To the wonderful owners of your four-legged family members,
I hope this note finds you well in the business of the holiday season. I am writing to ask for your help to advocate for the rights of all animal owners in Ontario to have timely and direct access to animal chiropractic care.
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) is embarking on a modernization of the Veterinarians Act to better define the scope of practice for veterinary medicine. As you may or may not know, animal chiropractic is well-established in Ontario’s animal care landscape and is currently regulated by the College of Chiropractors of Ontario (CCO). As animal chiropractors, we are concerned that modernization of the act, if worded improperly, will remove the authorization for chiropractors to provide animal chiropractic care, placing it exclusively in the hands of veterinarians. Currently, veterinarians are working tirelessly to keep up with the primary care (routine visits), and emergency care of your pets. Due to the sheer volume of pets that require their care, some of you have expressed having to wait weeks to get in for an appointment. If the modernization of the Veterinarians Act does not allow Chiropractors to continue to provide animal chiropractic care, how would that effect the regular care that you have been currently receiving as well as the ease in which you are able to do so?
It is critical that the scope of practice for animal chiropractors be clearly authorized in the modernized Veterinarians Act. If the authorization for chiropractors is not clearly spelled out in the legislation and is instead deferred to a regulation-making process – as some are proposing – there is a risk that the Act might be misinterpreted to give veterinarians and veterinary technicians the exclusive authority to provide animal care, or force animal chiropractors to work under the guidance or authority of a veterinarian. Such a situation would limit animal owners’ access to, and choice of, care providers, and subject chiropractors to an unacceptable regulatory oversight from another profession.
The Ontario Chiropractic Association (OCA) – have engaged the Ministry on the importance of maintaining chiropractors’ ability to deliver animal chiropractic care by clearly authorizing the scope for chiropractic care in legislation. In short, they are asking that the new legislation spell out that the current regulatory framework for animal chiropractic works well and should not be changed.
With your help we can amplify the voice of chiropractors to protect access to animal chiropractic care and maintain consumer choice. We need your support as clients who request and utilize chiropractic care for their animals, who know and appreciate the role Chiropractors play in treating animals and the value of the ability to make a choice in who you seek out for such care.
Through impactful letters, the OCA can demonstrate that animal owners value having options for animal health care, including direct access to animal chiropractic care provided by Chiropractors, and that giving a monopoly to veterinarians is not the way to modernize legislation.
I recognize that your time is precious so any support you can offer will be greatly appreciated. If you are interested in advocating for continued animal chiropractic care as it is now, as opposed to putting it exclusively in the hands of veterinarians, please print and sign the attached letter (Letter to Minister) and email it directly to Minister Lisa Thompson at email@example.com (and copy OCA at firstname.lastname@example.org on the email).
I greatly appreciate your consideration of support as I would love to be able to continue to treat your four-legged family members as things have always been.
Dr. Jessalynn Frederick