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Disgraced Alberta veterinarian accused of criminal harassment, facing nine charges

Edmonton Journal logo Edmonton Journal 2022-10-01 Matthew Black
Forestburg veterinarian Dr. Jeff Serfas has faced multiple disciplinary rulings from the Alberta Medical Veterinary Association. © Provided by Edmonton Journal Forestburg veterinarian Dr. Jeff Serfas has faced multiple disciplinary rulings from the Alberta Medical Veterinary Association.

A disgraced Alberta veterinarian who has been barred from practising after repeated disciplinary issues is now facing nine criminal charges, according to court records. 

Dr. Jeff Serfas operated the Forestburg Medical Clinic, about 150 kilometres east of Red Deer, until it was ordered closed in May of 2019 by the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA).

Last August, he signed a consent order — a legally-binding, court-enforceable agreement — that includes a permanent injunction barring him from practising as a veterinarian.

Court records show Serfas is now facing nine charges in connection with four separate incidents that occurred on four different dates between Sept. 18 and Sept. 24 of this year. 

Serfas is charged with three counts each of criminal harassment and disobeying a court order. He’s also charged with two counts of failing to comply with an undertaking and one count of mischief. 

He is scheduled to appear in Killam provincial court on Oct. 4.

The mischief charge is listed under criminal code section 430 (1)(d) as anyone who, “obstructs, interrupts or interferes with any person in the lawful use, enjoyment or operation of property.”

Other court records indicate Serfas was charged with harassment by means of telecommunication last December, but that the charge was later withdrawn after he agreed to enter into a peace bond. 

Related

His ABVMA registration has been cancelled since October of 2020. 

Court documents from July show he admitted to ignoring prior disciplinary rulings and the cancellation of his registration by continuing to practise, including selling antibiotics to an undercover ABVMA investigator and performing a breeding evaluation on a horse.

Serfas’ professional disciplinary record stretches back more than a decade and includes multiple suspensions and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

He has been cited at least eight times since 1997, leading an ABVMA lawyer to dub him the agency’s “most prolific offender.”

In 2014, an ABVMA hearing tribunal fined and suspended him for 30 days following multiple complaints in 2012 and 2013, including that Serfas drank alcohol on the job, intimidated clinic staff and clients, and had on occasion intentionally harmed animals “as a result of his emotional volatility.”

In May 2019, an ABVMA tribunal ordered the closure of his clinic and suspended his registration for one year after ruling Serfas had acted unprofessionally in a further 18 instances, including two cases where dogs died hours after he performed surgery on them.

In late 2020, Serfas was ordered to pay as much as $100,000 in fines and investigative costs after an ABVMA hearing tribunal found he had ignored the prior ruling and had continued operating on animals.

The earliest Serfas can re-apply for his registration in Alberta is in November of 2025.

mblack@postmedia.com

Twitter @ByMatthewBlack

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