Fight for your pets’ rights


You can choose to take your child to a homeopath, chiropractor or doctor of Chinese Medicine without a referral from a doctor, but you need a referral from a veterinarian to make the same choice for your pets. And many veterinarians will not refer pets to alternative health care practitioners, effectively limiting your access to these important modalities.

If you want your pet to see a homeopath or other alternative health care practitioner, you must pay for a veterinarian to supervise the visit. This added cost makes access to qualified alternative health care impossible for most pet owners. Veterinarians need only minimal training in homeopathy, chiropractics and acupuncture – often for only a few weekends – to be “qualified” to practise these modalities on your pet.

The BC government is contemplating changes to the BC Veterinarian’s Act that may further limit or even eliminate your freedom to make choices regarding your pet’s health care. You have the power to stop this from happening. The government of BC has requested advice from the public (by December 2, 2009) regarding proposed changes to the BC Veterinarians Act that is currently under review. There is significant concern that the changes being contemplated would provide the BCVMA with greater power to regulate itself. In recent years, the BCVMA has been involved in legal proceedings that have not served the public or their animals. The BCVMA has not acted in a manner that has instilled confidence in the public and accordingly should not be given the power to change bylaws and regulations or govern itself unchecked by the public it is supposed to be protecting.

For further information, visit or contact the Strategic Policy and Legislation Branch of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands at P.O. Box 9303, Stn. Provincial Government, Victoria, BC, V8W 9N1send the Ministry a fax at 250-387-2410.

– Marilyn Bell, Vancouver

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