U.S. Senators Jerry Moran and Angus King (I-Maine) today introduced the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act. The bipartisan legislation will allow veterinarians to legally carry and dispense controlled substances to protect the health and welfare of the nation’s animals, ensure public safety, and safeguard the nation’s food supply. Companion legislation, H.R. 1528, was also introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Veterinarians play a crucial role in public safety and making certain animals in Kansas and across the country are cared for properly,” Sen. Moran said. “The Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act allows licensed practitioners to legally transport and dispense the controlled substances necessary to practice veterinary medicine. This legislation is particularly important for veterinarians who work in rural areas, conduct research or respond to emergency situations.”
“It is essential that veterinarians be able to transport the drugs they need to appropriately treat their patients,” said Kansas State University Department of Clinical Sciences Professor Mike Apley, DVM, Ph.D. “This includes the transport and use of controlled substances to treat multiple species in situations that may not be anticipated prior to examining the patient. These situations include restraint, anesthesia, and humane euthanasia. It is apparent that legislation is urgently needed to enable creating the regulations which will allow this transport, and to avoid needless pain and suffering of veterinary patients as well as safety concerns for the people handling these patients.”
The 1970 Controlled Substances Act (CSA) stipulates that controlled substances must be stored and dispensed at the specific address veterinarians have on file with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The DEA enforces the CSA and has informed organized veterinary medicine that without a statutory change, veterinarians are in violation and cannot legally provide complete veterinary care.
The practice of veterinary medicine requires veterinarians to treat patients in a variety of settings, including rural areas, “house calls” or mobile clinics, research and disease control activities, emergency response situations, and removal or transfer of dangerous wildlife.
The legislation is endorsed by the American Veterinary Medical Association.