Related Laws & Legislation

Canada

In Canada, each province has their own Veterinary Profession Act (VPA) which clearly defines “veterinary medicine”. The practice of these defined items by a non veterinarian is illegal and punishable by law. Most provinces have included a general statement in their VPA’s which would include ALL modalities of Complementary Equine Therapy as “veterinary medicine”. The only provinces that have not yet included this general statement in their VPAs are Quebec, Ontario and Alberta.
Dentistry is clearly defined as "veterinary medicine" in all of the following provinces, meaning only veterinarians can perform this service; B.C., Ontario, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.
Some of the provincial Veterinary Acts allow Complementary Equine Therapies to be provided by a non vet that is practicing directly under veterinary supervision or delegation. A requirement being that the animal must first be examined by a veterinarian, who then may or may not delegate the therapy to the non vet practitioner.

Alberta

VETERINARY PROFESSIONS ACT - ALBERTA
Section 1
(p) "veterinary medicine" means a medical service performed
with respect to an animal and includes the following:
(i)surgery; 
(ii)obstetrics and ova and embryo collection;
(iii) prescribing, compounding, dispensing and selling drugs. Through the legislative process the VPA can be changed to include a general statement.
The Alberta Veterinary Professions Act includes what is considered legally to be considered "veterinary medicine". Also see exclusions to this Act. Begins on Page 7.
Through the legislative process, the Veterinarian Profession Act can be amended. In the past few years the ABVMA has created various documents outlining these proposed amendments. Given the opportunity the ABVMA's amended VPA would include a much more comprehensive list of items and actions making it illegal for non veterinarians to perform these services unless under the direct supervision of a veterinarian. Meaning the animal must first be examined by a veterinarian who then may, or may not delegate the therapy to the non vet practitioner.
Proposed amendment to the VPA.
Though not supported by legislation via the current Veterinary Profession Act, the position of the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) is: “only veterinarians have the education, knowledge, skills and judgment to evaluate and integrate complementary and alternative veterinary medicine into a rational treatment plan for animals.” This information is outlined in the ABVMA's "Council guidelines for the practice of Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine."
The Council Guidelines for the Practice of Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine begin on page 17 of the document.
If you are an Animal Owner and would like to protect your rights to choose Complementary Therapies for your animals, please become a member of the Alberta Association for Animal Owner's Rights.

British Columbia

COLLEGE OF VETERINARIANS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (CVBC)

VETERINARIANS ACT - Last updated 2010

Part 1

"veterinary medicine" means the art and science of veterinary medicine, dentistry and surgery and

includes, whether or not for consideration,

(a) the diagnosis and treatment of animals for the prevention, alleviation or correction of disease,

injury, pain, defect, disorder, or other similar condition,

(b) the provision of a service prescribed by regulation of the Lieutenant Governor in Council, and

(c) the provision of advice in respect of a matter referred to in paragraph (a) or (b).

The College of Veterinarians of British Columbia (CVBC)
CVBC has also put out a document regarding their position on Complementary Therapies. In it they outline the Common Areas of Unauthorized Practice which essentially is a list of all of these therapies. (Page 4)
 The conditions in which non vets can practice these therapies is also detailed. (Page 6, item #8)
The legislations created by the provincial vet associations typically have always included an exemption for farriers or hoof care workers, so it is quite shocking that the CVBC has included a point regarding the limitations they put on this group of care providers also regarding services that can't be delegated. "...a ferrier may trim cow and horse feet; however, he or she is not permitted to provide health assessments, render diagnosis, prescribe treatment including corrective therapy, or assess the efficacy of treatment." This means that farriers can not explain to the client that their horse may be suffering from laminitis, thrush, abscesses and they can not then make suggestions to the owner regarding care for these issues. (Page 7, item #13)
Unauthorized Practice of Veterinary Medicine in B.C.

Saskatchewan

SASKATCHEWAN VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (SVMA)
THE VETERINARIANS ACT, 1987
(l) "veterinary medicine" means that branch of knowledge relating to the prevention, diagnosis and
treatment of the diseases of and injuries to animals, and includes:
(i) diagnosing, advising or prescribing a drug, medical appliance or application or treatment of

whatever nature for the prevention or treatment of a bodily injury or disease of animals;

(ii) administering a drug, medicine, appliance or other application or treatment of whatever nature

for the prevention or treatment of bodily injury or disease of animals except where the drug,
medicine, appliance or application or treatment is administered by some other person at the
direction and under the direct supervision of a member;

(iii) performing a surgical operation on an animal;
(iv) the management of estrus synchronization, superovulation and the collection, evaluation and
processing of embryos;
(v) performing any manual procedures for the diagnosis of pregnancy, sterility or infertility on animals;
(vi) certifying the cause of death of an animal;


The complete Saskatchewan Veterinary Act.

Also see exclusions to this Act.

Manitoba

MANITOBA VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (MVMA)
Manitoba's Veterinary Medical Act
PRACTICE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
2(1)The practice of veterinary medicine means the branch of knowledge that relates to

maintaining the health of animals and to preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases of and
injures to animals.

Including practices
2(2) Without restricting the generality of subsection (1), a person who does any of the following
engages in the practice of veterinary medicine within the meaning of this Act:
(a) prescribes or dispenses a drug, veterinary biologic, medicine, appliance or treatment of whatever

nature for an animal;

(b) administers a drug, veterinary biologic, medicine, appliance or treatment of whatever nature to

an animal;

(c) performs a surgical operation on an animal;
(d) performs any procedure for the diagnosis of pregnancy, sterility or infertility on an animal;
(e) engages in the practice of obstetrics or ova collection or embryo transfer for animals;
(f) engages in the practice of veterinary dentistry;
(g) certifies the cause of death of an animal.

The complete Manitoba Veterinary Act.
Also see exclusions to this Act.

Ontario

COLLEGE OF VETERINARIANS OF ONTARIO (CVO)
VETERINARIANS ACT - Last amendment: 2010
Interpretation;
“practice of veterinary medicine” includes the practice of dentistry, obstetrics including ova and embryo transfer, and surgery, in relation to an animal other than a human being;
The complete Ontario Veterinarians Act.
Also see exclusions to this Act.

The College of Veterinarians of Ontario have also produced a "Position Statement" regarding their views on the use of Complementary Therapies. In it, they expand on the actual legislated definition of "veterinary medicine" to include more of a general statement encompassing all therapies. They also then itemize these therapies "Veterinary treatments, therapies, and/or modalities that are currently
considered complementary and/or alternative include (but are not limited to) the following: chiropractic care; physical therapy; rehabilitation therapy; massage therapy; homeopathy; acupuncture; nutraceutical therapy; and phytotherapy". (Page 1)

As with the ABVMA, the CVO also states the position that "only veterinarians have the education, knowledge, skills, and judgment to evaluate and integrate complementary and alternative veterinary medicine into a treatment plan for animals. Therefore performing alternative and complementary veterinary treatments, therapies and/or modalities on animals constitutes the practice of veterinary medicine such that these procedures may only be performed by a veterinarian or by a non-veterinarian who is directed and supervised by the veterinarian, within the context of a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship." (Page 2)

Again this statement is NOT supported by the existing Ontario Veterinarian Act and therefore the law.

The Practice of Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine

Quebec

ORDRE DES MEDECINS VETERINARIRES DU QUEBEC (OMVQ)
PRACTICE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE
7. Every act the object of which is to give veterinary advice, to make a pathological examination of
an animal, to make a veterinary diagnosis, to prescribe medications for animals, to practise a surgical
operation on an animal, to treat a medical or surgical veterinary disorder by using a mechanical,
physical, chemical, biological or radiotherapy process, or to approve or condemn ex officio the meat of
domestic animals for consumption, constitutes the practice of veterinary medicine.
The complete Quebec Veterinarians Act.
Also see exclusions to this Act.

New Brunswick

NEW BRUNSWICK VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (NBVMA)
An Act Respecting the New Brunswick Veterinary Medical Association (Private Act)
"veterinary medicine" or the "practice of veterinary medicine" means any professional
service usually performed by a veterinarian and includes
(a) the diagnosis or treatment of, and the prescribing, treating and operating for the prevention,
alleviation or correction of any injury, disease, pain, deficiency, deformity, defect, lesion,
disorder or condition of or to an animal, including the prescribing, dispensing, treating with and
administering of x rays, anesthetics, drugs and medicines in connection therewith;
(b) ova and embryo collection from an animal;
(c) pathological examination of an animal;
(d) the actions, matters and things listed in subsection 25 (2);
(e) the giving of advice with respect to any of the foregoing for money or
other reward;
(f) any specialty of veterinary medicine;
(g) the veterinary procedures performed by an animal health auxiliary; and
(h) without limiting the foregoing, the diagnosis or treatment of, and the
prescribing, treating and operating for the prevention, alleviation or
correction of any injury, disease, pain, deficiency, deformity, defect,
lesion, disorder or physical condition of, to, in or from any animal tooth or
associated structures or tissues, including the prescribing, dispensing,
treating with and administering of x rays, anesthetics, drugs and
medicines in connection therewith and the replacement, improvement or
supplementation of any animal tooth.
The New Brunswick Veterinary Medical Association (NBVMA)

Nova Scotia

NOVA SCOTIA VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (NSVMA)

VETERINARY MEDICAL ACT - Last amended 2001

Interpretation: Section 2

(s) "practice of veterinary medicine" means the practice of veterinary medicine, surgery and dentistry, including the examining, diagnosing, manipulating and treating of patients for the prevention, alleviation or correction of a disease, injury, condition, deformity, defect or lesion in an animal with or without the use of any instrument, appliance, drug or biologics, and includes prescribing and dispensing medications, research, teaching and the giving of advice by electronic or any means, with respect to any of the foregoing, but does not include

(i) the furnishing, without remuneration, of first aid or temporary assistance to an animal in an emergency,

(ii) in an agricultural setting, the treatment of an animal by its owner, by a member of the owner's household or by a person regularly employed by the owner in agriculture,

(iii) the treatment of an animal by an animal-health technician or a non-member employee of a licensed member, either of whom are acting under the supervision of a member who holds a general-practice license,

(iv) the castration of calves, pigs and lambs and the caponizing of poultry,

(v) the dehorning of cattle,

(vi) the artificial insemination of any species of animal,

(vii) the non-surgical implantation of an embryo, other than the synchronization of donor and recipient animals, superovulation and the collection, evaluation and processing of embryos,

(viii) for greater certainty, the drawing of blood from animals by trained technical personnel employed by the Government of the Province or the Government of Canada,

(ix) the use of an animal in research that is carried out using acceptable veterinary procedures if the use of the animal has been approved by an animal care committee acting in accordance with the guidelines of the Canadian Council of Animal Care, at least one member of which is a licensed veterinarian,

(x) the dispensing of medicines by pharmacists pursuant to the Pharmacy Act;

The complete Nova Scotia Veterinarians Act.
Also see exclusions to this Act.

Newfoundland

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR COLLEGE OF VETERINARIANS (NL VETCOLLEGE)

VETERINARY MEDICAL ACT

Section 2

(j)  "veterinary medicine" means veterinary medicine, surgery, pathology and dentistry and includes

                      (i)  the diagnosing, prescribing, treating, manipulating and operating for the prevention, alleviation or correction of a disease, injury, pain or other similar condition in or of an animal,

                     (ii)  the giving of advice in respect of anything mentioned in this paragraph with a view to obtaining a fee or other remuneration, and

                    (iii)  the performance of procedures and use of equipment as may be prescribed in regulations made under section 48.

The complete Newfoundland Veterinarians Act.
Also see exclusions to this Act.

Prince Edward Island

PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (PEIVMA)
VETERINARY PROFESSION ACT - Nov. 2004
Section 1
(h)“veterinary medicine” means any service usually performed by a veterinarian including
(i) the application of surgery or medicine to animals;
(ii) embryo and ova collection, the diagnosis or treatment of, and the prescribing, treating,
manipulating, or operation for the prevention, alleviation, or correction of any disease, injury, pain,
deficiency, deformity, defect, lesion, disorder, or physical condition of animals, with or without the
use of instruments, appliances, medicine, drugs, preparation or anesthetics.
(iii) the giving of advice in respect to any of the matters mentioned in subclauses (1) and (ii) with the
view to obtaining a fee or salary;

The complete Prince Edward Island Veterinarians Act.
Also see exclusions to this Act.

Northwest Territories

VETERINARY PROFESSIONS ACT
Definitions 1
In this Act,
"license" means a license to practice veterinary medicine in the Northwest Territories issued under this Act;
"Register" means the veterinary register referred to in subsection 2(1);
"veterinarian" means a person holding a license under this Act;
"veterinary medicine" means the practice if veterinary medicine, surgery an dentistry, and includes the
examining, diagnosing, prescribing, manipulation and treating or the prevention, alleviation or
correction of a disease, injury, condition, deformity, defect, or lesion in an animal with or without
the use of any instrument, appliance, drug or biologics.

The complete Veterinary Profession Act for the Northwest Territories.

Also see exclusions to this Act.

Nunavut

VETERINARY PROFESSION ACT
"veterinary surgery" means the surgical, dental or medical treatment of animals but does not include the castration, spaying, vaccinating or dehorning of animals.

The complete Veterinary Profession Act for Nunavut.

Also see exclusions to this Act.