Archive for January, 2014

Alabama’s at it again with bills regulating veterinary shelters

DVM360 Magazine

Alabama’s at it again with bills regulating veterinary shelters and Massachusetts is looking to establish a veterinary technician board.

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State legislatures are political laboratories in a manner that Congress can never replicate. It’s the genius of our dual system of government, providing for legislative powers in 50 separate states along with the federal government. We’re fascinated (or repelled) by the machinations of Congress and the president, but we ignore the doings of state legislatures at our peril.

Consider these just-below-the-radar issues in small animal healthcare: (1) the strategic plans of some metropolitan shelters and humane societies to convert their veterinary departments into full-service commercial veterinary clinics competing with the profession, and (2) expanding the scope of practice for veterinary technicians.

With that backdrop, let’s take a look at HB 141 and HB 93 in Alabama, and HB 246 in Massachusetts.

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Congress starts fast out of the gate in 2014

DVM360 Magazine

Success of Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act in Senate could build momentum for more positive results.

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Veterinarians launched 2014 with a political win, but there’s more to do. The U.S. Senate passed S. 1171, the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, which allows veterinarians in mobile practices to transport and use controlled substances. This addresses a critical need for large animal veterinarians covering a wide territory, in applications ranging from anesthesia to pain management to euthanasia. Of course, this bill also will protect mobile companion animal health services.

What’s left is the U.S. House of Representatives and its version of the mobility bill, H.R. 1528. Veterinarians and animal health interests must keep up the pressure as it takes both houses of Congress for the legislation to become law. Veterinarian House members Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) are leading the charge, but they need outreach and support from the greater veterinary community.

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Hands off, California! You’ll only make things worse.

DVM360 Magazine

FDA’s new antimicrobial guidelines don’t need legislative ‘help.’

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A recent dvm360 article (“FDA’s final antimicrobial regulation proposal provides veterinarians more flexibility”) highlights a major success on the part of both the animal health industry and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with clear benefits for American food consumers.

Years of hard work, negotiations, research and stakeholder outreach led to the creation of these FDA guidelines governing antibiotics in our animal feed. At a time when public opinion of our federal government is at an all-time low, the animal health industry has stepped up and showed how government can work. Huge kudos must go out to pharmaceutical manufacturers for patience, flexibility and sustained commitment to make this happen.

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