Complaints About Veterinary Surgeons

Procedure Guidelines for Complaints about Veterinarians

The following information is provided to assist in the preparation of complaints to the Veterinary Board of Tasmania. The process of dealing with complaints is determined by the Veterinary Surgeons Act 1987.

All complaints must be in writing. The Veterinary Board cannot consider anonymous complaints. Please note that your letter of complaint will be copied to the veterinarian for a response before the matter is formally considered by the Board, although the complaint may be given preliminary consideration, mainly to determine if there has been sufficient information provided. You will be advised when the Board receives your complaint and if further details are required.

The written complaint must be signed and dated and provide the following details:
  • Your name, address, and phone number,
  • If not yourself, the owner of the animal (name and address), or where no animal is involved the other person or persons to whom the complaint relates,
  • The name, practice name, and address of the veterinary surgeon about whom the complaint is being made,
  • Details of the facts of the complaint. It is preferable that emotive language is not used.
In addition to the complaint, relevant background information to the matter should be provided, together with any supportive statements signed by the persons making statements. If you did not present the animal to the veterinarian, a written, signed statement is also required from the person presenting the animal.

Following receipt of the complaint and the veterinarian's response the Board may do several things:
  • Institute further investigations,
  • Hold an informal hearing of the complaint,
  • Conduct an inquiry (a formal process under the Act), or
  • Dismiss the complaint.
If the Board finds that there is a legitimate complaint, the Board may impose a penalty.  The penalties range from a caution to cancellation of registration.

There are some matters which, while important to clients, cannot be dealt with by the Board. Such matters relate to fees and compensation. If these issues need to be addressed it is appropriate that civil action be taken through the courts.

The summary form should be returned with your letter of complaint. (Please note that the summary document does not replace your fully detailed letter of complaint and supportive statements).

Return your complaint to:


Veterinary Board of Tasmania

PO Box 909,
Sandy Bay, TAS, 7006.