New Veterinary Services Bill to regulate veterinary practice in South Australia

Consumer protection laws to regulate veterinary services in South Australia are being reviewed and it is proposed that they soon will change.

Changes already suggested for consideration include:

  • Requiring that the Presiding Member of the Board be a registered veterinary surgeon, rather than a legal practitioner, as is currently the position
  • Increasing the number of veterinary surgeons on the Board, with eight of the 12 members to be registered veterinary surgeons
  • Charging members of the public a fee to notify the Board of a complaint about a registered veterinary surgeon
  • Removing the requirement for registered veterinary surgeons to report to the Board claims made against them by clients for professional negligence

Veterinary services stakeholders, including pet and animal owner consumers of veterinary services, veterinary surgeons and the wider public, soon will have the opportunity to consider and give their views on a new Veterinary Services Bill for South Australia.

The Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, the Hon Clare Scriven MLC, has advised that drafting of a new Veterinary Services Bill has begun.

In an update on the review of South Australian consumer protection veterinary legislation, Minister Scriven said the new Bill will consider stakeholder feedback in response to a 2020 Discussion Paper on the Veterinary Practice Act 2003 and regulation of the veterinary profession. A copy of the Minister’s letter to stakeholders can be accessed here.

South Australia’s veterinary surgeons are currently regulated in the public interest by the Veterinary Surgeons Board of South Australia, an independent regulator, under the Veterinary Practice Act 2003 and the Veterinary Practice Regulations 2017.

Further information about the drafting of the Bill including PIRSA’s Consultation Summary report is available from PIRSA’s website: https://pir.sa.gov.au/biosecurity/animal_health/veterinarians/veterinary_practice_legislation_review

The Minister requests that any correspondence be directed to PIRSA.VeterinaryServicesBill@sa.gov.au.

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