Archive for June, 2014

Idaho joins battle over shelter veterinary clinics

DVM360 Magazine

Prepare to see more state VMAs weighing in on the role of low-cost shelter veterinary services.

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This blog has raised the issue before about growing concern over the scale and scope of shelter veterinary clinics, with Alabama and South Carolina being two states considering restrictions. Add Idaho to the list as the Idaho Veterinary Medical Association (IVMA) seeks to restrict Idaho shelters and humane societies from serving commercial clients other than low-income pet owners.

Shelter veterinary practices cover the spectrum across the United States:

  • Veterinary care only for pets in custody of shelter;
  • Veterinary care for shelter pets plus spay/neuter services for low-income pet owners;
  • Veterinary care for shelter pets plus spay/neuter services for any pet owner in community, generally at a lower rate than private practitioners;
  • Full-service commercial veterinary clinic serving low-income pet owners; or
  • Full-service commercial veterinary clinic serving any and all pet owners in community, ostensibly with a lower pricing model than private practitioners.

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The calm before the calm on the high seas of animal policy

DVM360 Magazine

Congress, states do little to interfere with veterinary medicine.

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This blogger has been quiet for the past month or so. Not for lack of work or interests, but to wait and see if state legislatures across the country or Congress signaled any appetite to challenge veterinarians or blaze new trails in animal welfare in 2014. After a decade of steady activity in the states, and a hint here or there in Congress, we’ve now witnessed the winds dying down and the seas calming.

Most state legislatures have wrapped up their work for 2014 (only 11 states currently remain in session), and not a single chamber took aim at veterinarians in a meaningful or threatening manner. Practice acts were not reconfigured, sales taxes on veterinary services were not imposed, professional judgment and autonomy were not undermined and political hands steered clear of the basic economics of veterinary practices.

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