Unauthorized Practice

Entrusting unauthorized and unregulated providers of veterinary medicine endangers the health of your animal.

  • There is no assurance that the unauthorized person is qualified or competent to provide treatment.
  • There is no assurance that any materials or equipment used are safe or sterile.
  • There is no accountability for poor or unsatisfactory treatment or outcomes.

Unauthorized Practice FAQ

Examples of Unauthorized Practice

Someone who performs, offers to perform or implies that they may perform any act within the definition of veterinary medicine is engaging in unauthorized practice. It is considered unauthorized practice whether done for a fee or not (Veterinarians Act, Sections 1 and 46).
Examples include:

  • Offering to alleviate an animal’s pain or condition
  • Offering to diagnose an animal disease
  • Cleaning an animal’s teeth below the gum line
  • “Floating” of a horse’s teeth (FAQ: Equine Dental Services)

The Veterinarians Act prohibits people who are not veterinarians from falsely using the title veterinarian.

Permitted Exceptions

The Veterinarians Act does allow certain limited exceptions to the practice of veterinary medicine by non-veterinarians:
Examples include:

  • The furnishing of first aid or temporary assistance to an animal in an emergency.
  • The treatment of an animal by its owner.
  • Caponizing and taking poultry blood samples.
  • Persons engaged in scientific research which reasonably requires animal experimentation under the governance of the Canadian Council on Animal Care (CCAC)

Filing an Unauthorized Practice Complaint

To file a complaint, contact the office in writing.

The CVBC will review the information and investigate. If the facts show that someone is engaged in the unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine, the CVBC will take the steps necessary to resolve the matter.

 The CVBC has statutory authority to seek a court injunction.