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NEWS RELEASE · 14th April 2010
M. of Agriculture & Lands
New legislation strengthening the practice of veterinary medicine in British Columbia has been introduced, Agriculture and Lands Minister Steve Thomson announced today.

"The Veterinarians Act hasn't been substantially updated since 1967, so the proposed changes are required to bring the legislation up to date," Thomson said. "The focus of these changes is to ensure British Columbians continue to have confidence in their access to safe, competent and ethical animal care."

The proposed legislation renames the British Columbia Veterinary Medical Association as the College of Veterinarians of B.C. The legislation will also refocus the organization by providing it with regulatory powers similar to those of other health-care colleges. These measures will ensure:

* Fair, transparent processes for registration, complaint resolution and discipline of veterinarians.

* Public access to information on disciplinary outcomes through an online registry.

* Additional government oversight of the college's operations.

* The ability to certify and regulate technicians, including animal health technologists.

* The ability to exempt some alternative and complementary treatment activities from regulation by the college.

* Opportunities for more people from outside of the veterinary profession to serve on the council and committees of the college.

The Province completed a public consultation period in December 2009, in which over 580 individual feedback submissions and a 750-person petition were received. Consultation questions focused on registration, investigative and disciplinary procedures and offered the opportunity for the public to provide more general feedback.

For more information on the public consultation results, visit:

http://www.al.gov.bc.ca/clad/strategic_land/strategic_land/VetAct/Veterinarians_Act_Consultation.html