This project is closed for feedback

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback.

We are currently reviewing submissions and look forward to sharing the What We Heard Report with you soon.

About the project

The ACT Government is undertaking a review of veterinary practice in the ACT. This includes a statutory review of the Veterinary Practice Act 2018 to ensure the Act is meeting its objectives and to identify possible areas for improvement in veterinary practice in the ACT more broadly.

How you had your say

Vet staff, pet owners and other interested Canberrans were invited to:

  • learn more about the review by reading the Discussion Paper
  • consider the consultation questions
  • email feedback to communityengagement@act.gov.au

Consultation closed Tuesday 2 July 2024.

Background information

The Veterinary Practice Act 2018 regulates veterinary services within the ACT to ensure:

  • vet services are focused on the welfare and protection of animals
  • vet practitioners provide services professionally and competently
  • consumers are well informed about the competencies required of veterinarians
  • premises at which vet services are provided are of an acceptable standard
  • vet services in the ACT meet community standards as well as national and international requirements
  • public health is protected.

The ACT Government is working closely with key stakeholders including the ACT Veterinary Practitioners Board, Animal Welfare Advisory Committee and the RSPCA ACT to review the Veterinary Practice Act 2018.

The review will evaluate the suitability of the current rules and processes for registering vets and vet premises including how we recognise vets from other jurisdictions. It will also assess the appropriateness of current complaints handling processes and disciplinary proceedings as well as ensure the lists of restricted and unrestricted acts of veterinary science align with industry practice, training and codes of practice.

For more information, please read the Veterinary Practice Act 2018 Fact Sheet.

Discussion Paper

During the review of the Veterinary Practice Act 2018 Canberrans and key stakeholders are also being invited to consider a broad range of issues that impact veterinary practice in the ACT via an online discussion paper.

Vets do a lot for our pets and livestock. Sometimes we meet our vets under stressful circumstances or during an emergency.

One of the key issues the discussion paper raises is how we can all better support the mental health and wellbeing of veterinary staff, including by providing appropriate training, mentoring and support.

Other issues the Government is seeking feedback on include how we can better support vulnerable pet owners. Some of the options being explored include respite services, support during times of crisis, mobile vet services and subsidised vet care, desexing and boarding.

Read Discussion Paper.

Consultation questions

Questions on the operation of the Veterinary Practice Act 2018

  • Are the provisions relating to veterinary practitioners satisfactory? If not, how can they be improved?
  • Are the provisions relating to the regulation of veterinary premises satisfactory? If not, how can they be improved?
  • Are the complaints, disciplinary proceedings and enforcement provisions satisfactory? If not, how can they be improved?
  • Are the provisions relating to the Veterinary Practitioners Board and register satisfactory? If not, how can they be improved?
  • How effectively does the Act interact with other relevant legislation? How could this be improved?
  • Is there any other matter that you would like to raise about the operation of the Act?

Questions on the broader issues around veterinary practice in the ACT

  • Should the ACT consider expanding the procedures that the broader veterinary profession can undertake that are currently restricted to veterinary practitioners? Are there other ways the broader veterinary profession can be better supported?
  • What can the profession, the ACT Government and community do to better support the mental health and wellbeing of veterinary staff?
  • What statutory or non-statutory initiatives can the profession and ACT Government undertake to better support veterinary staff?
  • How can the ACT Government better support respite care for animals in the ACT?
  • How can the ACT Government better support vulnerable Canberrans to meet the costs associated with keeping animals?
  • How can the ACT Government better support pet-crisis support for access to urgent heath care?


Complaints

This review is not a review into services provided by individual veterinary practitioners, for example if you did not receive the outcome you were hoping for.

If you are concerned about how your animal has been treated by a registered vet, always speak to your vet in the first instance.

For information on lodging a complaint under the Veterinary Practice Act 2018, please visit the City Services website.

The impact of having your say

Feedback received during the review will help ensure the Veterinary Practice Act 2018 is meeting its objectives and identify possible areas for improvement in veterinary practice in the ACT more broadly.