State by State – Veterinary Legislative Update

  |   State Regulatory

The State Legislative Update for June 2019 includes select summaries of three new laws, 31 bills, and 17 regulations tracked by the AVMA Division of State Advocacy between mid-May and mid-June. For more information on bills and regulations, please see the full listing or contact AVMA.

VCPR regulation proposed in Alaska

The Alaska Board of Veterinary Examiners issued a proposed regulation that adds the requirement for a veterinary-client-patient relationship (VCPR) to be initiated before caring for or treating an animal and the conditions under which such a relationship exists:

  1. A veterinarian and client agree for the veterinarian to assume responsibility for making medical judgments regarding the health of the animal;
  2. The veterinarian must also have sufficient knowledge of the animal to initiate a general or preliminary diagnosis of the medical condition of the animal; and
  3. The veterinarian has made provision for follow-up care in case of an adverse reaction or failure of the regimen of therapy.

Related, both Connecticut (HB 5747) and Florida (HB 835/SB 666) had legislation dealing with establishing VCPR standards that failed to pass this session.

Telemedicine regulation proposed in California

The California Veterinary Medical Board proposes to clarify that a person may not practice veterinary medicine in California except within the context of a VCPR, which cannot be established solely by telephonic or electronic means. The regulation defines “telemedicine” to mean the mode of delivering animal health care services via communication technologies to facilitate consultation, treatment, and care management of the patient; and further clarifies that telemedicine provided by animal health care practitioners shall be conducted within an VCPR, with the exception of advice given in an “emergency” until the patient(s) can be seen or transported to a veterinarian.

California legislation curtailing credit

The California Senate passed SB 639 to prohibit veterinarians and other healing arts licensees from arranging for, or establishing, credit for a patient who has been administered, or is under the influence of, general anesthesia, conscious sedation, or nitrous oxide; and the patient is in a treatment area, including, but not limited to, an exam room, surgical room, or other area where medical treatment is administered.

New Jersey bill proposed capping noneconomic damages at $5,000

The New Jersey Assembly introduced A 5405 to establish a civil action for damages that may be brought by a person whose animal is injured or killed as a result of an unlawful and intentional, or negligent, act of another person. The bill allows the recovery of monetary damages for the value of the animal and veterinary expenses incurred for care of an animal. An owner would also be allowed compensation for emotional distress and any other expenses incurred by the owner in rectifying the effects of the cruelty, pain, and suffering of the animal. The bill caps noneconomic damages at $5,000.

New York bills seek statutory change to equine therapy

The chairmen of their chambers’ respective racing and wagering committees are spearheading companion bills (A 7899, S 6269) in the New York state legislature to permit non-veterinarian equine technicians and trainers to use equine pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) at racetracks in New York. The bill sponsors claim their legislation provides racehorses better access to therapeutic care. They also have pointed to Dr. Scott Palmer, New York State Gaming Commission equine medical director, as saying the treatments are non-invasive and have “no known side effects and does not require veterinary training to safely administer.” The position of the State Veterinary Board is that the use of PEMF therapy needs to be performed by a veterinarian or veterinary technician under the supervision of a veterinarian.

For more legislative news in other states, click here.

Report provided by AVMA Government Relations Division


Posted July 12, 2019