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Licensure of Veterinarians in Emergency Situations

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Policy Statement

Published: June 2016


This policy has been developed to facilitate the licensure of veterinarians from outside of Ontario in the event that an official emergency situation is declared.   


This policy will apply to veterinarians licensed elsewhere in Canada or in another country that licenses veterinarians who are prepared to assist in the management of an emergency situation in Ontario. 


No one may practice veterinary medicine in Ontario without holding a licence issued by the College. Applicants are eligible for supervised, short-term licensure in order to provide specific veterinary services for a special purpose if they have been: 

  • Appointed by the Ontario Veterinary College; 

  • Invited by a regional academy or group of members with a special interest; or 

  • Granted the consent of the College. 

Short-term licences are valid for up to 30 days. 

Applications that meet all requirements for this type of licence are processed by CVO staff.  Applications that do not meet all requirements are referred to the Registration Committee, which is authorized to permit a longer period of licensure and/or to waive the requirement for supervision.

College Position 

The College considers assisting in an emergency that has been declared by a government body to be an acceptable “special purpose” as required under the Regulations for a Short-Term licence (see Appendix).  For further clarity, a declared emergency includes a request for additional veterinary resources.  

The Registrar is authorized, on behalf of the College, to carry out the following actions pertaining to applications for licensure made in response to a declared emergency: 

  1. To issue and, where necessary, renew a short-term licence to veterinarians who are directed by a federal or provincial government body to perform specific veterinary services solely for the short-term, special purpose of dealing with the emergency situation.   

  1. To waive application and licensure fees;  

  1. To accept, as the nature of the emergency warrants, the Chief Veterinarian of Ontario or of Canada as the supervising veterinarian of short-term licensees, waiving the requirement for an undertaking to be signed by both parties;  

  1. To waive the documentation requirement to have letters of standing sent from other jurisdictions, instead confirming that the applicant holds active licensure in good standing through direct communication with the regulator of the originating jurisdiction.    


Veterinarians Act R.S.O. 1990, s. 11, 14(2)(b) 
R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 1093: General s. 3, 8 

College publications contain practice parameters and standards which should be considered by all Ontario veterinarians in the care of their patients and in the practice of the profession. College publications are developed in consultation with the profession and describe current professional expectations. It is important to note that these College publications may be used by the College or other bodies in determining whether appropriate standards of practice and professional responsibilities have been maintained. The College encourages you to refer to the website ( to ensure you are referring to the most recent version of any document.