May 20, 2020

Guidance Document for relaxing definitions of essential veterinary services in response to easing of strict pandemic requirements in BC

Dear CVBC Veterinarians,

On May 6th, Premier John Horgan announced the next stage of British Columbia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This guidance document reflects agreement between the College of Veterinarians of British Columbia (CVBC), the Society of British Columbia Veterinarians (SBCV) Chapter and the Ministry of Agriculture (AGRI) with final review provided by WorkSafe BC. This document supersedes all previous B.C. documents from various B.C. sources providing guidance on essential veterinary services. 
Following the guidance in this document will better prepare you to ease the previous strict social distancing and interaction requirements cautiously and safely, and gradually open your practice up to providing a greater range of service. This will be a careful start to normalizing the provision of veterinary services to British Columbians and their animals, while ensuring the protection of veterinarians and staff and their clients. The goal is to allow social contact to stay below a maximum of 60% of where it was prior to when the regulations on social distancing were introduced. For further information see:

For a downloadable and printable version, complete with some Q&A and detailed information about coronavirus transmission, please follow this link. The document is also posted on our website , along with all other COVID-19-related information .

We wish to commend the veterinarians and practices that have shown true professionalism in restricting their practices to essential services and in embracing telemedicine to keep people at home while stringently applying physical distancing and conservation of personal protective equipment. 

We all need to continue that effort while we ease some of the public health restrictions. How we move to the new normal may look different from one region or practice to the next. This is all new territory. We are making history with every step we take, and we will be judged on how we do. 

Jane Pritchard, DVM MVetSc
Interim Registrar CVBC