Several States Pass New Laws Impacting the Practice of Veterinary Medicine

Several states have recently passed news laws and regulations that have a significant impact on the practice of veterinary medicine. Below are brief descriptions of these new laws.  For more information, please feel free to contact me.

  • A new law in Illinois allows a veterinarian to dispense up to five-days worth of non-controlled substance medication or up to three-days worth of controlled substance medication in an emergency situation, even in the absence of a traditional veterinarian-client-patient-relationship.
  • Illinois also passed a law requiring pet stores to give purchasers of dogs or cats a refund or replacement for animals that are later determined to be unfit for sale due to illness or disease.  Pet owners may be reimbursed for the cost of veterinary care for diagnosis and treatment of the dog or cat, not to exceed the purchase price, if they keep the animal and a veterinarian determines it was sick or diseased when it was sold.
  • New laws in New York make amendments to the pet lemon law. These changes include a 180-day period for a veterinarian to certify that an animal is unfit for purchase due to a congenital malformation, increased penalties for violations, and an automatic license suspension or revocation hearing for a pet dealer who fails three consecutive inspections.
  • North Carolina now requires a 72-hour holding period prior to euthanizing impounded animals.
  • A new Pennsylvania law requires owners to vaccinate dogs and cats against rabies within four weeks of the date the animal attains 12 weeks of age but provides a one-year exemption if a licensed veterinarian determines that it would be medically contraindicated to vaccinate the animal due to an infirmity, other physical condition, or regimen of therapy.
  • Rhode Island now prohibits cities and towns from enacting any regulation or ordinance specific to any particular breed of dog, cat, or other animal.
  • In updating and clarifying its regulations, the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners ruled that for purposes of establishing a veterinarian-client-patient relationship, a veterinarian can obtain sufficient knowledge of an animal by making medically appropriate and timely visits to the premises on which the animal is kept only if the animal is a member of a herd. The board defines “herd” as a “group of animals of the same species, managed as a group and confined to a specific geographic location” but may not include “dogs, cats, any animal in individual training, or any animal that competes as an individual.”

These are just an example of the several news laws and regulations that are being introduced and adopted each month at the state level.  For more information, check out our monthly state legislative updates found by clicking here.


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