Concerns about my vet

Council is responsible for making professional standards are maintained.
All vets have to meet these professional standards, and work to the Code of Professional Conduct.
If you're concerned that your vet hasn't met the expected standards, please call us to discuss the next steps.
We can look into concerns about a vet's conduct, competence or health.
I have concerns about my vet. What should I do?
We suggest you try to talk about it to your vet in the first instance (or the senior vet or practice manager). You may be able to resolve the issues between yourselves.
What should I say to the vet?
Before you meet with the vet, it might be helpful to:

  • look at the Code so you know what a vet's obligations are
  • make an appointment time so the vet is expecting you
  • make notes about what you want to talk about and what you are trying to achieve
  • take someone with you for support. These meetings can be hard, especially if you've lost a pet.

If you don't feel like you can address the issues face to face, you might want to write to the practice outlining your concerns.
You always have the right to seek a second opinion if you want to.
If you can't resolve the issue this way, we may be able to help.
What can Council do if I have a concern about my vet?
The Veterinarians Act 2005 defines what we can and can't do.
We can look into concerns you have about an individual vet's competence, conduct, or health.
We can only look at concerns about individual vets. You'll need to tell us the name of the vet you're concerned about.
We can't order a vet to pay you compensation or a refund.
We can't normally look at:

  • concerns that are solely about fees. The Disputes Tribunal may be able to help.
  • anonymous notifications. If you have concerns about this please call us.
  • employment or contract matters
  • historic issues (it can be hard to establish what happened)
  • issues that don't involve a vet. We can't normally address issues about staff in vet clinics that aren't vets, or about clinics in general.

Council's notification and complaints processes focus on ensuring professional standards are maintained. Generally speaking, Council prefers to take an educative approach in the first instance, with outcomes that focus on learning.
You can notify us of a concern or make a formal complaint. We're happy to talk to you about how we can help.
If you are making a referral on behalf of a government department or public sector body, please call us to discuss your referral then use this form.