By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com
President Barack Obama signed into law August 1, 2014 - the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act (H.R. 1528), which allows veterinarians the freedom to provide medical assistance to their animal patients beyond their clinics and/or across state boundaries.
The law amends a provision under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which forbid veterinarians from transporting, administrating and/or dispensing controlled substances (i.e. to deal with pain management, anesthesia and euthanasia), beyond their registered locations -namely clinics.
The act “prohibited them from transporting, administering or dispensing any controlled substances which are necessary for the veterinarian when attempting to care for the safety and well-being of the horse beyond their licensed locations.”
The new provision has been two years in the making, a measure that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) hoped would pass soon. Both chambers of Congress passed the proposal unanimously. More than 27,000 letters of support were sent to members of Congress in support of the bill, and endorsed by more than 130 veterinary organizations and farm groups.
“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,” Dr. Ted Cohn, president of the AVMA said in a release.
Despite the amendment change to CSA, it remains unclear if the Drug Enforcement Agency will issue new guidelines or change their registration process to reflect the new provision.
Veterinarians who wish to seek clarity on the updated regulations are encouraged to consult the Division Control Program Manager at their nearest Drug Enforcement Administration field office for more information.