Comments roll in on AVMA Model Practice Act

With the public comment period for the AVMA Model Veterinary Practice Act behind us, and with 985 comments submitted, we have our work cut out for us. AVMA staff is organizing and analyzing the comments before they are submitted to a task force, which will review the comments and make recommendations for any changes to the Executive Board later this year. The task force’s draft revisions will be circulated to AVMA entities for feedback before the Executive Board makes their final decision.

We began the public comment period back in November. We asked for your input, and you didn’t disappoint. Thank you to all the individuals and organizations that took the time and effort to submit their input. All of the comments will be seen by the task force members as they draft their recommendations.

One thought on “Comments roll in on AVMA Model Practice Act

  1. MEMO

    Date: September 9, 2011

    To: AVMA Model Practice Act Task Force

    From: Kim Brown Pokorny, WVMA Executive Director

    RE: Model Practice Act Considerations

    We applaud the American Veterinary Medical Association for updating the Model Practice Act. Often, the Wisconsin Veterinary Examining Board cites and incorporates this act’s language into Wisconsin’s law and rule.

    We would ask you to review and reconsider the following areas:

    Exemptions: Section 6, 9 – Any person rendering advice without expectation of compensation.

    Comment: What is your definition of compensation? This suggests that a person may engage in veterinary medicine without a license, so long as he or she does not receive compensation.

    Exemptions: Section 6, 10 – 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 10, a veterinarian-client-patient relationship must exist when prescription drugs or nonprescription drugs intended for extra-label use are administered, dispensed, or prescribed.

    Comment: This could allow employees of farms to perform surgeries. Unlicensed practice of veterinary medicine is an issue on dairy farms in our state, particularly with displaced abomasum surgeries. This is an animal welfare, food safety, public health and drug residue risk concern.

    Exemptions: Section 6, 18 – 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.
    Comment: There is a need to have “supervision” clarified for shelters. For your reference, attached you will find language developed by a WVMA Shelter Task Force that addresses working relationships with shelters.

    Humane Shelter Subcommittee Recommendations
    Approved by the WVMA Board April 14, 2010

    Definition of a Humane Shelter
    Humane society or animal shelter means a facility that is for the purpose of providing for and promotion the welfare, protection, shelter and humane treatment of animals (including those that provide foster care) and that is operated by a humane society, animal welfare society, animal rescue group or other nonprofit group.

    VE Chapters (expectations of the shelter):
    1. The humane shelter shall have a written agreement with a veterinarian/clinic licensed in the State of Wisconsin to serve as veterinary medical advisor and provide the following services to the Society at any animal shelter doing business under the authority of the Humane Society. This advisor will:
    a. Prepare and maintain written protocols under the veterinarians’ signature for the staff, including but not limited to providing medical care, treatment, housing and sanitation.
    b. Assist in development of animal care protocols based upon sound and reasonable shelter practice.
    c. Consult monthly with the designated shelter staff to determine compliance with all established medical protocols by all employees. Shelter will not send drugs home with animals without the authorization of the veterinarian.

    2. In the case of a shelter working with multiple clinics, they will provide to the following services to the shelter:
    a. Perform complete rounds on the sheltered animals and shelter facility on at least a weekly basis.
    b. Train qualified and designated shelter employees who will be providing medical care and treatment to the sheltered animals in the proper performance of delegated medical acts, if any, and the administration of medications.
    c. Provide professional advice on a case by case basis as needed.
    d. Provide euthanasia resources, including protocols and the appropriate drugs necessary for provision of this service.
    i. If SUA and DEA license exists, the consultation
    ii. If SUA and DEA does not exist, then services and drugs
    e. Review shelter animal medical records for compliance with Wis. Admin. Code sec. VE 7.03.
    f. Be available for telephone consultation during routine veterinary clinic business hours.
    g. Provide, or write prescriptions for medications used by shelter staff, for shelter animals.
    3. The society shall employ a designated person(s) for each shelter who shall be responsible for providing medical care and treatment to the sheltered animals under the direction of the veterinary medical advisor.
    4. The society shall have copies of the signed written agreement with the licensed veterinarian and established written medical protocols referenced on site, and be able to provide it upon request.