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The Veterinarians Act of BC (2010) & Bylaws of the College of Veterinarians of BC (CVBC) forbids;


  • Non-veterinary animal health practitioners from treating animals without veterinary supervision or delegation.

  • Referral by a veterinarian to non-veterinary health practitioners. The new rules only allow them to refer to another veterinarian.

Violators risk legal action by the CVBC including the threat of financial penalty and legal fees.

This has decreased access to therapies, caused some practitioners to practice in the shadows and affected some veterinarians who have been penalized by the CVBC for supporting complementary non-veterinary animal health practitioners.

At the Vet

The BCAOA feels this is wrong.

Many of these practitioners are highly skilled with special education and professional certifications.  A growing number of individuals offer similar services with very little training; putting animals and animal owners at risk.

What is Unauthorized Practice?

You’re probably thinking to yourself… what does that have to do with non-veterinary health therapies? That is a very good question!

  • The definition of “veterinary medicine” means that any person providing an animal therapy is considered as performing an “unauthorized practice.” More simply stated: practicing veterinary medicine without a license.

  • Many veterinarians do not want the liability associated with supervising or delegating care to a non-veterinary animal health practitioner.

  • Some veterinarians are unwilling to supervise or delegate care to non-veterinary animal health professionals.

  • Not all veterinarians are specifically educated in complementary healthcare modalities to effectively supervise practitioners, or to deliver these services themselves.

  • Veterinarians lack the time needed to supervise these modalities.

  • Supervision of a complementary practitioner by a veterinarian results in an additional cost to the animal owner, making it more expensive and often cost prohibitive.

  • Massage & Reiki

  • Acupuncture & Acupressure

  • Acutherapy

  • Chiropractic

  • Physiotherapy

  • Tellington Touch

  • Behavioural Training

  • TCM Traditional Chinese Medicine

  • Dentistry

  • Holistic Medicine

  • Homeopathy

  • Herbal Therapy

  • Botanical Medicine

  • Pharmacy

  • Nutraceutical Medicine

  • Craniosacral Therapy

Unauthorized Practices

This has decreased access to these valuable non-veterinary animal therapies and caused some practitioners to practice in the shadows or at risk of penalty.



1) Veterinarians Act- College of Veterinarians of BC “Veterinarians Act.”, College of Veterinarians of BC, Published June 3, 2010. Current as of January 22, 2020,


2) Unauthorized Practice of Veterinary Medicine in BC, “Unauthorized Practice of Veterinary Medicine in BC,” College of Veterinarians of BC, Published January 2012 By: Dr. John Brocklebank, Deputy Registrar,


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