Background check requirement for Oregon veterinarians and veterinary technicians passes

The Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board (OVMEB) has passed a proposed requirement that would subject new veterinarians and veterinary technicians in the state to mandatory criminal background checks.

Lori Makinen, OVMEB executive director, told the Portland Tribune that the background check requirement took effect immediately upon the rule's passing.

The rule change comes after the state conducted an audit in which it found that out of 17 health-related licensing boards in Oregon, only the OVMEB and two others did not require criminal background checks for license applicants. The state said in its audit that veterinarians' access to controlled substances could lead to misuse without increased oversight.

The new rule will financially impact those applying for licenses, as a $50 fee will be imposed for the background check. The fee will cover a fingerprint check by the Oregon State Police, the Portland Tribune reported. Applicants will also be responsible for covering the cost of live-scan fingerprinting.

The Portland Tribune reported that several steps remain in the process to formally implement the background check requirement, including:

  • An Aug. 10 deadline for the OVMEB to post the text of the proposed amendments on its website.
  • Publication of the notice in the September bulletin issued by the secretary of state.
  • A public comment period including time at the Oct. 18 OVMEB meeting.

Veterinarians and veterinary technicians who are already licensed in Oregon will have their backgrounds checked on a yearly basis. The board would investigate if they found any discrepancies or incidents that were potentially unreported by licensees, Makinen told the news.

NEWStat Legislation & regulation