Vets Stay Legal With Signing of Drug Mobility Act

The Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act protects mobile, rural and wildlife veterinarians in particular.

Rural and livestock veterinarians often are called upon to dispense controlled substances.

AVMA

President Obama on Friday signed into law the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, which permits practitioners to legally transport and dispense controlled drugs away from their registered offices and across state lines.

The legislation, HR 1528, was introduced more than 15 months ago by the only veterinarians serving in Congress: Reps. Kurt Schrader, DVM, an Oregon Democrat, and Ted Yoho, DVM, a Florida Republican.

“This bill will not only benefit all who practice large animal veterinary medicine but the farmers and ranchers who rely on them,” Dr. Yoho said. “This law will allow veterinarians to practice their profession without fear of unnecessary government intrusion.”

The law permits what the Drug Enforcement Administration in recent years had considered a violation of the Controlled Substances Act—the administration of drugs by mobile, rural and wildlife veterinarians away from the practitioner’s registered workplace.

DEA sent warning letters to some veterinarians, but no one was ever charged, the American Veterinary Medical Association reported.

AVMA’s new president, Ted Cohn, DVM, thanked Obama and Congress for “allowing us complete access to the medications we need to fulfill our oath to society.”

“The health and welfare of our nation’s wildlife, food animals and even our companion animals depend on veterinarians being allowed to do their jobs wherever the need arises,” Dr. Cohn said.

The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association was among the other organizations supporting the legislation.

“Now veterinarians will be able to provide mobile spay/neuter services, on-site care on rural ranches, disaster response and at-home euthanasia without fear of being in violation of the law,” said Barry Kellogg, VMD, the association’s senior veterinary adviser.

The amendment to the Controlled Substances Act was approved by a voice vote in the House on July 8 and by unanimous consent in the Senate on July 16.

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