U.S. House passes Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act

After a widespread effort by the veterinary community to modify restrictive rules regarding access to controlled substances, victory is finally in sight as the U.S. House unanimously passed the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act.

The legislation will now head to President Obama for his signature.

Veterinarians have previously been hampered by the Controlled Substance Act of 1970, which does not allow them to transport or use controlled substances outside of locations where they are registered to handle them. This has led to difficulties for veterinarians:

  • In rural areas where it is not possible to bring large animals or livestock to veterinary clinics or hospitals.
  • In emergency situations where veterinarians must care for an animal onsite.
  • When helping to remove, rescue, or translocate dangerous wildlife and other wild animals.
  • When conducting house calls or operating mobile veterinary clinics.
  • When conducting field research and disease control efforts outside of their principal places of business.
  • Who live near a state border and need to travel across state lines to treat patients.

Clark K. Fobian, DVM, AVMA president, expressed his approval for the government's passing of the legislation that allows the nation's veterinary professionals to transport controlled substances for the purposes of pain management, anesthesia, and euthanasia.

"The AVMA was established more than 150 years ago by veterinarians who cared for the animals that provided food and transportation for Americans," Fobian said. "Although times have changed since 1865, veterinarians' need to travel to their patients has not. Today, Congress made it clear that veterinarians are responsible public servants who must be able to use vital medications to treat their patients - no matter the location - so that they receive the best quality care. We applaud our elected officials for clarifying federal statute, which has left veterinarians confused and concerned over the past year. We look forward to seeing President Obama sign this important legislation into law in the near future."

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