Weigh in on the AVMA Model Practice Act

You may recall us writing a few months back that we would be seeking your comments on the AVMA’s Model Veterinary Practice Act, a valuable resource for many veterinary state boards and state legislators when they look to revise their practice acts or when they have questions related to the practice of veterinary medicine.

Well, your time has come. Organizations and individuals can now make comments about the model practice act on the AVMA website. The 30-day comment period runs through Feb. 14, and we strongly urge you to participate in this process. We’re looking for specific suggestions you might have on how we might revise or update the model in order to help shape the future of veterinary medicine. We once again encourage you to review our model practice act and submit any updates you think are necessary. Your comments will be gathered and considered by an AVMA task force whose members will deliberate any proposed changes and make recommendations for any revisions to the AVMA Executive Board.

Thanks in advance for your valued participation.

6 thoughts on “Weigh in on the AVMA Model Practice Act

  1. It is tempting for all occupations to write and advocate that state legislatures adopt broad practice acts. If enacted, such acts empower licensing boards to take actions against non-licensed competitors. Such actions are sometimes done under the pretext of protecting health and safety and often amount to little more than economic protectionism.

    Veterinary boards in Oklahoma, Texas and New York have been found to have engaged in such overreaching applications of their states’ practice acts. So also have the boards of other occupations.

    This paragraph causes the model act to suffer from overinclusiveness. This is because words such as illness, pain, deformity, defect, injury, and physical/dental conditions can also describe basic husbandry procedures that are very different from veterinary medicine.

    To address this issue, the Committee should do two things. First, it should adopt a definition of animal husbandry procedures that differentiates veterinary medicine from animal husbandy.

    For example, the Committee might consider the following:

    “Animal husbandry means the branch of agriculture and animal science that is distinct from veterinary medicine and relates to the care, breeding, management and marketing of bovine, caprine, equine, porcine, poultry, and other farm animals. It does not include procedures on felines and canines.”

    The Committee should then consider exempting all husbandry procedures from the AVMA’s model practice act.

    The AVMA is now investing significant resources to update its practice act. The size of the investment warrants honest reflection about the misuse of existing licensing laws to fence out non-veterinary competition from horse teeth floaters, massage therapists and others.

    Not only is the science not on the AVMA’s side because these procedures are outside the core curriculum at nearly all of the 28 veterinary colleges but veterinarians across the country risk losing the respect of animal owners as many veterinarians have in Oklahoma and Texas.

    Respectfully submitted,
    Lee McGrath
    (612) 435-3451

  2. I have the right to chose therapies for myself–be they traditional medicine or alternative. I believe I am also competent to choose the use of complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies for my animals. Most veterinarians training does not include indepth alterntive therapies. As long as the individual doing the work is not diagnosing, prescribing, attempting invasive techniques or attempting musculoskeletal manipulation without the proper training, performing surgery, or working on an animal currently under the care of a veterinarian for a specific issue without first clearing the procedure with the veterinarian there is little chance of harm to my animal. Just as I am capable of checking a veterinarians credentials so can I check someones training who uses alternative therapies. Animals are not subject to the placebo effect and will tell me with there response whether or not they are being helped or harmed. There is enough work for all diciplines, veterinarians and other legitimate practitioners. I for one do not want to see changes made that will drive up costs, delay treatment, and encompass areas veterinarians are not trained in.

  3. I beleive we all have the right to seek alternative therapies for our horses and other pets as well as ourselves. I have found that for chronic issues someone trained in alternative therapies that isn’t a vet, will be able to give my horses or pets the long term support they need without the high price and expensive diagnostics that vets require. Alternative therapies have been in existence for 1000’s of years and it is criminal to try and deprive people and pets of these options.

  4. As the owner of two sport horses, I strongly object to the AVMA attempting to limit the choice of horse owners to employ equine body workers. When my horse needs a massage or chiropractic, he does not need a vet! Vets do not have the specialized training that body workers have, and should not attempt to limit the practice of those who do. Horse owners can decide for themselves whether or not body work benefits their horse(s), and they do not need laws limiting them. After all, human beings can freely choose to get massage and chiropractic without the permission of an MD. Why should I have less latitude when selecting these therapies for my horse (or cat or dog, for that matter)?

  5. I would like something to be written that would permit mare/farm owners and/or their designated employees or representatives who are properly trained to be able to legally perform ultrasound examinations and Artificial Insemination or Embryo Transfer breeding procedures on their own mares without penalty or problems from licensed veterinarians or insurance companies. Necessary medications and/or sedatives should be available as needed to be obtained through a licensed veterinarian after consult.

  6. As an illustration of the comments received so far, here is one. Do you agree or disagree with this view?

    I think all veterinarians even those that work for state or federal governments, universities and industry should need to be licensed in at least one state. It would only strengthen our workforce. (submitted by individual veterinarian)

    Don’t forget, comments about the model practice act may be submitted through February, 14, 2011 on the AVMA website, http://www.avma.org/issues/policy/mvpa.asp.