Bill of the Week: Missouri HB 554

Yesterday, Missouri legislators introduced HB 554.  The bill would amend the Veterinary Practice Act by allowing non-veterinarians to perform acts of animal husbandry for compensation, including branding, dehorning, ear notching, tail docking, teeth floating, farriery, grooming, collecting semen, preparing semen, freezing semen, training, worming, artificial insemination, or giving advice with respect to nutrition, feeds, or feeding. 

Pursuant to the bill, “animal husbandry” would be defined as the branch of agriculture and animal science that is distinct from veterinary medicine and is concerned with the appearance, breeding, care, feeding, housing, hygiene, sanitation, training, and marketing of bovine, caprine, equine, porcine, poultry, and other farm animals.  In addition, the bill would define “teeth floating” as the removal of enamel points and the smoothing, contouring, and leveling of dental arcades and incisors, and the extraction of deciduous and vestigial teeth of bovine, equine, porcine, and other farm animals.  Teeth floating would not include the administration of sedatives on any animal or dental procedures on canines and felines.

If adopted, this bill would dramatically alter the scope of practice for veterinarians in Missouri.  Please click here for AVMA resources on veterinary scope of practice issues.

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