Increased protection for pet lovers


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February 7, 2017 12:00 AM

Alberta’s Veterinary Profession Amendment Act came into affect this month, which should offer better consumer protection for animal lovers west of the meridian.
The act, which came out Feb. 1, was drafted to make sure both veterinarians and veterinarian technologists follow rules regarding registration, advertising, illegal practices and continuing education.
“Veterinarians and veterinary technologists play an important role in the care of our pets and animals,” said Christina Gray, Alberta minister of labour, in a recent press release.
“With these changes, Albertans can be confident that their animals are receiving the best care possible from veterinary professionals that are properly trained, provide safe and competent services, and comply with the highest professional standards.”
The new amendment is aimed to ensure Albertans can be confident they are dealing with qualified professionals when it comes to the health of their pets, by ensuring rules like requiring new and newly renovated veterinary clinics pass inspection before opening.
It also allows veterinary technologists to fully participate and vote on the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) governing council and disciplinary committees, as before veterinary technologists operated in a more separate capacity.
“Now they’ve kind of come under the umbrella of AVMA, so we can help them with their bylaws and they fall under our bylaws now, which they didn’t necessarily before,” said Dr. Kent Weir of Weir Veterinary Services in Lloydminster.
Dr. Darrell Dalton, registrar of the AVMA, added the association supports the added engagement of technologists in governance, accountability of registered veterinary technologists through the complaints process, and the updates to practise inspection standards in the amendment.
AVMA is one of 23 self-governing professional regulatory organization whose governing legislation is overseen by the Alberta Ministry of Labour, governing both veterinarians and veterinary technologists under the Veterinary Profession Act.

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