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September 23, 2015

Canine encounter training mandated for Texas law enforcement

On May 18, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed H.B. 593, mandating that Texas law enforcement officers take canine encounter training prior to the second anniversary of employment. The law took effect on Sept. 1 and applies to new hire law enforcement personnel only. The law was passed in the wake of, and as a response to, a number of incidents in Texas in which dogs were killed by police officers in the line of duty.

September 15, 2015

AVMA urges veterinary profession to oppose mandatory prescription writing

On July 24, the Fairness to Pet Owners Act (H.R. 3174) was introduced in the House of Representatives. (In May, the Senate version of the bill, S. 1200, was introduced.) Both times, the bill failed to make its way out of committee to the floor for debate and a vote. That may not be the case in the future, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).

July 20, 2015

CDC warns about backyard chickens and salmonella

As of June 29, 40 states have reported a total of 181 people who have been infected with strains of salmonella, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The outbreak is from chicks, ducklings, and other live poultry. As a result, on July 1, the CDC issued guidelines for backyard flock owners.

June 15, 2015

Pet food: recalls and regulation buzz

It’s been a busy summer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Ainsworth Pet Nutrition is voluntarily recalling five varieties of Rachel Ray™ Nutrish® wet cat food. And the FDA plans to release ingredient definitions and standards for animal food in September, preceded by a lot of buzz about what it should do.

June 08, 2015

FDA releases draft compounding guidance

Historically, when a veterinarian needed to compound drugs from bulk substances to meet a patient’s needs, he was breaking a federal law. Now, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is recognizing the need for that “lawless” act. On May 18, the FDA released Guidance for Industry #230 (GFI #230) on animal drug compounding from bulk drug substances. It also admitted that in limited circumstances, an animal drug compounded from bulk drug substances may be an appropriate treatment option.

June 02, 2015

White House plan to combat drug-resistant bacteria unveiled

Two million illnesses and nearly 23,000 deaths. That’s the annual count in the United States from drug-resistant bacteria, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). (The global count is predicted to rise from 750,000 to 10 million, notes National Geographic.) That’s why today, representatives of more that 150 food companies, retailers, and human and animal health stakeholders convened in a daylong gathering in Washington, D.C., for the “White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship.”

April 07, 2015

Supreme Court endorses stronger protection for pregnant workers

On March 25, the Supreme Court revived the lawsuit of a former United Parcel Service (UPS) worker who claimed UPS discriminated against her when she was pregnant, reported the Washington Post. In so doing, the Supreme Court clarified and endorsed stronger legal protections for pregnant workers.

April 01, 2015

The fall of an Internet veterinary advice service

On March 27, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit rejected Ronald Hines, DVM’s appeal. That appeal challenged the Texas rule that requires veterinarians to conduct patient physical exams before practicing veterinary medicine. The U.S. Court of Appeals found that a Veterinarian-Client-Patient-Relationship (VCPR) cannot be established solely by telephone or electronic means.

March 31, 2015

Nevada proposes pot for pets

On March 17, Democrat Tick Segerblom introduced SB372 in the Nevada state legislature. It extends the use of medical marijuana to its ailing pet population. The pet-for-pots clause is part of a larger bill that will go on the 2016 ballot to legalize and regulate marijuana like alcohol, reported the Times.

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