A Texas-based veterinarian fighting for the right to dispense veterinary advice online cleared one hurdle with a ruling from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.
Retired veterinarian Dr. Ronald Hines is challenging the state of Texas in court after the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners penalized him for dispensing veterinary advice online.
Lawmakers in Massachusetts are attempting to crack down on animal abusers, and their proposed legislation would ensure that veterinarians play a major role in the effort.
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.
The legislative session is over, but a special committee has been formed in Iowa to discuss the fate of commercial breeders in that state. No action was taken on House File 486, Iowa’s version of the “puppy mill bill,” during the regular session. But a committee was formed and will meet near the end of September to study the matter further, according to state Rep. Jim Lykam, who supported the bill. The act would have given inspectors from the Iowa Department of Agriculture the right to inspect federally licensed breeding facilities where animals are suspected of being abused. Under the current law, only federal U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspectors can enter such facilities.
Proposed Ear Cropping Ban in Vermont Raises National Legal Questions About Veterinary Medical Proced
Veterinarians, FDA and Pharmacists Warn Consumers about Buying Drugs Online
Legislation allowing veterinarians to work for non-veterinarians passed the Alabama State Senate with only three nay votes this week. The legislation will allow non-veterinarians to own and oversee nonprofit spay and neuter clinics in the state of Alabama. Under current Alabama law, each partner in a veterinary medicine partnership is required to be a licensed Alabama veterinarian. Under existing law, a licensed Alabama veterinarian is prohibited from practicing veterinary medicine as an employee of a person not licensed as a Alabama veterinarian. Alabama law also limits ownership of veterinary practices to licensed Alabama veterinarians. House Bill 156, however, will allow any veterinarian employed by a 501 (c) (3) to be exempt from employment and ownership restrictions. This means that veterinarians will be allowed to work for non-veterinarians in nonprofit spay and neuter clinics in Alabama. The bill was drafted as a response to efforts by the Alabama State Veterinary Medical Examiners Board (ASBVME) to shutter the state’s four spay and neuter clinics after closing one down last year. Members of the veterinary examiners board stated that the spay and neuter clinics, which they had inspected and approved on multiple occasions, provided substandard veterinary care.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) officials are on the ground in China, actively investigating complaints of canine illness associated with chicken jerky products imported from China. Anamaria Castiglia, DVM, veterinary medical officer with the FDA, told veterinarians at the AAHA Yearly Conference in Denver that the FDA is working to investigate the source of the illnesses. "We have some boots in China going to the firms to evaluate," Castiglia said. "It’s not a clear situation. It’s not clear at all." In 2011, the FDA saw an increase in the number of complaints it received of canine illnesses associated with consumption of chicken jerky products imported from China. Chicken jerky products have been on the FDA’s radar since 2007, when it issued a cautionary warning to consumers about the products. In 2008, the FDA issued a Preliminary Animal Health Notification, but complaints about the product began to drop off during the latter part of 2009 and most of 2010. Those complaints started to rise again in 2011, prompting the FDA to release another cautionary update about chicken jerky products imported from China. "This chicken jerky episode has really opened up our eyes and we’re being a lot more careful than in 2007," Castiglia said.
President Obama’s announcement Oct. 31 about his efforts to relieve drug shortages in the United States was a step in the right direction, but veterinarians are saying more needs to be done if medical communities are to get back on track with prescription drugs. According to the New York Times, Obama’s order will instruct the Food and Drug Administration to do three things: broaden reporting of potential shortages of certain prescription drugs; speed reviews of applications to begin or alter production of these drugs; and provide more information to the Justice Department about possible instances of collusion or price gouging. For veterinarians, however, prescription drug shortages have been a growing problem over the years that is not likely to go away any time soon. A growing issue Margo Karriker, clinical pharmacy specialist at the University of California Davis, says drug shortages are becoming more and more common for veterinarians. "Every single day we’re seeing something that we use becoming unavailable," Karriker says. "A lot of it is around the fact that so many of the drugs we use are human-labeled drugs."