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CVO opens consultation on draft standard on humane animal handling and restraint by veterinarians

October 04, 2018

The Council of the College of Veterinarians of Ontario (CVO) is seeking public input on a draft standard on humane animal handling and restraint by veterinarians.

“Animal welfare is central to the practice of veterinary medicine. Handling animals and restraint are part of daily practice for the majority of veterinarians and the public trusts us to demonstrate compassion when doing so,” said Council President Dr. Steven Jacobs.

“This draft standard outlines the expectations for veterinarians in this important area as reflections of the Veterinarians Oath and guided by the Five Freedoms, which are internationally accepted practices in the care and handling of all animals,” said Dr. Jacobs.

As part of its three-year Animal Welfare Agenda, Council identified policy guidance for veterinarians on the humane handling and restraint of animals by veterinarians as a priority. To assist in development of this policy, Council appointed of an Advisory Group to draft the standard with consideration of current educational, organizational and professional resources and approaches related to the humane handling and restraint of animals.

“While reports of a veterinarian mishandling an animal are rare, it is understandably very upsetting for the public to learn of such incidents,” said Jan Robinson, Registrar and Chief Executive Officer at the College. “The draft standard reinforces the importance of monitoring, assessing and addressing the fear, stress, pain and anxiety of animals during treatment and the necessity to educate clients about the humane handling and restraint required for examination and treatment.”

The draft standard is posted on the College website for review and input. The consultation is open until November 16, 2018. Feedback received will be reviewed by Council.

As a self-regulated profession, the College’s governing Council is comprised of 13 elected veterinarians and five public members, appointed by the provincial government.  The role of the College is to govern the practice of veterinary medicine in Ontario.

The College licenses approximately 4,800 veterinarians and accredits over 2,300 facilities in Ontario.