Senate passes bill allowing veterinarians to treat animals with drugs outside clinics

By Daniel Enoch

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 2014 - The Senate has unanimously passed legislation allowing veterinarians to treat animals with controlled substances beyond their clinics.

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The Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act (S. 1171), sponsored by Senators Jerry Moran, R.-Kan., and Angus King, I.-Maine, will expand a veterinarian's ability to provide pain management, anesthesia or euthanasia to animals in the wild, on the farm or in a client's home.

“We are pleased that the Senate has taken action to fix a loophole in federal legislation, which has concerned veterinarians over the past few years, and urge the House to swiftly follow suit,” the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) said in a statement.

The Drug Enforcement Agency since 1969 has held that veterinarians are not allowed to take controlled substances beyond their registered locations, the AVMS said. This could prove “problematic” for vets who care for animals on farms or in other locations, or for animal doctors who live near a state border, and must provide care in two states, but who are only registered in one state, the association said.

The House version of the bill has more than 140 sponsors and is endorsed by the House Veterinary Medicine Caucus, led by veterinarians Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., and Ted Yoho, R-Fla., the AVMA said.

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