Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act receives president's signature

After an exhaustive effort by veterinary organizations and thousands of individual veterinary professionals, the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, also known as H.R. 1528, received the president's signature on Aug. 3.

H.R. 1528, sponsored by Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), amends a portion of the Controlled Substances Act that previously threatened legal issues for veterinarians who transported, administered, or dispensed controlled substances while working out in the field to provide care for patients. 

"Veterinarians are now able to legally transport controlled substances across state lines and administer them to patients outside locations they have registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration. This allows the veterinarian to use their professional judgment and do what they do best: provide quality care for their animal patients," said Michael C. Cavanaugh, DVM, DABVP, chief executive officer of AAHA. "Clearly, this legislation impacts the work of mobile large animal and mobile pet practices the most, but also removes any ambiguity related to things such as in-home euthanasia."

Ted Cohn, DVM, AVMA president, hailed the legislation's passing as a tremendous relief for veterinarians across the country.

"By passing and signing this legislation, the president and our legislators recognize the critical role veterinarians play in treating sick animals and relieving their pain and suffering. The health and welfare of our nation's wildlife, food animals, and even our companion animals depend on veterinarians being allowed to do their jobs wherever the need arises," Cohn said. "As veterinarians, we promise to use our medical expertise for the protection of animal health and welfare and the prevention and relief of animal suffering. On behalf of our members, I would like to thank the president and Congress for allowing us complete access to the medications we need to fulfill our oath to society."

The effort to pass the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act required continued advocacy from the AVMA, endorsement by more than 130 veterinary medical and other organizations, and more than 27,000 letters sent to members of congress in support of the bill, the AVMA said when announcing the legislation's passing.

Cavanaugh voiced his admiration for the large-scale effort put forth by the entire veterinary community.

"It’s an amazing thing to see the veterinary community band together to make something like this happen. If we can stand up together to achieve this, just think what else we can accomplish together on behalf of the veterinary profession," Cavanaugh said. "We’re proud of everyone who took a stand on this issue, especially our accredited members. Their engagement demonstrates the passion that accredited members have for delivering excellent care for their patients, and quality service to their clients."

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