Today is a pinnacle moment, a significant step towards a robust and effective legislative framework to govern veterinary medicine in Ontario. We are pleased to partner with Minister Thompson and the Ontario government for the introduction of this legislation that strengthens public protection and more accurately reflects current veterinary practice.” 

Dr. Wade Wright, College President.

“Our Council and the licensed members of our College recognize the impact of this legislation in supporting veterinary teams and enabling us to serve the public with efficiency, transparency and accountability. This is good news for the public, for veterinary medicine, and for veterinary teams in Ontario,” said Dr. Wright.

The Hon. Lisa Thompson, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, tabled the legislation in parliament this afternoon. The Minister acknowledged the current Veterinarians Act no longer reflects the realities of veterinary practice and there is a clear need to update to a modern and flexible legislative framework to better serve Ontario.

"The veterinary profession prides itself on our teamwork, our innovation and our passion for animal health as we deliver safe, quality veterinary medicine.  This pride extends to our Council which is committed to serving the public and the profession with efficiency, transparency, and accountability. It has been frustrating to see the mismatch between today’s expectations and our legislative authority. The Enhancing Professional Care for Animals Act moves us in the right direction.” 

Dr. Wright

The College Council has been working towards the modernization of its governing legislation for several years and forwarded recommendations to the province in 2018. The College, along with the Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians and the Ontario Veterinary Medical Association, are working collaboratively on modernization to strengthen public protection and more accurately reflect current veterinary practice.

"Our current legislation has increasingly become a barrier to Council’s work in support of the public interest. We are so pleased with Minister Thompson’s work to modernize the legislation; this is good news for the public and for veterinary teams.”

Jan Robinson, Registrar and Chief Executive Officer

The College Council sees legislative reform as an opportunity to provide the public and the veterinary profession with:

  • better protection of animal welfare
  • clarity in the role of veterinary technicians and recognition for their skillset on the veterinary team
  • improved access to low-risk health care options for animal owners
  • increased accountability and transparency
  • modernized and enhanced governance

The College is committed to managing the risks involved in the practice of veterinary medicine in Ontario and working to reduce any potential for harm to animals and to people. Currently, the College licenses Ontario’s 5,544 veterinarians and accredits 2,400 veterinary facilities.

Key Changes with the Enhancing Professional Care for Animals Act

  • Recognition of veterinary technicians’ skills on the veterinary team.
  • Modernized governance, including a mandatory quality assurance program.
  • Increased transparency and efficiency in investigations and their resolutions.
  • Improved access to veterinary care, including low-risk health care options.


  • The College of Veterinarians of Ontario regulates the delivery of veterinary medicine in Ontario. All veterinarians practising in Ontario must be licensed by the College.
  • The veterinary profession in Ontario has been regulated since 1877.
  • The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs has oversight of the Veterinarians Act. As a regulatory college, the College of Veterinarians of Ontario has legal authority through its governing legislation, currently the Veterinarians Act.