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Court issues order related to unauthorized practice

June 17, 2016

Following an investigation, the College of Veterinarians of Ontario obtained an Order from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on April 20, 2016. The Order was to prevent a non-veterinarian from engaging in the practice of veterinary medicine. The Order was obtained against Laverne Turnbull.

The judgment indicates that Mr. Turnbull is prohibited from practising veterinary dentistry in any form. The judgment also awarded the College $5,000. The judgment states:

THIS COURT ORDERS THAT Lavern Turnbull comply with section 11 of the Veterinarians Act and, in particular, that he refrain from:

  1. engaging in the practice of veterinary medicine, and
  2. holding himself out as engaging in the practice of veterinary medicine.

THIS COURT FURTHER ORDERS THAT, for greater certainty, Laverne Turnbull shall refrain from practising veterinary dentistry in any form, including by floating the teeth of an animal, examining an animal’s teeth and/or the oral cavity for the purposes of making an assessment, developing a diagnosis and/or formulating a treatment plan, scaling or polishing of the teeth of an animal, extracting an animal’s teeth and performing dental hygiene on an animal; however, Mr. Turnbull is not prevented from working as an auxiliary within the meaning  of the Veterinarians Act and the regulations thereunder, and he may, following an examination by a suprervising veterinarian, float an animal’s teeth under the direct supervision of the supervising veterinarian.

THIS COURT FURTHER ORDERS THAT Laverne Turnbull pay to the College of Veterinarians of Ontario the costs of this application fixed in the amount of $5,000, forthwith.

“Animal dentistry is an aspect of veterinary medicine and should only be performed by a licensed veterinarian or an experienced delegate. Permitting non-veterinarians to provide dentistry, without the supervision of a veterinarian, creates a serious risk to animals,” said College Registrar and Chief Executive Officer Jan Robinson. “A licence issued by the College assures the public the individual has the education and professionalism to practise competently and safely. That is why only veterinarians licensed by the College are permitted to practise veterinary medicine in Ontario.”

The College acts in the public interest and has been granted the authority, by statute, to obtain Orders preventing non-veterinarians from practising veterinary medicine.  In the event that a member of the public is of the view that a non-veterinarian is practising veterinary medicine, they are invited to contact the College at inquiries@cvo.org

The College of Veterinarians of Ontario exists to protect and serve the public interest through the regulation of the practice of veterinary medicine.  Accordingly, veterinarians are licensed, facilities are accredited, standards and policies are developed and maintained, and an investigations and resolutions process is available.  The College licenses approximately 4,500 veterinarians and accredits over 2,300 facilities in Ontario.