The Spay/Neuter Incentive Project and Sanctuary
snips animal care tips...
|Happy, healthy, well behaved animals make better companions. As their guardians, it is our responsibility to provide the nutrition, education, care and love that develop these qualities. At snips, we believe that a natural, holistic approach to dog and cat care is the most beneficial ~ not only for the animals, but for ourselves, our families and the environment. Below are some articles designed to guide you in your relationship with your companion animal.|
Simply put, it must stay above 60 degrees for 30 consecutive days AND nights for the larvae to progress to stage L3 and be passed through the mouthparts of a mosquito to a host animal. If the temperature dips below 57F the maturation is retarded and cannot continue. This process would become accelerated if there were two weeks of temperature at or above 80F (27C), days AND nights. As a result, heartworm disease is not only geographically limited, but also seasonally limited.
The AVMA accepted "commentary" through March 15th, 2003 and then adopted the proposal as written on 1 July. Now it's up to you. Keep contacting everyone you know, asking them to write veterinary board members, legislators, State Boards of professional licensure, animal organizations, press & media making your feelings known regarding this proposal and its implications. Links to each state's veterinary board can be found here.
There has been some success in a few states where the proposal has been put to a vote. The Illinois legislature passed the proposal with added wording exempting from the definition of veterinary medicine those who not diagnose, prescribe, do surgery or represent him/herself as a vet. New Jersey had a vote on legislation including regulation of alternative veterinary health modalities in 2001, and this bill passed with a similar ammedment. Other similar ammendments have passed in Arkansas and North Carolina.
Unfortunately, as of 2007, some states, including Ohio, have adopted the legislation or have similar laws in effect which limit alternative practitioners' ability to practice. In addition, even without any sort of regulating legislation, alternative practitioners in many states are facing legal difficulties based on the perceived practice of veterinary medicine.
Visit The Ancient Healing Arts Association (http://www.ancienthealingarts.org/)
A press release regarding the proposal is here.
Know Your Companion
Your dog's heartbeat should range between 60 - 80 beats per minute for a large dog, 80 - 120 for a small dog. Your cat should range between 110 - 130 beats. Count the beats for ten seconds and multiply by 6 to find the animal's heart rate. The best place to feel for the pulse is in the femoral artery, which is high up on the inside of each rear leg.
Your dog's respiration should be 10 to 30 breaths per minute at rest. Your cat should breathe 20 - 30 times per minute.
Normal canine temperature ranges from 100.5 to 101.5°F; feline should be 100.5 to 101.5°F.
You need to practice finding the heartbeat, respiration and temperature and noting the cat or dog's normal range as well as familiarize yourself with the normal color of your animal's gums BEFORE a problem develops so that you are better able to access his condition in the event of an emergency.
& Feline CPR
If you do not see the chest rise with each breath,
Caution: Excessive pressure can fracture ribs.
between rescue breaths and external heart massage
Use acupressure points on the pad (at the center of the large pad) and nose (between and slightly below the nostrils). Apply strong pressure with the thumbnail or the cap of a pen.
Administer two drops Rescue Remedy on the tongue or gums every five minutes until breathing/heartbeat is restored.
If both breathing and heartbeat have stopped, administer one dose (two pellets) of Arnica montana 30c.
If only heartbeat or breathing has stopped, administer one dose (two pellets) of Carbo vegetabilis 30c.
Seek help immediately!
practice CPR on a dog or cat who is
From: Dr. Pitcairn's Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs & Cats, by Richard H. Pitcairn, D.V.M. and Susan Hubble Pitcairn
Heimlich Maneuver for Dogs and Cats
your dog is breathing relatively well,
the animal on her right side.
not, you will need to:
Be careful not to get bitten!
Know when pesticides will be sprayed in your community, so you can keep
pets indoors during these times. Note that elderly or debilitated animals--particularly
those with heart disease or asthma--may be more sensitive to airborne
pesticides and chemicals.
A Vegetarian's Dilemma
As a vegetarian, I would like to give a little introduction to the information provided on diet. I believe that humans can have optimal health and happiness on a vegetarian or vegan diet, however, our companion animals, cats in particular, do not fare as well. Writing about the quality of meats in commercial foods, feeding raw, etc., I felt an uncomfortable twinge when referring to other domestic animals merely as meat. There is no easy answer to this question for me. If we continue to keep omnivorous and carnivorous animals as companions, then a certain number of cows, sheep, fish, pigs, goats, chickens and other animals will have to be slaughtered in order to feed them.
In a perfect world, this would not be the case.
a better world, only our animal companions would be eating meat, ending
ever afters / mission
in touch / home
PET HEALTH CARE ISSUES GO STRAIGHT TO THE DOGHOUSE WITH PROPOSED
'REVISED MODEL VETERINARY PRACTICE ACT' (MVPA)
Washington, DC - February 15, 2003-The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has proposed yet another set of restricted guidelines referred to as the Revised Model Veterinary Practice Act (MVPA) that will bring an end to the practice of holistic medical treatments for animals. This newly proposed set of guidelines, if approved, will not only affect one's right to practice natural healing methods, but will also seriously inhibit an owner's right to chose suitable treatments for their animals other than traditional veterinary medicine. This is a time sensitive issue that is only up for review until March 15, 2003.
Traditional Veterinarians are faced with the growing body of evidence, which supports the idea that injury recovery improved health, and general well being can be achieved with alternative therapies. In a recent AVMA Consumer Demographic Report, it was estimated that animal owners spent an average of $35/month on 'Non-Traditional' Veterinary care, an approximate average of 40 million dollars annually that is not lining the pockets of the AVMA. It seems as though the recent proposed MVPA is an attempt to tighten the purse strings and regain control over this economic loss.
One member of AHAA states that, "It is shocking that the AVMA is seeking to enact such bureaucratic and expensive, not to mention freedom-limiting, legislation just when many states are overturning such laws as they apply to human alternative therapies".
The MVPA if approved will prevent non-veterinary professionals from treating patients regardless of their academic qualifications. For example, an individual with a degree in animal science, and a graduate degree in physical therapy for animals will not be able to practice under this newly imposed set of guidelines. Even a certified and degreed animal nutritionist will no longer be able to practice or consult with patients. Even the local pet-groomer, may be subject to criminal charges for providing a relaxing massage before cleaning your pet, as grooming with massage will be considered practicing veterinary medicine. Skilled practitioners of complementary and integrative therapies have trained extensively in their areas of expertise. Moreover, they are respected members of their professional communities, and veterinarians and animal owners alike regularly utilize their valuable services. These professional services are not criminal acts and the AVMA should not begin to treat them as such. This is a ridiculous proposal with many evident problems.
This proposed MVPA would limit the right of consumers to have the freedom to choose the best available care by taking holistic practitioners completely out of the animal treatment economy. Let the animal loving community defend their right to choose practical solutions for their pets' health care needs!
Please read the Revised Proposed Model Veterinary Practice Act at: http://www.groups.yahoo.com/group/AVMAantidote/files/AVMA-MVPA.doc Individuals interested in commenting on the proposed revision may do so by MAILING written comments to Dr. Beth Sabin, AVMA, 1931 Meacham Rd., Suite 100, Schaumburg, IL. 60173 BEFORE March 14th. 2003. For sample letters and more information please go to : www.itsfortheanimals.com/AVMADFT.HTM . To add your energy to a group opposed to these restrictions, go to: http://www.ancienthealingarts.org
THE AVMA "MODEL LAW" DRAFT -- To read about this very IMPORTANT issue which will likely adversely impact all animal lovers, please go to:
"Please take a moment to review the NEW (for this year) revised and improved (?!) "Proposed" (National) Veterinary Practice Act. I think you will find that your freedom to practice or choose your animal practitioner is about to become SEVERELY limited!"
For Discussion of this important issue, join the following Internet Group: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AVMAantidote and to read the AVMA "Model Law" Draft, in case it's not available to read at www.avma.org , it is in the FILES of the AVMAantidote yahoo Group discussing this important issue:
AVMA-MVPA.doc or http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AVMAantidote/files/AAVMA-MVPA%20Document1.pdf
Go here: http://www.iaath.com/pg/about/response.htm to read The IAATH's Letter Sent to the AVMA "The IAATH is the International Association for Animal Therapy and Healing is dedicated to the advancement and awareness of healing and options for animals. IAATH connects complementary practitioners for the purpose of sharing wisdom and declaring our value to the world. Together we can promote concurrent care - where diverse approaches - "alternative" and allopathic - work together for the benefit of animals and their caregivers."
The point to remember is that the AVMA writes the "rules and regulations" which are then used as the MODEL for LAWS for all the States in our country to enact. Furthermore, other countries follow the USA example. So, it will have far-reaching ramifications.
Preamble SECTION 1 Title SECTION 2 Definitions SECTION 3 Board of Veterinary Medicine SECTION 4 License Requirement SECTION 5 Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship Requirement SECTION 6 Exemptions SECTION 7 Veterinary Technicians and Technologists SECTION 8 Status of Persons Previously Licensed SECTION 9 Application for License: Qualifications SECTION 10 Examinations SECTION 11 License By Endorsement SECTION 12 Temporary Permit SECTION 13 License Renewal SECTION 14 Discipline of Licensees SECTION 15 Impaired Veterinarian SECTION 16 Hearing Procedure SECTION 17 Appeal SECTION 18 Reinstatement SECTION 19 Veterinarian-Client Confidentiality SECTION 20 Immunity from Liability SECTION 21 Cruelty to Animals - Immunity for Reporting SECTION 22 Enforcement SECTION 23 Severability SECTION 24 Effective Date
Preamble This statute is enacted as an exercise of the powers of the state to promote the public health, safety, and welfare by ensuring the delivery of competent veterinary medical care. It is hereby declared that the practice of veterinary medicine is a privilege conferred by legislative grant to persons possessed of the personal and professional qualifications specified in this act.
COMMENTARY TO THE PREAMBLE - The preamble defines the purpose of the veterinary practice act. It emphasizes that the right to practice veterinary medicine is a privilege granted by state law and is thus subject to regulation in order to protect and promote public health, safety, and welfare.
Section 1 - Title This act shall be known as the [name of state] Veterinary Practice Act. Except where otherwise indicated by context, in this act the present tense includes the past and future tenses and the future tense includes the present, each gender includes both genders, and the singular includes the plural, and the plural the singular.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 1 - Sections such as this are commonly included in lengthy statutes for purposes of simplification and clarification of tense, number, and gender rules.
Section 2 - Definitions When used in this act these words and phrases shall be defined as follows:"Accredited college of veterinary medicine" means any veterinary college, school, or division of a university or college that offers the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or its equivalent and that is accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)."Accredited program in veterinary technology" means any postsecondary educational program that is accredited by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities of the AVMA.
"Animal" means any animal other than a human.
"Board" means the [State Board of Veterinary Medicine].
"Client" means the patient's owner, owner's agent, or other person responsible for the patient.
"Complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies" means a heterogeneous group of preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic philosophies and practices, which at the time they are performed may differ from current scientific knowledge, or whose theoretical basis and techniques may diverge from veterinary medicine routinely taught in accredited veterinary medical colleges, or both. These therapies include but are not limited to veterinary acupuncture, acutherapy, and acupressure; veterinary homeopathy; veterinary manual or manipulative therapy (ie, therapies based on techniques practiced in osteopathy, chiropractic medicine, or physical medicine and therapy); veterinary nutraceutical therapy; and veterinary phytotherapy.
"Consultation" means when a licensed veterinarian receives advice in person, telephonically, electronically, or by any other method of communication, from a veterinarian licensed in this or any other state or other person whose expertise, in the opinion of the licensed veterinarian, would benefit a patient. Under any circumstance, the responsibility for the welfare of the patient remains with the licensed veterinarian receiving consultation.
"Credentialed veterinary technician or technologist" means a veterinary technician or veterinary technologist who is registered, certified, or licensed by the Board.
"Direct supervision" means a licensed veterinarian is readily available on the premises where the patient is being treated.
"ECFVG(r) certificate" means the certificate issued by the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates(r) of the AVMA indicating that the holder has demonstrated knowledge and skill equivalent to that possessed by a graduate of an accredited college of veterinary medicine.
"Extralabel use" means use of a drug in a manner that is not in accordance with the directions for use listed on the label affixed to the container in which the drug is dispensed.
"Impaired veterinarian" means a veterinarian who is unable to practice veterinary medicine with reasonable skill and safety because of a physical or mental disability as evidenced by a written determination from a competent authority or written consent based on clinical evidence, including deterioration of mental capacity, loss of motor skills, or abuse of drugs or alcohol of sufficient degree to diminish the person's ability to deliver competent patient care.
"Indirect supervision" means a veterinarian has given either written or oral instructions for treatment of the patient and is readily available by telephone or other form of communication.
"Informed consent" means the veterinarian has informed the client or the client's authorized representative, in a manner understood by the client or representative, of the diagnostic and treatment options, risk assessment, and prognosis, and has provided the client with an estimate of the charges for veterinary services to be rendered and the client has consented to the recommended treatment.
"Licensed veterinarian" means a person who is validly and currently licensed to practice veterinary medicine in this state.
"Patient" means an animal that is examined or treated by a veterinarian.
"Person" means any individual, firm, partnership (general, limited, or limited liability), association, joint venture, cooperative, corporation, limited liability company, or any other group or combination acting in concert; and whether or not acting as a principal, partner, member, trustee, fiduciary, receiver, or as any other kind of legal or personal representative, or as the successor in interest, assignee, agent, factor, servant, employee, director, officer, or any other representative of such person
of veterinary medicine" means
i. the prescription, dispensing, administration, or application of any drug, medicine, biologic, apparatus, anesthetic, or other therapeutic or diagnostic substance or medical or surgical technique, or
ii. the use of complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies, or
iii. the use of any manual or mechanical procedure for reproductive management, oriv. the rendering of advice or recommendation by any means including telephonic and other electronic communications with regard to any of the above.
b) To represent, directly or indirectly, publicly or privately, an ability and willingness to do an act described in subsection 18(a).
c) To use any title, words, abbreviation, or letters in a manner or under circumstances that induce the belief that the person using them is qualified to do any act described in subsection 18(a).
19) "Practice of veterinary technology" means:To perform patient care or other services that require a technical understanding of veterinary medicine on the basis of written or oral instruction of a veterinarian, excluding diagnosing, prognosing, surgery, or prescribing drugs, medicine, or appliances.To represent, directly or indirectly, publicly or privately, an ability and willingness to do an act described in subsection 19(a).To use any title, words, abbreviation, or letters in a manner or under circumstances that induce the belief that the person using them is qualified to do any act described in subsection 19(a).
20) "Veterinarian" means a person who has received a professional degree from a college of veterinary medicine.
21) "Veterinarian-client-patient relationship" means that : The veterinarian has assumed the responsibility for making clinical judgments regarding the health of the animal and the need for medical treatment, and the client has agreed to follow the veterinarian's instructions.The veterinarian has sufficient knowledge of the animal to initiate at least a general or preliminary diagnosis of the medical condition of the animal. This means that the veterinarian has recently seen and is personally acquainted with the keeping and care of the animal either by virtue of an examination of the animal, or by medically appropriate and timely visits to the premises where the animal are kept. The veterinarian is readily available or has arranged for emergency coverage for follow-up evaluation in the event of adverse reactions or the failure of the treatment regimen.
22) "Veterinary medicine" means all branches and specialties included within the practice of veterinary medicine.
23) "Veterinary premises" means any premises or facility where the practice of veterinary medicine occurs, including but not limited to a mobile clinic, outpatient clinic, satellite clinic, or veterinary hospital or clinic, but shall not include the premises of a veterinary client, research facility, a federal military base, or an accredited college of veterinary medicine.
24) "Veterinary prescription drug" means a drug that may not be dispensed without the prescription of a veterinarian and that bears the label statement: "CAUTION: Federal law restricts this drug to the use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian."
25) "Veterinary technician" means either a graduate of a two- or three-year accredited program in veterinary technology or a person so recognized by the Board in rules and regulations promulgated to regulate veterinary technicians.
26) "Veterinary technologist" means either a graduate of a four-year accredited program in veterinary technology or a person so recognized by the Board in rules and regulations promulgated to regulate veterinary technologists.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 2 - The terms defined within the definition section of any practice act lay the groundwork for all other sections of that act. An attempt should be made to define each term in a manner so that the intended meaning is clear. The AVMA recognizes that names and acronyms of entities administering current programs may change or new programs may be developed to replace or parallel existing programs. State regulatory boards should keep abreast of simple name changes and correct those through annual legislative housekeeping policies. Addition of new programs to the practice act should be made only after careful review to ensure that the high standards of existing programs are met or exceeded.To protect and promote public health, safety, and welfare, the AVMA believes that it is important for state practice acts or the rules and regulations promulgated under those acts to include language that will preserve the present-day high standard of veterinary medical education throughout the United States (see subsection 1). The accreditation process administered by the Council on Education of the AVMA, which is the sole entity recognized by the United States Department of Education to accredit US veterinary colleges, assures that this standard is maintained. All accreditation decisions made by the Council are independent of the AVMA. In a like manner, the accreditation process for veterinary technology programs administered by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities of the AVMA maintains the standard for veterinary technician education throughout the United States (see subsection 2).The definition of the practice of veterinary medicine in the 2002 draft revision includes the use of complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies, which is also defined in Section 2, subsection 6. The definition used for the MVPA is based largely on that in the AVMA Guidelines for Complementary and Alternative Veterinary Medicine, which were approved by the AVMA Executive Board in 2001.
The AVMA recognizes that clients may seek any of a number of treatment modalities for their animals. However, when applied to animals, these treatment modalities represent the practice of veterinary medicine, and as such, are subject to regulation as outlined in the practice act. If one considers conventional veterinary drugs as a treatment modality, the AVMA would define "veterinary drug" as drugs recognized for animal use in the official US Pharmacopoeia or the official national formulary. This would include but not be limited to medicated feed or water, growth-promoting implants, and drugs labeled for human use administered under extralabel use guidelines. The AVMA also believes veterinarians should ensure that they have the requisite skills and knowledge for any treatment modality they may consider using. The foremost objective in veterinary medicine is patient welfare. Informed consent should be obtained prior to initiating any treatment, including complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies. In subsection 7, "consultation" is defined in part from the recognition that veterinary medicine is becoming an increasingly specialized profession and a licensed veterinarian may believe it is in the best interest of the patient to request advice from another individual with given expertise. In addition, the definition used in this MVPA better delineates, for the public interest, who will maintain responsibility for the welfare of the patient when consultants are used.In subsection 10, reference is made to the ECFVG program.
The Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates(r) (ECFVG(r)) program is the only program that the AVMA believes adequately evaluates the educational equivalency of graduates of nonaccredited colleges of veterinary medicine at an acceptable educational standard. In the future, other educational equivalency assessment programs may originate to parallel or succeed the ECFVG program. States may find it prudent to prepare for that possibility by establishing by rule the necessary educational standards that need to be met by such an alternate program. These standards should include:
1) Proof of graduation from a nonaccredited foreign college of veterinary medicine recognized by the World Health Organization or the government of that country, and whose graduates are eligible to practice veterinary medicine in that country.
2) Demonstration and proof of English language proficiency.
3) Demonstration of adequate knowledge of basic and clinical veterinary medical sciences
of clinical skills proficiency through consistent and validated testing
or evaluation after graduation. In subsection 14, "informed consent"
is defined to better protect the public by ensuring that veterinarians
provide sufficient information in a manner so that clients may reach informed
decisions regarding the care of their animals. Rather than addressing
the ever-changing telephonic/electronic industry by adding a specific
definition of telemedicine or telepractice, the definition of the practice
of veterinary medicine in subsection 18 reflects the increasing use of
telemedicine in veterinary practice today. The definition indicates that
the practice of veterinary medicine means "to diagnose, treat, correct,
change, alleviate, or prevent animal disease...by any method or mode."
In addition, this definition stresses that the practice of veterinary
medicine includes the use of telephonic and other electronic communications
for the rendering of advice or recommendation for the diagnosis, treatment,
correction, alteration, relief, or prevention of animal disease.
The definition of "veterinary-client-patient relationship" in subsection 21 is unchanged from that established jointly by the AVMA and the United States Food and Drug Administration and embodied in federal regulation 21CFR530.3(i). The AVMA recognizes that individual states may wish to more clearly define specific terms within this definition. For example, a state regulatory board may wish to include a specific time period (eg, 6 or 12 months) to better delineate the phrase "recently seen."
Section 3 - Board of Veterinary Medicine
1) A Board of Veterinary Medicine shall be appointed by the governor and shall consist of five licensed veterinarians, one credentialed veterinary technician or technologist, and one member of the public who is not a veterinarian or veterinary technician or technologist. All persons appointed to the Board shall have been residents of this state for at least the two years immediately preceding appointment. Each member shall be appointed for a term of five years or until a successor is appointed, except that the terms of the first appointees may be for shorter periods to permit a staggering of terms. Members of the Board appointed under the chapter that this act replaces may continue as members of the Board until the expiration of the term for which they were appointed. Vacancies due to death, resignation, or removal shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term in the same manner as regular appointments. No person shall serve more than two consecutive full terms. A licensed veterinarian shall be qualified to serve as a member of the Board if he has been licensed to practice veterinary medicine in this state for the five years immediately preceding the time of his appointment. A credentialed veterinary technician or technologist shall be qualified to serve as a member of the Board if he has been credentialed in this state for the five years immediately preceding his appointment.Each member of the Board shall be paid for each day or substantial portion thereof if he is engaged in the work of the Board, in addition to such reimbursement for travel and other expenses as is normally allowed to state employees.Any member of the Board may be removed in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act of this state or other applicable laws.The Board shall meet at least once each year at the time and place fixed by rule of the Board. Other necessary meetings may be called by the Board by giving notice as may be required by rule. Except as may otherwise be provided, a majority of the Board constitutes a quorum. Meetings shall be open and public except that the Board may meet in closed session to prepare, approve, administer, or grade examinations, or to deliberate the qualification of an applicant for license or the disposition of a proceeding to discipline a licensed veterinarian.
3) The Board shall annually elect officers from its membership as may be prescribed by rule. Officers of the Board serve for terms of 1 year and until a successor is elected, without limitation on the number of terms an officer may serve. The duties of officers shall be prescribed by rule.
4) The Board shall have the power to:Adopt, amend, or repeal all rules necessary for its government and all regulations necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this act, including the establishment and publication of standards of practice and professional conduct for the practice of veterinary medicine.Adopt, promulgate, and enforce rules and regulations relating to specific duties and responsibilities; certification, registration, or licensure; and other matters pertaining to veterinary technicians, veterinary technologists, or nonlicensed persons consistent with the provisions of this act.Initiate disciplinary procedures, hold hearings, reprimand, suspend, revoke, or refuse to issue or renew credentials, and perform any other acts that may be necessary to regulate veterinary technicians and technologists in a manner consistent with the provisions of this act applicable to veterinarians.Examine by established protocol the qualifications and fitness of applicants for a license to practice veterinary medicine in the state.Issue, renew, or deny the licenses and temporary permits to practice veterinary medicine in this state.Limit, suspend, or revoke the licenses of disciplined veterinarians or otherwise discipline licensed veterinarians consistent with the 5 provisions of the act and the rules and regulations adopted thereunder.Establish and publish annually a schedule of fees for licensing, certification, and registration.Conduct investigations of suspected violations of this act to determine whether there are sufficient grounds to initiate disciplinary proceedings. All investigations shall be conducted in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act of this state or other applicable laws.Inspect veterinary premises and equipment, including practice vehicles, at any time in accordance with protocols established by rule.Hold hearings on all matters properly brought before the Board and in connection thereto to administer oaths, receive evidence, make necessary determinations, and enter orders consistent with the findings. The Board may require by subpoena the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of papers, records, or other documentary evidence and commission depositions. The Board may designate one or more of its members to serve as its hearing officer or may employ a hearing officer defined by state law. All hearings shall be conducted in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act of this state or other applicable laws.Employ full or part-time personnel necessary to effectuate the provisions of this act and purchase or rent necessary office space, equipment, and supplies.Appoint from its own membership one or more members to act as representatives of the Board at any meeting within or outside the state where such representative is deemed desirable.Bring proceedings in the courts against any person for the enforcement of this act or any regulations made pursuant thereto.
5) The powers enumerated above are granted for the purpose of enabling the Board to effectively supervise the practice of veterinary medicine and veterinary technology and are to be construed liberally to accomplish this objective.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 3- This section provides guidelines for the establishment, composition, and duties of the Board. As stated in MVPA, the Board is the supervisory body created to administer the practice act in any given state. The intent of this section is not to be prescriptive, but to provide broad guidelines that each state may use to establish an appropriate and well-functioning Board. For example, in subsection 1, it is stated that each member shall be appointed for a term of five years. Currently, terms on state boards typically range from four to six years, which the AVMA believes is sufficient time to provide continuity to Board activities and deliberations but not too extensive to prevent infusion of new ideas.Although not explicitly stated in subsection 1 of the 2002 draft revision, the AVMA believes that it is important that the Board interact with the state veterinary medical association to forward names of potential well-qualified nominees to the Governor for appointment so that all areas of veterinary practice prevalent within the state are represented on the Board.In subsection 4(b), language was added to empower the Board to adopt, promulgate, and enforce rules and regulations relating to specific duties and responsibilities; certification, registration, or licensure; and other matters pertaining to nonlicensed persons consistent with the provisions of this act. The intent here is to provide Boards with the power to regulate nonveterinarians who may be performing specific duties related to veterinary medicine (eg, equine dentists).Subsection 4(c) was inserted to provide the Board with the authority to regulate veterinary technicians and technologists. This subsection provides substantial latitude to the individual state boards to adopt and implement rules pertaining to the duties of veterinary technicians and technologists. The Board should adopt regulations establishing health-care tasks and an appropriate degree of supervision required for those tasks that may be performed only by a veterinary technician or technologist. There needs to be a degree of flexibility that will allow the Board to make necessary adjustments from time to time to meet the ongoing needs of consumers and the ever changing profession of veterinary medicine.
Section 4 - License Requirement
No person may practice veterinary medicine in the state who is not a licensed veterinarian or the holder of a valid temporary permit issued by the Board unless otherwise exempt pursuant to Section 6 of this act.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 4 - The intent of this section is to declare unlawful the practice of veterinary medicine by any person not licensed or holding a temporary permit to practice in the state. The significance of this section arises in part from the definitions of the "practice of veterinary medicine" and "licensed veterinarian" in Section 2.
Section 5 - Veterinarian-Client-Patient Relationship Requirement
1) No person may practice veterinary medicine in the state except within the context of a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship when a client exists.
2) A valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship cannot be established solely by telephonic or other electronic means.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 5 - This section, which was added in 2002, emphasizes not only that veterinary medicine must be practiced within the context of a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR), but also emphasizes that because a valid VCPR requires the veterinarian to thoroughly examine the animal, it cannot be adequately established by telephonic or other electronic means (ie, via telemedicine).
Section 6 - Exemptions This act shall not be construed to prohibit:
1) Any employee of the federal, state, or local government performing his official duties.
2) Any person who is a student in an accredited college of veterinary medicine or an accredited program in veterinary technology performing duties or actions assigned by instructors or working under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian.Any person advising with respect to or performing acts that the Board has designated by rule as accepted livestock management practices. It is presumed that artificial insemination is an accepted livestock management practice.Any person providing consultation to a licensed veterinarian in this state on the care and management of a patient.Any member in good standing of another licensed or regulated profession within any state, or any member of an organization or group approved by the Board within the rules and regulations, providing assistance requested by a veterinarian licensed in the state, acting with informed consent from the client, and acting under the direct or indirect supervision and control of the licensed veterinarian. Providing assistance involves hands-on active participation in the treatment and care of the patient. The licensed veterinarian shall maintain responsibility for the veterinarian-client-patient relationship.Any veterinarian employed by an accredited college of veterinary medicine providing assistance requested by a veterinarian licensed in the state, acting with informed consent from the client, and acting under the direct or indirect supervision and control of the licensed veterinarian. Providing assistance involves hands-on active participation in the treatment and care of the patient. The licensed veterinarian shall maintain responsibility for the veterinarian-client-patient relationship.Any merchant or manufacturer selling at his regular place of business medicines, feed, appliances, or other products used in the prevention or treatment of animal diseases as permitted by law.Any owner of an animal and any of the owner's regular employees caring for and treating the animal belonging to such owner, except where the ownership of the animal was transferred for purposes of circumventing this act. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection 8, a veterinarian-client-patient relationship must exist when prescription drugs are administered, distributed, dispensed, or prescribed.Any instructor at an accredited college of veterinary medicine or accredited program in veterinary technology performing his regular functions or any person lecturing or giving instructions or demonstrations at an accredited college of veterinary medicine or accredited program in veterinary technology or in connection with a veterinary or veterinary technology continuing education course or seminar.Any person selling or applying pesticides, insecticides, or herbicides.Any person engaging in bona fide scientific research that reasonably requires experimentation involving animals.Any credentialed veterinary technician, veterinary technologist, or other employee of a licensed veterinarian performing duties other than diagnosis, prognosis, prescription, or surgery under the direction and supervision of such veterinarian who shall be responsible for the performance of the employee. Any graduate of a nonaccredited college of veterinary medicine who is in the process of obtaining an ECFVG(r) certificate and is performing duties or actions assigned by instructors in an accredited college of veterinary medicine. Any person who, without expectation of compensation, provides emergency veterinary care in an emergency or disaster situation so long as they do not represent themselves as veterinarians or use any title or degree pertaining to the practice thereof. Any animal shelter employee acting under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian or authorized by the Board to perform euthanasia in the course and scope of employment.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 6 - This section provides a list of carefully considered exemptions to the general rule outlined in Section 3 that it is unlawful to practice veterinary medicine without a valid license.
"Livestock management practices," in the context of subsection 3, refers to those cosmetic or surgical procedures currently considered essential and routine individual animal husbandry techniques necessary for management of groups of animals raised at various levels of confinement. As used in this MVPA, the term "livestock" includes cattle, horses, sheep, goats, swine, farm-raised cervidae, and other species used in the production of fiber, meat, and milk products. Among the acts that a state may consider exempting by rule are dehorning, castration or emasculation of male animals, tail docking, and artificial insemination. State humane laws apply to farm and ranch personnel during the performance of and subsequent aftercare associated with these exempted procedures. It behooves the attending veterinarian to advocate on the animal's behalf to ensure that procedures are performed at the proper age to minimize pain and discomfort and that appropriate techniques are applied.Recognizing that a licensed veterinarian may, in the best interest of the patient, request assistance from either nonveterinarians with specific expertise or veterinarians who are exempt from licensure by employment at an accredited college of veterinary medicine, two exemptions were added to this section in 2002. These additional exemptions (subsections 5 and 6) indicate that such individuals (nonveterinarians and veterinarians employed at an accredited college of veterinary medicine) may provide assistance only if the individual is acting under the supervision of that licensed veterinarian and the licensed veterinarian maintains responsibility for the VCPR. Acting outside these parameters constitutes the practice of veterinary medicine, and as such, may result in penalties specified within the act.It has been a common practice for states to allow an owner of an animal or any of that owner's regular employees to treat animals belonging to that owner. In subsection 8, the term "regular employee" is used to avoid circumvention of the intent of this exemption by individuals employed primarily to treat the owner's animals. It is also the intent that this exemption applies only to animals being used for agricultural or food production purposes. Furthermore, this exemption should not apply to situations in which ownership of the animal is transferred to qualify for the exemption. Finally, language in subsection 8 specifies that regardless of the situation, no prescription drugs can be used during the treatment of the animal unless a valid VCPR exists.A "good Samaritan" exemption (subsection 14) was added in 2002.In reference to veterinary care, including euthanasia, performed at animal shelters (subsection 15), the AVMA urges that each Board check with the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to determine the current requirements governing use of DEA-regulated drugs in veterinary medicine. To be in compliance with DEA requirements, a Board may need to require that euthanasia be performed under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian or by a euthanasia technician licensed by the Board. Any veterinary duties other than euthanasia that do not involve DEA-registered drugs or surgery (ie, medical treatment only) can be done under the indirect supervision of a veterinarian.
Section 7 - Veterinary Technicians and Technologists No person may practice veterinary technology in the state who is not a veterinary technician or technologist credentialed by the Board.A veterinary technician or technologist who performs veterinary technology contrary to this act shall be subject to disciplinary actions in a manner consistent with the provisions of this act applicable to veterinarians.Credentialed veterinary technicians and technologists shall be required to complete continuing education as prescribed by rule to renew their credentials.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 7 - Section 7 was inserted because the AVMA believes it is important for Boards to have the authority to regulate the practice of veterinary technology and to discipline those persons who are representing themselves as credentialed veterinary technicians or technologist but have not fulfilled the requirements set forth in the definition of a veterinary technician or technologist.
Section 8 - Status of Persons Previously Licensed Any person who holds a valid license to practice veterinary medicine in this state on the date this act becomes effective shall be recognized as a licensed veterinarian and shall be entitled to retain this status so long as he complies with the provisions of this act, including periodic renewal of the license.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 8 - The sole purpose of this section is to clarify the status of veterinarians licensed under a former regulatory procedure. Such practitioners are authorized to practice under the new act without a special reregistration or examination. It is also clear under this Section that persons licensed under a former act are nevertheless subject to all of the provisions of the new act.
Section 9 - Application for License: Qualifications Any person desiring a license to practice veterinary medicine in this state shall make written application to the Board. The application shall show that the applicant is a graduate of an accredited college of veterinary medicine or the holder of an ECFVG(r) certificate. The application shall also show that the applicant is a person of good moral character and such other information and proof as the Board may require by rule. The application shall be accompanied by a fee in the amount established and published by the Board.If the Board determines that the applicant possesses the proper qualifications, it shall admit the applicant to the next examination, or if the applicant is eligible for license by endorsement under Section 11 of this act, the Board may forthwith grant him a license. If an applicant is found not qualified to take the examination or for a license by endorsement the Board shall notify the applicant in writing within 30 days of such finding and the grounds therefore. An applicant found unqualified may request a hearing on the questions of his qualifications under the procedure set forth in Section 16.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 9 - Section 9 marks the beginning of sections addressing the licensing procedure. This section specifically covers both the qualifications a candidate must possess to be eligible for licensure and the general process such a candidate must pursue to make application for licensure.The qualifications stated in this section derive in part from the preamble to the MVPA, which clearly states its scope and purpose. To facilitate the charge stated in the preamble, the Board should only license qualified persons of "good moral character." The Board can utilize various means (eg, the Veterinary Information Verifying Agency [VIVA(r)], state police background checks) in assessing the qualities of applicants for licensure. The AVMA encourages Boards to conduct extensive checks, while at all times assuring that the applicant's civil rights are respected.Section 9 also indicates that the Board must notify candidates of adverse decisions within 30 days of such decisions. However, the AVMA recognizes that each Board may need to determine its own timeframe for notification. Regardless, it is essential that adverse decisions be forwarded in a timely manner and include the grounds by which the Board reached its decision.
Section 10 - Examinations
1) The Board shall provide for at least one examination for licensing, certification, or registration during each calendar year and may provide for such additional examinations as are necessary. The Board shall give public notice of the time and place for each examination at least 120 days in advance of the date set for the examination or in compliance with state law. A person desiring to take an examination shall make application at least 60 days before the date of the examination.
2) The preparations, administration, and grading of examinations shall be governed by rules prescribed by the Board. Examinations for veterinary licensure shall be designed to test the examinee's knowledge of and proficiency in the subjects and techniques commonly taught in an accredited college of veterinary medicine. The passing score for the examination shall be established by the testing entity. The Board may adopt and use the results of the examinations prepared by the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.
3) After examination, each examinee shall be notified of the result of the examination, and the Board shall issue a certificate of registration to the new licensees. Any person who fails an examination shall be admitted to any subsequent examination on payment of the application fee.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 10 - General examination procedures are set out in this section. Procedures listed are purposefully broad to leave as many of the details concerning the examination to the discretion of each Board.Although not explicitly stated in the MVPA, to maintain the integrity and security of national and state licensing examinations, a Board may elect to limit the number of times a candidate may take and fail each examination in a given time period. For example, in 1994, Missouri statute 340.240.6 limited candidates for licensure to 3 attempts to pass the National Board Examination. This statute was challenged and upheld by the courts in April of 1999 (Linton v Missouri Veterinary Medical Board). The current (August 28, 2002) Missouri statute limits candidates to 4 attempts to pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination. The restriction on the number of attempts should be in the practice act rather than the regulations to provide statutory authority to any subsequent challenge. A state may also elect to require that a candidate who fails several examinations engage in remedial strategies prior to reapplying for examination.The Board may wish to add the words "or its successor" after "National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners" (NBVME) in the second paragraph of this section to address the possibility that a Board may elect to use a national licensing examination created by an entity other than the NBVME sometime in the future.
Section 11 - License By Endorsement
1) The Board, in its sole discretion, may issue a license by endorsement to a qualified applicant who furnishes satisfactory proof that he is a graduate of an accredited college of veterinary medicine or holds an ECFVG(r) certificate. The applicant must also show that he is a person of good moral character, and:a) is currently licensed to practice veterinary medicine in at least one state, territory, or district of the United States and has practiced veterinary medicine in one or more of those states without disciplinary action by any state or federal agency for at least the three years immediately prior to filing the application, orb) has within the three years immediately prior to filing the application passed the licensing examination prepared by the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.
2) The Board may, in its sole discretion, issue a limited license by endorsement to a qualified applicant who furnishes satisfactory proof that he is a graduate of an accredited college of veterinary medicine or holds an ECFVG(r) certificate. The applicant must also show that he is a person of good moral character, currently holds a license to practice in at least one state, is an active diplomate in an AVMA-recognized veterinary specialty organization, and will limit his practice to his certified specialty.
3) At its sole discretion, the Board may examine any person qualifying for licensing under this Section.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 11 - This section addresses situations in which the Board may issue a license by endorsement. The AVMA urges state to adopt a position that any veterinarian who has graduated from an AVMA-accredited institution or fulfilled the requirements of the ECFVG program and passed an entry level examination and practiced for at least 3 years without disciplinary action by any state or federal agency would be eligible for license by endorsement in any state within the United States. Certain Boards, perhaps most likely those in northern border states, may wish to add inclusive language (eg, "or province of Canada") after "at least one state, territory, or district of the United States" in subsection 1(a) to allow veterinarians licensed in Canada to seek license by endorsement.In certain states, agencies other than the Board may have jurisdictions that exercise control over certain aspects of veterinary licensure. For example, it is a common requirement that applicants for license by endorsement pass an examination on a state's laws and rules related to veterinary medicine. The impetus for such requirements can also be driven by state pesticide regulations that require certification and permits for pesticide applicators and distributors. In other states, licensure or relicensure of those veterinarians with a state tax delinquency may be under the jurisdiction of a state agency other than the Board.
Section 12 - Temporary Permit The Board, in its sole discretion, may issue a temporary permit to practice veterinary medicine in this state:
1) To a qualified applicant for license pending examination, provided that such temporary permit shall expire the day after the notice of results of the first examination given after the permit is issued and provided that the grantee is under supervision of a licensed veterinarian. No temporary permit may be issued to any applicant who has previously failed the examination in this state or in any other state, territory, or district of the United States or a foreign country
.2) To a nonresident veterinarian who is a graduate of an accredited college of veterinary medicine or an ECFVG(r) certificate holder validly licensed in another state, territory, or district of the United States or a foreign country who pays the fee established and published by the Board, provided that such temporary permit shall be issued for a period of no more than 60 consecutive days and that no more than one permit shall be issued to a person during a calendar year. A temporary permit may be summarily revoked or limited by the Board without a hearing.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 12 - This section authorizes the Board to grant temporary permits for the practice of veterinary medicine to two categories of individuals: qualified applicants pending examination and nonresident veterinarians who are graduates of an accredited college or ECFVG certificate holders and who are validly licensed in the United States or another country. The AVMA supports the policy of states offering temporary permits to practice to qualified but unlicensed applicants waiting to take the licensing examination(s), with the added stipulation that such applicants must work under the supervision of a veterinarian licensed in that state. Furthermore, a nonresident veterinarian meeting all other application requirements (ie, graduation from an accredited college of veterinary medicine or completion of the ECFVG program) and holding a license to practice in another state or country may be granted a temporary permit to practice and may do so with or without supervision of a veterinarian licensed to practice in that state.Each state veterinary medical licensing board may wish to add language to the last line of this section to indicate whether the decision of the board to summarily revoke or limit temporary permits is to be made on the basis of a simple majority of voting membership, a simple majority of a quorum present, or a 2/3 majority of either the voting membership or quorum present.Section 13 - License Renewal
1) All licenses shall expire periodically but may be renewed by registration with the Board and payment of the registration renewal fee established and published by the Board. At least 30 days in advance, the Board shall mail a notice to each licensed veterinarian that his license will expire and provide him with a form for reregistration. The Board shall issue a new certificate of registration to all persons registering under this act.
2) The Board shall establish the continuing education requirements that must be met for license renewal. The Board shall also define the types of continuing education that will meet its requirements and may establish a certifying process to approve educational activities that meet its requirements.
3) Any person who shall practice veterinary medicine after the expiration of his license and willfully or by neglect fail to renew such license shall be practicing in violation of this act. Any person may renew an expired license within five years of the date of its expiration by making written application for renewal, paying the current renewal fee plus all delinquent renewal fees, and complying with current continuing education requirements.4) The Board may by rule waive the payment of the registration renewal fee of a licensed veterinarian during the period when he is on active duty with any branch of the armed services of the United States.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 13 - This section contains information regarding expiration of veterinary licenses and renewal fees. It provides details of notification procedures and issuing of new certificates. This section also specifies that any person practicing after expiration of his license and who willfully or by neglect fails to renew shall be in violation of the Act. It provides that a person has up to 5 years after expiration of his license to renew the license by application and payment of fees and penalties in addition to complying with current continuing education (CE) requirements. After 5 years have elapsed, the individual must reapply for licensure.This section also allows each Board to establish its own CE requirements and, if so desired, to develop a certifying process for approval of CE courses. It also establishes that by rule, renewal fees can be modified for individuals on duty in the military. It is important to note that the intent of this last clause is to allow only waiver of fees. An individual on active duty in the military will still be required to renew his license.
Section 14 - Discipline of Licensees Upon written complaint sworn to by any person the Board, in its sole discretion, may, after a hearing, revoke, suspend, or limit for a certain time the license of, or otherwise discipline, any licensed veterinarian for any of the following reasons:
1) The employment of fraud, misrepresentation, or deception in obtaining a license.
2) The inability to practice veterinary medicine with reasonable skill and safety because of a physical or mental disability, including deterioration of mental capacity, loss of motor skills, or abuse of drugs or alcohol of sufficient degree to diminish the person's ability to deliver competent patient care.
3) The use of advertising or solicitation that is false or misleading.
4) Conviction of the following in any federal court or in the courts of this state or any other jurisdiction, regardless of whether the sentence is deferred.a) Any felonyb) Any crime involving cruelty, abuse, or neglect of animals, including bestiality c) Any crime of moral turpituded) Any crime involving unlawful sexual contact; child abuse; the use or threatened use of a weapon; the infliction of injury; indecent exposure; perjury, false reporting, criminal impersonation, forgery and any other crime involving a lack of truthfulness, veracity, or honesty; intimidation of a victim or witness; larceny; or alcohol or drugs.
5) For the purposes of this subsection 4, a plea of guilty or a plea of nolo contendere accepted by the court shall be considered as a conviction.
6) Incompetence, gross negligence, or other malpractice in the practice of veterinary medicine.
7) Aiding the unlawful practice of veterinary medicine.
8) Fraud or dishonesty in the application or reporting of any test for disease in animals.
9) Failure to report, as required by law, or making false or misleading report of, any contagious or infectious disease.
10) Failure to keep accurate and comprehensive patient records as set by rules promulgated by the Board.
11) Dishonesty or gross negligence in the performance of food safety inspections or the issuance of any health or inspection certificates.
to keep veterinary premises and equipment, including practice vehicles,
in a clean and sanitary conditions as set by rules promulgated by the
13) Failure to permit the Board or its agents to enter and inspect veterinary premises and equipment, including practice vehicles, as set by rules promulgated by the Board.
14) Revocation, suspension, or limitation of a license to practice veterinary medicine by another state, territory, or district of the United States on grounds other than nonpayment of registration fee.
15) Loss or suspension of accreditation by any federal or state agency on grounds other than nonpayment of registration fees or voluntary relinquishment of accreditation.
16) Unprofessional conduct as defined in regulations adopted by the Board.
17) The dispensing, distribution, prescription, or administration of any veterinary prescription drug, or the extralabel use of any drug in the absence of a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship.
18) Violations of state or federal drug laws.
19) Violations of any order of the Board.
20) Violations of this act or of the rules promulgated under this act.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 14 - This section, together with Sections 16, 17, and 22, provides the procedures for initiating and enforcing disciplinary action against individuals violating any section of this Act. Language in section 14 specifically delineates the reasons for which the Board may initiate hearing procedures and disciplinary actions against licensed veterinarians.The AVMA recommends that each Board require that complaints be made in writing and provide positive identification of the complainant by means deemed sufficient by the Board.Subsection 15 of this section addresses loss or suspension of accreditation by any federal or state agency on grounds other than nonpayment of registration fees as a reason for possible disciplinary action. Accreditation by federal and state departments of agriculture for duties relating to certification of animal health and for transport of products from animals is the most common form of accreditation, and is the context in which the term "accreditation" is generally used. It is possible that a veterinarian might be accredited by federal or state agencies for purposes not directly related to veterinary medicine. To protect the public welfare, subsection 15 provides for a hearing and possible disciplinary action against a license holder as a consequence of the loss of any federal or state accreditation. As with all matters relating to this section, the Board will follow normal processes and use appropriate discretion in determining whether such accreditation loss is sufficient reason for hearing and discipline.Inclusion of subsection 20 emphasizes that a violation of any rule or regulation created under the provisions of this Act is considered a violation of the Act and is, therefore, reason for hearing and possible discipline by the Board.
Section 15 - Impaired Veterinarian
1) The Board shall establish by rule a program of care, counseling, or treatment for impaired veterinarians.
2) The program of care, counseling, or treatment shall include a written schedule of organized treatment, care, counseling, activities, or education satisfactory to the Board, designed for the purposes of restoring an impaired person to a condition whereby the impaired person can practice veterinary medicine with reasonable skill and safety of a sufficient degree to deliver competent patient care.
3) All persons authorized to practice by the Board shall report in good faith any veterinarian they reasonably believe to be impaired as defined in Section 2, subsection 12.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 15 - This section addresses the licensed veterinarian who is in violation of the practice act according to Section 14, subsection 2, which provides for the revocation, suspension, or restriction of the veterinary license of any veterinarian whose mental or physical ability to practice veterinary medicine with reasonable skill and safety is impaired. "Impaired veterinarian" is clearly defined in Section 2, subsection 12.
Specific classes of impairment (eg, abuse of alcohol or other drugs) may be recognized as primary and progressive disease entities for which there is no cure, but which may be successfully treated and arrested. Therefore, it is appropriate that the Board be required to establish a program of care, counseling, or treatment for impaired veterinarians. Such a program will then be available for those licensed veterinarians who are identified and reported to the Board as well as for veterinarians who voluntarily submit to treatment.The language in subsection 2 is left broad in recognition of the different levels of resources that each state has available for the development of impairment programs. State licensing boards should adopt rules and regulations that will encourage impaired veterinarians to seek treatment in an approved treatment and rehabilitation program and not interfere with an impaired individual who is undergoing treatment and making satisfactory progress or who is in a program of successful recovery. Promulgated rules should provide that a veterinarian who has been determined by a qualified health care professional to be impaired shall enter into an agreement with the Board in which the veterinarian agrees to participate in a program designed to provide care and treatment specifically for health care professionals and which has been approved by the Board. The agreement may include, but not be limited to, the length of the program, the status of the licensee while in a treatment program, and a termination clause whereby both parties may terminate the agreement at any time. The process should allow for the veterinarian to continue in an after-care program until he is released upon successful completion of the structured treatment program.Promulgated rules should also provide that the identity of impaired individuals and the contents of any reports relating to that individual while in treatment be treated with absolute confidentiality, unless treatment is refused or a previously treated individual refuses to reenter a treatment center following a relapse. In addition, the rules should indicate that the contents of confidential reports relating to impaired veterinarians in approved treatment programs shall not be used or made available in any other administrative proceedings before the Board or any other agency. Further, the reports shall not be disclosed, made available, or be subject to subpoena or discovery proceedings in any civil or criminal court proceedings. Impaired veterinarians refusing treatment should be subject to appropriate disciplinary procedures.Treatment programs for impaired veterinarians may either be provided under the auspices of the Board or through a formalized contract with an independent entity whose program meets the standards set by the Board. The Board may wish to work closely with state veterinary medical associations that have committees organized to assist impaired veterinarians when questions of discipline relating to impairment are being considered.Subsection 3 was inserted to provide for mandatory reporting of all impaired veterinarians.Section 16 - Hearing ProcedureAll hearings shall be in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act of this state or other applicable state law.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 16 - This section establishes the hearing procedure for any person who is the subject of a complaint under Section 14 of the Act; found to be an unqualified applicant for licensure under Section 9 of the Act; or as required in accordance with Section 22 of the Act. The principle underlying this section is that no person shall be denied the right to practice or be otherwise disciplined unless he has been granted a fair hearing on the charges brought against him.The language in this section was left broad in recognition that in most states, hearings are conducted under the provisions defined in the state's administrative procedures act or other applicable laws. There may be certain provisions that may be exempted which would need to be noted. In addition, if there are unique provisions specific to the veterinary practice act, these would need to be so stated.
Section 17 - Appeal All appeals shall be in accordance with the Administrative Procedures Act of this state or other applicable state law.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 17 - This section expressly provides a right of appeal to any person dissatisfied with the decision of the Board. As with the language in Section 16, this language was left broad in recognition that in most states, the appeal process is conducted under the provisions defined in the state's administrative procedures act or other applicable laws. There may be certain provisions that may be exempted which would need to be noted. In addition, if there are unique provisions specific to the veterinary practice act, these would need to be so stated.
Section 18 - Reinstatement Any person whose license is suspended, revoked, or limited may be reinstated at any time, with or without an examination, by approval of the Board after written application is made to the Board showing cause justifying relicensing or reinstatement.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 18 - This section permits the Board to reinstate a suspended, revoked, or limited license at any time with or without examination. Each Board may wish to add language to this section to indicate whether approval of the Board means an affirmative vote of a simple majority of either the voting membership or quorum present, or whether approval of the Board will require a 2/3 majority of either the voting membership or quorum present.
Section 19 - Veterinarian-Client Confidentiality
1) No licensed veterinarian shall disclose any information concerning the licensed veterinarian's care of a patient except on written authorization or by waiver by the licensed veterinarian's client or on appropriate court order, by subpoena, or as otherwise provided in this Section.
2) Copies of or information from veterinary records shall be provided without the owner's consent to public, animal health, animal welfare, wildlife, or agriculture authorities, employed by federal, state, or local governmental agencies who have a legitimate interest in the contents of said records for the protection of animal and public health.
3) Any licensed veterinarian releasing information under written authorization or other waiver by the client or under court order, by subpoena, or as otherwise provided by this Section shall not be liable to the client or any other person.
4) The privilege provided by this Section shall be waived to the extent that the licensed veterinarian's client or the owner of the patient places the licensed veterinarian's care and treatment of the patient or the nature and extent of injuries to the animal at issue in any civil criminal proceeding.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 19 - This section was inserted in recognition of existence of the veterinarian-client privilege. This means that information related to patient care should remain confidential except under certain well-defined exceptions. The AVMA also encourages each state board to be familiar with other open-records laws (eg, laws relating to the Freedom of Information Act) at the federal and state level that must be taken into consideration.
Section 20 - Immunity from Liability Any member of the Board, any witness testifying in a proceeding or hearing authorized under this act, any person who lodges a complaint pursuant to this act, and any person reporting an impaired veterinarian shall be immune from liability in any civil or criminal action brought against him for any action occurring while he was acting in his capacity as a Board member, witness, complainant, or reporting party, if such person was acting in good faith within the scope of his respective capacity.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 20 - This section was included to encourage members of the public (including veterinarians) to report, in good faith, any veterinarian whose conduct or status may have violated the provisions of the practice act. It is also intended to promote and facilitate full, fair, and truthful disclosure to the Board and allow the Board to make good faith decisions thereon. Any member of the Board, any witness or complainant, and any reporting party who acts in bad faith would not be protected under the provisions of this section.
Section 21 - Cruelty to Animals - Immunity for Reporting Any veterinarian licensed in this state who reports, in good faith and in the normal course of business, a suspected incident of animal cruelty, as described by law, to the proper authorities shall be immune from liability in any civil or criminal action brought against such veterinarian for reporting such incident.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 21 - This section was inserted to encourage veterinarians to report animal abuse to the appropriate authorities providing immunity to the reporting veterinarian. The AVMA recognizes that veterinarians may observe cases of animal abuse or neglect as defined by federal or state laws or local ordinances. The AVMA considers it the responsibility of the veterinarian to report such cases to appropriate authorities. Disclosure may be necessary to protect the health and welfare of animals and people. Veterinarians should be aware that accurate record keeping and documentation of these cases are invaluable. Any veterinarian who acts in bad faith would not be protected under the provisions of this section.
Section 22 - Enforcement
1) Any person who practices veterinary medicine without a valid license or temporary permit issued by the Board shall be guilty of a criminal offense and upon conviction for each violation shall be fined [an appropriate amount of money according to the Board or the laws of the state] or imprisoned [an appropriate amount of time according to the Board or the laws of the state], provided that each act of such unlawful practice shall constitute a distinct and separate offense.
Any person not licensed under this act is considered to have violated
this act and may be subject to all the penalties provided for such violations
3) The Board or any citizen of this state may bring an action to enjoin any person from practicing veterinary medicine without a currently valid license or temporary permit issued by the Board. If the court finds that the person is violating or is threatening to violate this act, it shall enter an injunction restraining him from such unlawful acts.
4) Not withstanding other provisions of this act, the Board may take immediate action if there is an imminent threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the public. The Board shall find that this action is necessary for the protection of the public and necessary to effectively enforce this act. If the Board takes immediate action pursuant to this subsection 4, efforts shall be made as soon as possible to proceed in accordance with a hearing pursuant to Section 16 of this act.
5) In addition to any other penalty or remedy provided by law, the Board shall have the authority to implement a system of Cite and Fine procedures for licensed and nonlicensed persons who violate the state veterinary practice act. The Board may also impose a civil penalty, upon conviction, for each separate violation. This civil penalty shall be in an amount not to exceed [dollar amount] for each violation and shall be assessed by the Board in accordance with the provisions set forth in Section 16 of this act.
6) The success or failure of an action based on any one of the remedies set forth in this Section shall in no way prejudice the prosecution of an action based on any other of the remedies.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 22 - Under this section, any licensed or nonlicensed person, veterinarian or nonveterinarian, who engages in unlawful practice of veterinary medicine may have criminal action brought against him. He may be fined or imprisoned. Each act of unlawful practice constitutes a separate crime.Subsection 3 provides that any person who engages in illegal practice may be enjoined from such practice in action brought by the Board or any citizen of the state. In some states, the terminology "or any citizen of the state" may not be appropriate if such terminology is in conflict with other laws of the state that have precedence.Subsection 5 indicates that the Board is authorized to implement a system of Cite and Fine procedures and to impose civil penalties for licensed and nonlicensed persons who violate the state veterinary practice act. The Board in accordance with laws of each state would establish these procedures, including the amount of the fines or the time of imprisonment. Subsection 6 indicates that all of the remedies set forth in this section are available in any case and that enforcement of this act through one remedy does not prevent the use of other remedies
Section 23 - Severability If any part of this act is held invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, all valid parts that are severable from the invalid part remain in effect.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 23 - Section 23 is what is known as a severability clause. This section simply provides that if any part of the Act should be found invalid, this finding of invalidity shall not affect any portion of the Act found valid.
Section 24 - Effective Date This act shall become effective on - 1st, 20--. This act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.
COMMENTARY TO SECTION 24 - This section sets out the effective date of the Act and provides for the handling of matters during the transition to the new procedure. The Board should also recognize that obsolete laws or laws superseded by changes to the Act must first be repealed.