OFA provides comments to the Food Safety and Environmental Policy Branch, Policy Division regarding proposed changes to the College of Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO) Accreditation Model in Regulation 1093 under the Veterinarians Act. OFA is supportive of the intent of the proposed changes: reducing administrative burden, increasing flexibility, and encouraging expansion and innovation in the services veterinarians offer to the public, while continuing to protect the public interest and instilling confidence in vete7rinary regulation and the quality and safety of veterinary care. OFA expresses concern regarding a shortage of veterinarians in remote regions of Ontario. Veterinarians play a critical role in promoting health and welfare of animals, and in maintaining a health and safe food supply.
The proposed changes would permit veterinarians to define the scope of practice and species associated with the facility. Reducing burden, and removing barriers is a good start in addressing the shortage of veterinarians in the province and helping to balance the demand and capacity for veterinary services, especially in underserviced areas of rural Ontario. To further improve access to veterinary services, OFA recommends that registered veterinary technicians (RVTs) are formally recognized under the Act, and that their use and responsibilities in veterinary practices is expanded. Expanding the scope of their responsibilities would better utilize their knowledge and practical skills in animal health and welfare, and could help to improve access to veterinarians and services in rural and Northern areas of the province.