Over the years, the veterinary sector has undergone significant changes as a result of the rapid advancement of veterinary knowledge, growing awareness of the importance of animal welfare and higher community expectations about the standard of veterinary services in Hong Kong. These developments underline the important role that the Veterinary Surgeons Board of Hong Kong (VSB) is fulfilling as a regulator of service standard, in the interest of promoting the further healthy development of the veterinary profession.
The number and complexity of complaints received by the VSB in recent years have grown markedly in tandem with the wider availability and utilisation of veterinary services. However, under the current structure and modus operandi, the VSB is not well placed to cope with the increasing caseload. In this regard, the VSB and the Government jointly undertook a review of the existing regulatory regime in Hong Kong and the relevant legislative provisions to identify improvement measures.
On 8 October 2012, the Food and Health Bureau and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department published a consultation document on proposed amendments to the Veterinary Surgeons Registration Ordinance (Cap. 529) and launched a public consultation for about two months until 30 November 2012.
The consultation document sets out five major proposals to amend Cap. 529 with a view to strengthening the membership of the VSB and streamlining its modus operandi so as to enhance the VSB capacity and efficiency in dealing with complaints and performing its statutory functions.
Public Consultation on the Proposals to Amend the Veterinary Surgeons Registration Ordinance (Cap. 529)