Please Join In Telling The Ontario Government To Do The Right Thing By Abused Animals

Call For An End To Veterinarians Being Allowed To Police Their Own Conduct

A Commentary by Doug Draper, publisher, Niagara At Large

Posted October 11th, 2016

What do you think the chances are of Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and her government ever allowing citizens at large to police themselves when it comes to paying taxes?

The chances of that happening, we might easily guess, are zero because if citizens were allowed to police themselves around paying taxes, a good many of us (except a few honest citizens like, of course, you and I) would probably take advantage of every opportunity not to pay taxes at all.

Only a months' long suspicion? How weak would the punishment have been if he wasn't caught on surveillance camera?

Only a months’ long suspicion? How weak would the punishment have been if he wasn’t caught on surveillance camera?

So why is it that the Ontario government allows associations and so-called “colleges” for veterinarians, lawyers, doctors, real-estate agents and other professional groups to play a primary role in policing their members?

Could it have something to do with all of the political lobbying these same organizations do to weaken or kill any regulations over what they do and to avoid the kind of policing the rest of us are subject to?

In the Niagara, Ontario City of St. Catharines, we have recently witnessed how much the College of Veterinarians of Ontario is prepared to place the welfare of one of its own members above that of the animals they are entrusted to provide humane care for.

Undercover video footage circulated by horrified staff at the Skyway Animal Hospital in St. Catharines shows veterinarian Dr. Mahavir Rekhi repeated handling animals under his care in a violent manner.

Yet despite this graphic evidence of abuse, the College of Veterinarians of Ontario has so far refused to revoke his license and stands by its decision to suspend him for 10 months with a condition that he may return to his practice sooner if he pays for some training in how to properly restrain animals while examining or treating them.

It is a ruling that has drawn outrage from citizens at large and has left many questioning if the veterinarians college has the ethical underpinnings and compassion to address cases of animal abuse as seriously as they should be.

Niagara Action for Animals (NAFA), a long-time organization of volunteers dedicated to animal welfare in the region, has organized and patriated in vigils in recent weeks outside the St. Catharines animal hospital where the abuse occurred.

It has also circulated the following list of things that all of us, as citizens, can do to press the powers that be, including the Ontario government, take make sure cases of animal cruelty are taken seriously and that the perpetrators receive the punishment they deserve.

Here is some of the released video, with a warning that it is not pleasant to watch

Here is NAFA’s list of steps that you can take. Please take time to act on at least some of them.

  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspapers.
  • Get in touch with your M.P.P. and let them know how you feel about this issue. Find your M.P.P. here:
  • You can write to the College of Veterinarians of Ontario at 2106 Gordon Street Guelph, Ontario N1L 1G6 or Email them at
  • Send a special note to the President, Larry Caven or Registrar, Jan Robinson
  • You can also phone ‘Jan’ at 519 824-5600×2226
  • Use this link to send a message from the CVO’s own contact page:
  • If you want to phone, they have a toll free number 1 (800) 424-2856
  • Take a photo of yourself with a sign saying ‘CVO – “Revoke Rekhi’s licence NOW” and send it to the CVO
  • When you email them, you can add a link to one of the petitions, so that it reminds them about others who feel the same as you

Niagara Action for Animals (NAFA) is a non-profit, all volunteer charity devoted to ending all forms of animal cruelty through education, direct action and legitimate protest.

For more information on the volunteer work of Niagara Action for Animals, visit its website at .

To view a recent CTV news report on the St. Catharines veterinarian abuse story, click on the following, with a warning that you may find some of this very disturbing to watch

PLEASE JOIN THE CONVERSATION Niagara At Large encourages you to join the conversation by sharing your views on this post in the space below the Bernie quote.

A reminder that we only post comments by individuals who also share their first and last names.

 “A politician thinks of the next election. A leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders


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