Legislation creating the new College of Veterinarians of B.C. has passed after receiving Royal Assent in the legislature, Agriculture and Lands Minister Steve Thomson announced today.
"B.C.'s veterinarians will have a modernized Veterinarians Act that brings their profession in line with other self regulating colleges," Thomson said. "Pet and animal owners can be assured they continue to have strong protection under the new act and access to high-quality, professional veterinary care."
The new legislation renames the British Columbia Veterinary Medical Association as the College of Veterinarians of B.C. To ensure an orderly transition, the new legislations will take effect after a regulation is made to bring it into force.
The legislation will enable:
* 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 bylaws.
* 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.
"We are very pleased with the act and foresee a smooth transition to the new college and a new governing council in the near future," said B.C. Veterinary Medical Association president Dr. Ray Snopek. "The public will benefit from a more efficient complaint process and clear disclosure of disciplinary outcomes. We eagerly anticipate greater public involvement in our professional regulation."
"We support the updated Veterinarians Act, which fundamentally changes the role of the former governing body of veterinarians in our province," said Dr. Diane McKelvey, chair of the Society of British Columbia Veterinarians. "We wish the new college success and look forward to building a constructive working relationship on behalf of the interests and needs of veterinarians in the province."
For more information on the new legislation or the public consultation that helped guide drafting of the new act http://www.al.gov.bc.ca/clad/strategic_land/strategic_land/VetAct/Veterinarians_Act_Consultation.html
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