On Friday, President Obama signed into law the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2014, which “ensures that veterinarians who treat animals caught in disasters, pulled from puppy mills or animal fighting rings, or otherwise located in remote areas may legally transport, administer, and dispense medicines without fear of violating federal regulations,” according to the ASPCA.
The new law enhances and clarifies the existing Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which prohibited veterinarians from transporting the drugs they needed to euthanize, anesthetize or manage pain in animals across state lines or away from where the vets were registered to do business.
The bill was introduced in the House by the only two representatives who are veterinarians: Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Ted Yoho (R-FL). It was introduced in the Senate by Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Angus King (I-ME). It passed unanimously in both the House and the Senate.
Schrader was motivated to sponsor the bill after rural veterinarians who treated large animals and used their residential address as their primary place of business began getting notices from the DEA in 2012, warning that they were violating the Controlled Substances Act.
“Today is a victory for veterinarians across this country, but more importantly, it’s a victory for the health and well-being of the animals they are entrusted to care for,” Rep. Schrader said in a statement when the bill was passed by Congress on July 8.
“Ridiculous bureaucratic interference from the DEA would have seriously impeded veterinarians’ ability to properly treat their patients. The Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act will provide veterinarians with the certainty they need to continue to providing mobile or ambulatory services for their animal patients.”
Prompted by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), thousands of vets sent letters to Congress in support of the bill.
“This commonsense legislation will allow veterinarians the ability to provide complete care to their animal patients beyond their clinics,” the AVMA stated.
Photo credit: Tony Alter