Full Statute Name:  West's Code of Georgia Annotated. Title 43. Professions and Businesses. Chapter 50. Veterinarians and Veterinary Technicians. Article 3. Licensing and Registration.

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Popular Title:  Georgia Veterinary Practice Act Primary Citation:  Ga. Code Ann., § 43-50-1 to 110 Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  October, 2018 Alternate Citation:  GA ST § 43-50-1 to 110
Summary:

These are the state's veterinary practice laws.  Among the provisions include licensing requirements, laws concerning the state veterinary board, veterinary records laws, and the laws governing disciplinary actions for impaired or incompetent practitioners. The chapter was recently amended in 2018.

Article 1. General Provisions

§ 43-50-1. Short title

§ 43-50-2. Legislative purpose 

§ 43-50-3. Definitions 

Article 2. State Board of Veterinary Medicine

§ 43-50-20. Establishment of board; appointment; terms of office; vacancies; eligibility; compensation; removal; meetings; officers

§ 43-50-21. Powers of board

Part 1. Veterinarians

§ 43-50-30. License required to practice; veterinarian as employee

§ 43-50-31. Application for examination

§ 43-50-32. Examinations; notification of results; issuance of licenses and certificates of registration - §§ 43-50-32, 43-50-33. Repealed by Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July, 1, 2018

§ 43-50-33. Persons holding license on July 1, 2003 - §§ 43-50-32, 43-50-33. Repealed by Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July, 1, 2018

Part 2. Licensing and Registration Generally

§ 43-50-40. Expiration and renewal of license; practice after expiration; waiver of renewal fee; continuing professional education; inactive status

§ 43-50-41. Refusal to grant license or registration; revocation of license or registration; discipline

§ 43-50-42. Temporary licenses

§ 43-50-43. Veterinary faculty licenses

§ 43-50-44. Activities not prohibited

§ 43-50-45. Unlawful practice; misdemeanor; injunctions; cumulative remedies

Part 3. Veterinary Technicians

§ 43-50-50. Purpose of part

§ 43-50-51. Prohibited practices

§ 43-50-52. Certificates of registration; applications; examinations; renewal; registration in another state; rules and regulations

§ 43-50-53. Registration examinations; reactivation of registration

§ 43-50-54. Supervision required; disciplinary actions; duties limited

§ 43-50-55. Posting notice of use of veterinary technicians; identification of technicians

§ 43-50-56. Responsibility of veterinarian

Article 3A. Veterinary Assistants

§ 43-50-60. Purpose

§ 43-50-61. Duties limited

§ 43-50-62. Supervision required; utilization of assistants

§ 43-50-63. Posting notice of use of veterinary assistants; identification of assistants

§ 43-50-64. Responsibility of veterinarian

§§ 43-50-70, 43-50-71. Renumbered §§ 43-50-90, 43-50-91 by Laws 2006, Act 443, § 4, eff. March 30, 2006

Article 4. Good Samaritan Treatment of Animals

§ 43-50-80. Relief from liability for rendering emergency care

Article 5. Facilities and Equipment

§ 43-50-90. Establishment of standards; rules; enforcement actions

§ 43-50-91. Exemptions

Article 6. Operation of Board

§ 43-50-110. Powers and duties of board; adoption of rules and regulations

 

Article 1. General Provisions

§ 43-50-1. Short title

This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the “Georgia Veterinary Practice Act.”

Credits

Laws 1965, p. 92, § 1; Laws 1999, p. 81, § 43; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-2. Legislative purpose 

It is the purpose of this chapter to promote, preserve, and protect the public health, safety, and welfare of the people of this state by and through the effective control and regulation of persons who are licensed veterinarians and licensed veterinary technicians in this state; to provide a uniform state-wide regulatory scheme to be enforced by the board through the Georgia Veterinary Practice Act; and to provide the board with oversight of the persons practicing veterinary medicine within this state.

Credits

Laws 1965, p. 92, § 1; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-3. Definitions

As used in this chapter, the term:

(1) “Accredited college or school of veterinary medicine” means any veterinary college or school or division of a university or college that offers the degree of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or its equivalent and that conforms to the standards required for accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education or its successor organization.

(2) “Accredited program in veterinary technology” means any postsecondary educational program of two or more academic years that has fulfilled the essential criteria established by the Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities and approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association or its successor organization.

(3) “Animal” means any animal other than human and includes fowl, birds, fish, and reptiles, wild or domestic, living or dead.

(4) “Animal patient” means an animal or group of animals examined or treated by a licensed veterinarian.

(5) “Animal shelter” means a public or private humane society, animal shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to animals, animal protection or control agency, rescue group, or other similar organization, that provides shelter and care for homeless animals.

(6) “Approved program of continuing education” means an educational program approved by the board or offered by an approved provider of continuing education.

(7) “Approved provider of continuing education” means any individual, university, or college, or other entity that has met the requirements of the board to provide educational courses that are designed to assure continued competence in the practice of veterinary medicine or veterinary technology.

(8) “Board” means the State Board of Veterinary Medicine.

(9) “Client” means a person who has engaged the service of a licensed veterinarian for the care of an animal within their scope of control as an owner or caretaker of such animal.

(10) “Complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies” means a heterogeneous group of preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic philosophies and practices that include, but are not limited to, veterinary acupuncture, acutherapy, and acupressure; veterinary homeopathy; veterinary manual or manipulative therapy; veterinary nutraceutical therapy; and veterinary phytotherapy.

(11) “Consultation” means the act of a licensed veterinarian receiving advice in person, telephonically, electronically, or by any other method of communication from a veterinarian licensed in this or any other state or other person whose expertise, in the opinion of the licensed veterinarian, may benefit an animal patient.

(12) “Continuing education” means training which is designed to assure continued competence in the practice of veterinary medicine or veterinary technology.

(13) “Direct supervision” means oversight by a licensed veterinarian located on the same premises where an animal is being treated, who is quickly and easily available.

(14) “ECFVG certificate or its substantial equivalent” means a certificate issued by the American Veterinary Medical Association Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates or its successor organization indicating the holder has demonstrated knowledge and skill equivalent to that possessed by a graduate of an accredited college of veterinary medicine.

(15) “Extralabel use” means the actual use or intended use of a drug in an animal in a manner that is not in accordance with the approved labeling. This includes, but is not limited to, use in species not listed in the labeling; use for indications, disease, or other conditions not listed in the labeling; use at dosage levels, frequencies, or routes of administration other than those stated in the labeling; and deviation from the labeled withdrawal time based on such different uses.

(16) “Food animal” means any animal that is raised for the production of an edible product intended for consumption by humans or is itself intended for consumption. Such term shall include, but is not limited to, eggs, cattle, beef or dairy, swine, sheep, goats, poultry, nonornamental fish, and any other animal designated by the veterinarian as a food animal.

(17) “Immediate supervision” means oversight by a licensed veterinarian located in the immediate area and within audible and visual range of the animal patient and the person treating the animal patient.

(18) “Indirect supervision” means oversight by a licensed veterinarian not required to be on the premises but when such licensed veterinarian has given either written or oral instructions for the treatment of the animal patient and is readily available by telephone or other forms of immediate communication.

(19) “Informed consent” means the veterinarian has presented treatment options, and made reasonable efforts to inform the client, verbally or in writing, of the diagnostic and treatment options, risk assessment, and prognosis, which are appropriate and probable for the case in the veterinarian's judgment following the standard of care, which the veterinarian agrees to provide and the client consents to have performed.

(20) “Licensed veterinarian” means a person who is validly and currently licensed to practice veterinary medicine in this state.

(21) “Livestock” means farm animals, animals that produce tangible personal property for sale, or animals that are processed, manufactured, or converted into articles of tangible personal property for sale or consumption. The term does not include living animals that are commonly regarded as domestic pets or companion animals.

(22) “Mobile veterinary clinic” means a mobile unit in which veterinary services are provided to an animal that is treated inside the mobile unit. The term does not include the use of a motor vehicle by a veterinarian to travel to treat the client's animal or the use of a motor vehicle for animal ambulatory practice.

(23) “PAVE certificate or its substantial equivalent” means a certificate issued by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards or its successor organization indicating the holder has demonstrated knowledge and skill equivalent to that possessed by a graduate of an accredited college of veterinary medicine.

(24) “Person” means any individual, firm, partnership, limited liability company, association, joint venture, cooperative, and corporation or any other group or combination acting in concert; and whether or not acting as a principal, trustee, fiduciary, receiver, or as any other kind of legal or personal representative, or as the successor in interest, assignee, agent, factor, servant, employee, member, director, officer, or any other representative of such person.

(25) “Practice veterinary medicine” or “practice of veterinary medicine” means:

(A) To diagnose, treat, correct, change, relieve, or prevent animal disease, deformity, defect, injury, or other physical or mental conditions, including the prescribing, administration, or dispensing of any prescription drug, medicine, biologic, apparatus, application, anesthetic, or other therapeutic or diagnostic substance or technique on, for, or to any animal, including, but not limited to, the use of complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies, animal dentistry, manual or mechanical adjustment procedures, physical therapy, rehabilitation, surgery, diagnostic veterinary pathology, any manual, mechanical, biological, or chemical procedure used for pregnancy testing or for correcting sterility or infertility, or to render advice or recommendations with regard to any of the above; but not including such administration or dispensing pursuant to prescription or direction of a licensed veterinarian;

(B)(i) To apply or use any instrument or device on any portion of an animal's tooth, gum, or any related tissue for the prevention, cure, or relief of any wound, fracture, injury, disease, or other condition of an animal's tooth, gum, or related tissue.

(ii) To engage in preventive dental procedures on animals, including, but not limited to, the removal of calculus, soft deposits, plaque, or stains or the smoothing, filing, or polishing of tooth surfaces.

(iii) Nothing in this subparagraph shall prohibit any person from utilizing cotton swabs, gauze, dental floss, dentifrice, toothbrushes, or similar items to clean an animal's teeth;

(C) To represent, directly or indirectly, publicly or privately, an ability and willingness to do any act described in subparagraphs (A) and (B) of this paragraph;

(D) To use any title, words, abbreviation, or letters in a manner or under circumstances which induce the belief that the person using them is legally authorized or qualified to perform an act included in this paragraph. Such use shall be evidence of the intention to represent oneself as engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine;

(E) To apply principles of environmental sanitation, food inspection, environmental pollution control, zoonotic disease control, and disaster medicine in the promotion and protection of public health as it specifically relates to animals. This subparagraph shall apply only to licensed veterinarians and not to other qualified persons;

(F) To collect blood or other samples for the purpose of diagnosing diseases or related conditions. This subparagraph shall not apply to unlicensed professionals employed by or under contract with the United States Department of Agriculture or the Georgia Department of Agriculture who are engaged in their official duties; or

(G) To administer a rabies vaccination to any animal that the state requires to be vaccinated.

(26) “Practice veterinary technology” or “veterinary technology” means:

(A) To perform animal patient care or other services that require a technical understanding of veterinary medicine by a licensed veterinary technician on the basis of written or oral instruction of a licensed veterinarian, excluding diagnosing, prognosing, performing surgery, prescribing, or dispensing;

(B) To represent, directly or indirectly, publicly or privately, an ability and willingness to engage in any act described in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph; or

(C) To use any title, words, abbreviation, or letters, while engaged in the practice of licensed veterinary technology, in a manner or under circumstances that induce the belief that the person using them is qualified to engage in an act included in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph.

(27) “Prescription drug” includes any medicine, medication, or pharmaceutical or biological product whose manufacturer's label must, pursuant to federal or state law, have the following statement printed on its packaging: “Federal law restricts this drug to use by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian”; or any over-the-counter product that is used in a manner different from the label directions and that by definition requires a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship for prescribing or dispensing.

(28) “Veterinarian” means a person who has received a doctorate degree in veterinary medicine from a college or school of veterinary medicine.

(29) “Veterinarian-client-patient relationship” means that:

(A) The licensed veterinarian has assumed the responsibility for making medical judgments regarding the health of the animal and the need for medical treatment, and the client has given informed consent for services provided by the licensed veterinarian;

(B) There is sufficient knowledge of the animal by the licensed veterinarian to initiate at least a general or preliminary diagnosis of the medical condition of the animal. This means that the licensed veterinarian has recently seen and is personally acquainted with the keeping and care of the animal by the virtue of examination of the animal or by medically appropriate and timely visits to the premises where the animal is kept or by medically appropriate and timely visits by the licensed veterinarian to premises within an operation or production system where the animal or groups of animals are kept;

(C) A licensed veterinarian is readily available for follow up care or consultation or has arranged for:

(i) Veterinary emergency coverage; and

(ii) Continuing care and treatment by another licensed veterinarian, including providing a copy of associated records during normal business hours; and

(D) The licensed veterinarian develops and maintains appropriate medical records.

(30) “Veterinary assistant” means a person who has been delegated by a licensed veterinarian to engage in certain aspects of the practice of veterinary technology but is not licensed by the board for such purpose.

(31) “Veterinary facility” means any premises owned or operated by a veterinarian or his or her employer where the practice of veterinary medicine occurs, including but not limited to veterinary hospitals, clinics, or mobile clinics; provided, however, that such term does not include a client's private property where a licensed veterinarian treats the client's animals.

(32)(A) “Veterinary feed directive” means a written statement issued by a licensed veterinarian in the course of the veterinarian's professional practice that orders the use of a VFD drug or combination VFD drug in or on animal feed. This written statement authorizes the client to obtain and use animal feed bearing or containing a VFD drug or combination VFD drug to treat such animals only in accordance with the conditions for use approved, conditionally approved, or indexed by the United States Food and Drug Administration.

(B) As used in this paragraph, the term:

(i) “Combination VFD” means a combination new animal drug, as defined in Section 514.4(c)(1)(i) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, intended for use in or on animal feed which is limited by an approved application filed under Section 512(b) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, a conditionally approved application filed under Section 571 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or an index listing under Section 572 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to use under the professional supervision of a licensed veterinarian, and at least one of the new animal drugs in the combination is a VFD drug. Use of animal feed bearing or containing a combination VFD drug must be authorized by a lawful veterinary feed directive.

(ii) “VFD drug” means a drug intended for use in or on animal feed which is limited by an approved application filed pursuant to Section 512(b) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, a conditionally approved application filed pursuant to Section 571 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, or an index listing under Section 572 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, to use under the professional supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Use of animal feed bearing or containing a VFD drug must be authorized by a lawful veterinary feed directive.

(33) “Veterinary technician” means a licensed person who engages in the practice of veterinary technology and on the basis of his or her qualifications is validly and currently licensed by the board for such purpose.

(34) “Veterinary technology” means the science and art of providing certain aspects of professional medical care and treatment for animals and the practice of veterinary medicine as may be delegated and supervised by a licensed veterinarian and performed by a person who is not a licensed veterinarian.

Credits

Laws 1908, p. 88, § 6; Laws 1962, p. 543, § 1; Laws 1965, p. 92, § 1; Laws 1991, p. 375, § 1; Laws 1992, p. 6, § 43; Laws 1993, p. 123, § 63; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2006, Act 443, § 1, eff. March 30, 2006; Laws 2016, Act 448, § 1, eff. July 1, 2016; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-4. Repealed by Laws 1992, p. 3137, § 38, eff. July 1, 1992

 

Article 2. State Board of Veterinary Medicine

§ 43-50-20. Establishment of board; appointment; terms of office; vacancies; eligibility; compensation; removal; meetings; officers

<Text of subsec. (a) effective until appropriation of funds for purposes of Laws 2003, Act 257.>

(a) There shall be a State Board of Veterinary Medicine, the members of which shall be appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Secretary of State and confirmation by the Senate. The board shall consist of six members, each appointed for a term of five years or until his or her successor is appointed. Five members of the board shall be duly licensed veterinarians actually engaged in active practice for at least five years prior to appointment. The sixth member shall be appointed from the public at large and shall in no way be connected with the practice of veterinary medicine. Those members of the State Board of Veterinary Medicine serving on July 1, 2003, shall continue to serve as members of the board until the expiration of the term for which they were appointed. Thereafter, successors to such board members shall be appointed in accordance with this Code section. A majority of the board shall constitute a quorum.

(b) Vacancies due to death, resignation, removal, or otherwise shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term in the same manner as regular appointments. No person shall serve two consecutive five-year terms, but a person appointed for a term of less than five years may succeed himself or herself.

(c) Each member of the board shall be reimbursed as provided for in subsection (f) of Code Section 43-1-2.

(d) Any member of the board may be removed by the Governor after a hearing by the board determines cause for removal.

(e) The board shall meet at least once each year at the time fixed by the board. Other necessary meetings may be called by the president of the board by giving such notice as shall be established by the board. Meetings shall be open and public except that the board may meet in closed session as set forth in Code Section 50-14-3.

(f) At its annual meeting, the board shall organize by electing a president and such other officers as may be required by the board. Officers of the board serve for terms of one year and until a successor is elected, without limitation on the number of terms an officer may serve. The president shall chair the board meetings.

Credits

Laws 1908, p. 88, §§ 1, 2; Laws 1965, p. 92, § 1; Laws 1974, p. 1441, § 1; Laws 1980, p. 64, § 1; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003 and § 2-1; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-21. Powers of board

(a) The board shall have the power to:

(1) Examine and determine the qualifications and fitness of applicants for licenses to practice veterinary medicine and veterinary technology in this state;

(2) Issue, renew, refuse to renew, deny, suspend, or revoke licenses to practice veterinary medicine or veterinary technology in this state or otherwise discipline licensed veterinarians and licensed veterinary technicians; and to issue, renew, deny, suspend, or revoke veterinary faculty licenses, consistent with this chapter and the rules and regulations adopted under this chapter;

(3) Conduct investigations for the purpose of discovering violations of this chapter or grounds for disciplining persons licensed under this chapter;

(4) Inspect veterinary premises and equipment, including mobile veterinary clinics, at any time in accordance with protocols established by rule of the board;

(5) Hold hearings on all matters properly brought before the board; and, in connection therewith, to administer oaths, receive evidence, make the necessary determinations, and enter orders consistent with the findings. The board may designate one or more of its members to serve as its hearing officer;

(6) Appoint from its own membership one member to act as a representative of the board at any meeting within or outside the state where such representative is deemed desirable;

(7) Bring proceedings in the courts for the enforcement of this chapter or any regulations made pursuant to this chapter;

(8) Adopt, amend, or repeal all rules necessary for its government and all regulations necessary to carry this chapter into effect, including without limitation the establishment and print or electronic publication of standards of professional conduct for the practice of veterinary medicine and veterinary technology; and

(9) Establish and publish annually a schedule of fees for licensing.

(b) The powers enumerated in subsection (a) of this Code section are granted for the purpose of enabling the board to supervise effectively the practice of veterinary medicine and veterinary technology and are to be construed liberally to accomplish these objectives.

Credits

Laws 1908, p. 88, § 2; Laws 1965, p. 92, § 1; Laws 1973, p. 260, § 2; Laws 1974, p. 1441, § 2; Laws 1982, p. 1065, § 3; Laws 1994, p. 97, § 43; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2010, Act 615, § 11, eff. June 3, 2010; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-22. Renumbered § 43-50-30 by Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003

§ 43-50-23. Renumbered § 43-50-31 by Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003

§ 43-50-24. Renumbered § 43-50-32 by Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003

§ 43-50-25. Renumbered § 43-50-33 by Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003

§ 43-50-26. Renumbered § 43-50-40 by Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003

§ 43-50-27. Renumbered § 43-50-41 by Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003

§ 43-50-28. Repealed by Laws 1988, p. 1589, § 5, eff. July 1, 1988

§ 43-50-29. Renumbered § 43-50-42 by Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003

 

§ 43-50-30. License required to practice; veterinarian as employee

(a) No person may practice veterinary medicine in this state who is not a licensed veterinarian or the holder of a valid temporary license issued by the division director pursuant to this article.

(b) A licensed veterinarian may practice veterinary medicine as an employee of a corporation, partnership, or other business organization, provided that the licensed veterinarian is not subject to the direction of anyone not licensed to practice veterinary medicine in Georgia in making veterinary medical decisions or judgments.

Credits

Laws 1965 p. 92, § 1; Laws 1973, p. 260, § 1; Laws 2000, p. 1706, § 19; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-31. Application for examination

(a) Any person desiring a license to practice veterinary medicine in this state shall make application to the board. The application shall include evidence, satisfactory to the board, that:

(1) The applicant has attained the age of 18;

(2) The applicant is of good moral character;

(3) The applicant is a graduate of an accredited college or a school of veterinary medicine accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education or possesses an ECFVG or PAVE certificate or substantial equivalent;

(4) The applicant has passed a board approved examination; provided, however, that the board may provide by rule or regulation for a waiver of any part of such examination for veterinarians who are licensed as such by another state and who are in good standing therewith; and

(5) The applicant meets such other qualifications or provides such other information as the board may require by rule.

(b) The application shall be accompanied by a fee in the amount established by the board.

(c) The division director shall record the new licenses and issue to the new licensees.

(d) If an applicant is found not qualified for licensure, the board shall notify the applicant in writing of such finding and the grounds therefor. Such applicant may request a hearing before the board on the questions of his or her qualifications.

Credits

Laws 1908, p. 88, §§ 3, 4; Laws 1950, p. 254, § 1; Laws 1962, p. 543, §§ 2, 3; Laws 1965, p. 92, § 1; Laws 1982, p. 1065, § 4; Laws 1988, p. 1589, § 2; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2010, Act 417, § 45, eff. May 20, 2010; Laws 2012, Act 654, § 1, eff. July 1, 2012; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-32. Examinations; notification of results; issuance of licenses and certificates of registration - §§ 43-50-32, 43-50-33. Repealed by Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July, 1, 2018

Former text:

(a) The board shall hold at least one license examination during each year and may hold such additional license examinations as are necessary.

(b) After each examination, the division director shall notify each examinee of the result of his or her examination. If an applicant fails a license examination, the applicant may take a subsequent examination upon payment of the registration and examination fees. No person may take the examination more than three times without review and approval by the board. Approval may be provided under such circumstances as the board deems appropriate.

CREDIT(S)

 Laws 1908, p. 88, §§ 2, 3; Laws 1950, p. 254, § 1; Laws 1962, p. 543, §§ 2, 4; Laws 1965, p. 92, § 1; Laws 2000, p. 1706, § 19; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2012, Act 654, § 2, eff. July 1, 2012.

 

§ 43-50-33. Persons holding license on July 1, 2003 - §§ 43-50-32, 43-50-33. Repealed by Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July, 1, 2018

Former text:

Any person holding a valid license to practice veterinary medicine in this state on July 1, 2003, shall be recognized as a licensed veterinarian and shall be entitled to retain this status so long as he or she complies with this article, including biennial renewal of the license.

Laws 1908, p. 88, §§ 2, 3; Laws 1950, p. 254, § 1; Laws 1962, p. 543, §§ 2, 4; Laws 1965, p. 92, § 1; Laws 2000, p. 1706, § 19; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003.

 

Part 2. Licensing and Registration Generally

§ 43-50-40. Expiration and renewal of license; practice after expiration; waiver of renewal fee; continuing professional education; inactive status

(a) All licenses under this article shall be renewable biennially.

(b) Any person who shall practice veterinary medicine or veterinary technology after the expiration of his or her license and willfully or by neglect fail to renew such license shall be practicing in violation of this article, provided that any person may renew an expired license within the period established by the division director in accordance with Code Section 43-1-4 by making application for renewal and paying the applicable fees. After the time period has elapsed, such license may be reinstated in accordance with the rules of the board.

(c) The board may, by rule, waive the continuing education requirements and the payment of the renewal fee of a licensed veterinarian or licensed veterinary technician during the period when he or she is on active duty with any branch of the armed forces of the United States.

<Text of subsec. (d) effective until appropriation of funds for purposes of Laws 2003, Act 257.>

(d)(1) The board shall establish continuing professional veterinary medical education requirements for the renewal of veterinary licenses. Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, no license to practice veterinary medicine or veterinary technology shall be renewed by the board or the division director until the licensee submits to the board satisfactory proof of his or her participation, during the biennium preceding his or her application for renewal, in approved programs of continuing education, as defined in this Code section. The amount of continuing veterinary medical education required of licensees per biennium by the board under this paragraph shall not be less than 30 hours for veterinarians and not be less than ten hours for veterinary technicians and shall be established by board rule.

(2) Continuing professional veterinary medical education shall consist of educational programs providing training pertinent to the practice of veterinary medicine and veterinary technology and approved by the board under this Code section. The board may approve educational programs for persons practicing veterinary medicine or veterinary technology in this state on a reasonable nondiscriminatory fee basis and may contract with institutions of higher learning, professional organizations, or qualified persons for the provision of approved programs. In addition to such programs, the board may allow the continuing education requirement to be fulfilled by the completion of approved distance learning courses, with the number of hours being established by board rule.

(3) The board may, consistent with the requirements of this Code section, promulgate rules and regulations to implement and administer this Code section, including the establishment of a committee to prescribe standards and approve and contract for educational programs.

(e) The board shall provide by regulation for an inactive status license for those persons who elect to apply for such status. Persons who are granted inactive status shall not engage in the practice of veterinary medicine or veterinary technology and shall be exempt from the requirements of continuing veterinary medical education during such inactivity.

Credits

Laws 1965, p. 92, § 1; Laws 1973, p. 260, § 3; Laws 1985, p. 406, § 1; Laws 1988, p. 1589, § 3; Laws 2000, p. 1706, § 19; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003 and § 2-2; Laws 2008, Act 775, § 20, eff. July 1, 2008; Laws 2010, Act 417, § 46, eff. May 20, 2010; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-41. Refusal to grant license or registration; revocation of license or registration; discipline

(a) The board is authorized to refuse to grant a license to an applicant, to suspend or revoke the license of a person licensed by the board, or to discipline a person licensed under this chapter or any antecedent law, upon a finding by a majority of the entire board that the licensee or applicant has:

(1) Failed to demonstrate the qualifications or standards for a license contained in this chapter or in the rules and regulations issued by the board, pursuant to specific statutory authority. It shall be incumbent upon the applicant to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the board that he or she meets all the requirements for the issuance of a license and, if the board is not satisfied as to the applicant's qualifications, it may deny a license without a prior hearing; provided, however, that the applicant shall be allowed to appear before the board if he or she so desires;

(2) Knowingly made misleading, deceptive, untrue, or fraudulent representations in the practice of veterinary medicine or veterinary technology on any document connected therewith; practiced fraud or deceit or intentionally made any false statement in obtaining a license to practice veterinary medicine or veterinary technology; or made a false statement or deceptive biennial renewal with the board;

(3) Been convicted of any felony or of any crime involving moral turpitude in the courts of this state or any other state, territory, or country or in the courts of the United States. As used in this paragraph, the term “felony” shall include any offense which, if committed in this state, would be deemed a felony without regard to its designation elsewhere. As used in this paragraph, the term “conviction” shall include a finding or verdict of guilty or a plea of guilty, regardless of whether an appeal of the conviction has been sought;

(4) Been arrested, charged, and sentenced for the commission of any felony, or any crime involving moral turpitude, where:

(A) A plea of nolo contendere was entered to the charge;

(B) First offender treatment without adjudication of guilt pursuant to the charge was granted; or

(C) An adjudication or sentence was otherwise withheld or not entered on the charge.

The plea of nolo contendere or the order entered pursuant to the provisions of Article 3 of Chapter 8 of Title 42 or other first offender treatment shall be conclusive evidence of arrest and sentencing for such crime;

(5) Had his or her license to practice veterinary medicine or veterinary technology revoked, suspended, or annulled by any lawful licensing veterinary medical authority other than the board; had other disciplinary action taken against him or her by any lawful licensing or registering veterinary medical authority other than the board; was denied a license by any lawful licensing veterinary medical authority other than the board, pursuant to disciplinary proceedings; or was refused the renewal of a license by any lawful licensing veterinary medical authority other than the board, pursuant to disciplinary proceedings;

(6) Engaged in any unprofessional, immoral, unethical, deceptive, or deleterious conduct or practice harmful to the public, which materially affects the fitness of the licensee or applicant to practice veterinary medicine or veterinary technology, or is of a nature likely to jeopardize the interest of the public, and which need not have resulted in actual injury or be directly related to the practice of veterinary medicine or veterinary technology but shows that the licensee or applicant has committed any act or omission which is indicative of bad moral character or untrustworthiness. Unprofessional conduct shall also include any departure from, or the failure to conform to, the minimal standards of acceptable and prevailing veterinary medical practice or veterinary technology practice. Unprofessional conduct shall also include, but not be limited to, the failure to keep veterinary facility premises and equipment in a clean and sanitary condition; dishonesty or gross negligence in the inspection of foodstuffs or the issuance of health or inspection certificates; or cruelty to animals;

(7) Knowingly performed any act which in any way aids, assists, procures, advises, or encourages any unlicensed person or any licensee whose license has been suspended or revoked by the board to practice veterinary medicine or veterinary technology or to practice outside the scope of any disciplinary limitation placed upon the licensee by the board;

(8) Violated a statute, law, or any rule or regulation of this state, any other state, the board, the United States, or any other lawful authority without regard to whether the violation is criminally punishable, which relates to or in part regulates the practice of veterinary medicine or veterinary technology, when the licensee or applicant knows or should know that such action violates such statute, law, rule, or regulation; or violated the lawful order of the board previously entered by the board in a disciplinary hearing, consent decree, or license reinstatement;

(9) Been adjudged mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction within or without this state. Any such adjudication shall automatically suspend the license of any such person and shall prevent the reissuance or renewal of any license so suspended for as long as the adjudication of incompetence is in effect;

(10) Displayed an inability to practice veterinary medicine or veterinary technology with reasonable skill and safety to animal patients or has become unable to practice veterinary medicine or veterinary technology with reasonable skill and safety to animal patients by reason of illness, use of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other type of material; as a result of any mental or physical condition; or by reason of displaying habitual intoxication, addiction to, or recurrent personal misuse of alcohol, drugs, narcotics, chemicals, or any other type of similar substances. In enforcing this paragraph, the board may, upon reasonable grounds, require a licensee or applicant to submit to a mental or physical examination by physicians designated by the board. The results of such examination shall be admissible in any hearing before the board, notwithstanding any claim of privilege under a contrary rule of law or statute. Every person who shall accept the privilege of practicing veterinary medicine or veterinary technology in this state or who shall file an application for a license to practice veterinary medicine or veterinary technology in this state shall be deemed to have given that person's consent to submit to such mental or physical examination and to have waived all objections to the admissibility of the results in any hearing before the board upon the grounds that the same constitutes a privileged communication. If a licensee or applicant fails to submit to such an examination when properly directed to do so by the board, unless such failure is due to circumstances beyond his or her control, the board may enter a final order upon proper notice, hearing, and proof of such refusal. Any licensee or applicant who is prohibited from practicing veterinary medicine or veterinary technology under this paragraph shall at reasonable intervals be afforded an opportunity to demonstrate to the board that such person can resume or begin the practice of veterinary medicine or veterinary technology with reasonable skill and safety to animal patients;

(11) Failed to register with the division director as required by law. It shall be the duty of every licensee to notify the board of any change in his or her address of record with the board; provided, however, that, for a period established by the division director after failure to register, a license may be reinstated by payment of a registration fee to be determined by the board by rule and by filing of a special application therefor. After this period has elapsed, a license may be revoked for failure to register and for failure to pay the fee as provided by law;

(12) Engaged in the excessive prescribing or administering of drugs or treatment or the use of diagnostic procedures which are detrimental to the animal patient as determined by the customary practice and standards of the local community of licensees; knowingly prescribed controlled drug substances or any other medication without a legitimate veterinary medical purpose; or knowingly overprescribed controlled drug substances or other medication, in light of the condition of the animal patient at the time of prescription;

(13) Knowingly made any fraudulent, misleading, or deceptive statement in any form of advertising or made any statement in any advertisement concerning the quality of the veterinary services rendered by that licensed veterinarian or any licensed veterinarian associated with him or her, or the qualifications of said veterinarian. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “advertising” shall include any information communicated in a manner designed to attract public attention to the practice of the licensee;

(14) Used, prescribed, or sold any veterinary prescription drug or prescribed an extralabel use of any drug in the absence of a valid veterinarian-client-animal patient relationship; or

(15) Has had his or her United States Drug Enforcement Administration privileges restricted or revoked.

(b) The provisions of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the “Georgia Administrative Procedure Act,” with respect to emergency action by the board and summary suspension of a license or registration are adopted and incorporated by reference into this chapter.

(c) For purposes of this Code section, the board may obtain, and is authorized to subpoena, upon reasonable grounds, any and all records relating to the mental or physical condition of a licensee or applicant, and such records shall be admissible in any hearing before the board.

(d) When the board finds that any person is unqualified to be granted a license or finds that any person should be disciplined pursuant to subsection (a) of this Code section, the board may take any one or more of the following actions:

(1) Refuse to grant or renew a license to an applicant;

(2) Administer a public or private reprimand, but a private reprimand shall not be disclosed to anyone other than the person reprimanded;

(3) Suspend any license for a definite period or for an indefinite period in connection with any condition which may be attached to the restoration of said license;

(4) Limit or restrict any license as the board deems necessary for the protection of the public;

(5) Revoke any license; or

(6) Condition the penalty upon, or withhold formal disposition pending, the applicant's or licensee's submission to such care, counseling, or treatment as the board may direct.

(e) In addition to and in conjunction with the actions described in subsection (d) of this Code section, the board may make a finding adverse to the licensee or applicant but withhold imposition of judgment and penalty; or it may impose the judgment and penalty but suspend enforcement thereof and place the licensee on probation, which may be vacated upon noncompliance with such reasonable terms as the board may impose.

(f) Initial judicial review of a final decision of the board shall be had solely in the superior court of the county of domicile of the board.

(g) In its discretion, the board may reinstate a license which has been revoked or issue a license which has been denied or refused, following such procedures as the board may prescribe by rule; and, as a condition thereof, it may impose any disciplinary or corrective method provided in this chapter.

(h)(1) The division director is authorized to make, or cause to be made through employees or contract agents of the board, such investigations as he or she or the board may deem necessary or proper for the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter. Any person properly conducting an investigation on behalf of the board shall have access to and may examine any writing, document, or other material relating to the fitness of any licensee or applicant. The division director or his or her appointed representative may issue subpoenas to compel such access upon a determination that reasonable grounds exist for the belief that a violation of this chapter or any other law relating to the practice of veterinary medicine or veterinary technology may have taken place.

(2) The results of all investigations initiated by the board shall be reported solely to the board, and the records of such investigations shall be kept for the board by the division director, with the board retaining the right to have access at any time to such records. No part of any such records shall be released, except to the board, for any purpose other than a hearing before the board, nor shall such records be subject to subpoena; provided, however, that the board shall be authorized to release such records to another enforcement agency or lawful licensing authority.

(3) The board shall have the authority to exclude all persons during its deliberations on disciplinary proceedings and to discuss any disciplinary matter in private with a licensee or applicant and the legal counsel of that licensee or applicant.

(i) A person, firm, corporation, association, authority, or other entity shall be immune from civil and criminal liability for reporting or investigating the acts or omissions of a licensee or applicant which violate the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section or any other provision of law relating to a licensee's or applicant's fitness to practice as a licensed veterinarian or licensed veterinary technician or for initiating or conducting proceedings against such licensee or applicant, if such report is made or action is taken in good faith, without fraud or malice. Any person who testifies or who makes a recommendation to the board in the nature of peer review, in good faith, without fraud or malice, before the board in any proceeding involving the provisions of subsection (a) of this Code section or any other law relating to a licensee's or applicant's fitness to practice as a licensed veterinarian or licensed veterinary technician shall be immune from civil and criminal liability for so testifying.

(j) Neither a denial of a license on grounds other than those enumerated in subsection (a) of this Code section nor the issuance of a private reprimand nor the denial of a license by endorsement nor the denial of a request for reinstatement of a revoked license nor the refusal to issue a previously denied license shall be considered to be a contested case within the meaning of Chapter 13 of Title 50, the “Georgia Administrative Procedure Act.” Notice and hearing within the meaning of Chapter 13 of Title 50 shall not be required, but the applicant or licensee shall be allowed to appear before the board if he or she so requests.

(k) If any licensee or applicant fails to appear at any hearing after reasonable notice, the board may proceed to hear the evidence against such licensee or applicant and take action as if such licensee or applicant had been present. A notice of hearing, initial or recommended decision, or final decision of the board in a disciplinary proceeding shall be served upon the licensee or applicant by certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, to the last known address of record with the board. If such material is returned marked “unclaimed” or “refused” or is otherwise undeliverable and if the licensee or applicant cannot, after diligent effort, be located, the division director shall be deemed to be the agent for service for such licensee or applicant for purposes of this Code section, and service upon the division director shall be deemed to be service upon the licensee or applicant.

(l) The voluntary surrender of a license shall have the same effect as a revocation of the license, subject to reinstatement in the discretion of the board.

(m) This Code section shall apply equally to all licensees or applicants whether persons, partners, or members of any other incorporated or unincorporated associations, corporations, or other associations of any kind whatsoever.

(n) All subpoenas issued pursuant to the authority granted in this chapter shall be subject to the general rules of law with respect to distance, tender of fees and expenses, and protective orders; and any motion made with respect thereto shall be made to and passed on by a judge of the superior court of the county of residence of the person to whom the subpoena is directed.

(o) Any proceeding or administrative action instituted under this Code section shall be governed by the provisions of this Code section as they existed in full force and effect on the date of the commission of the act or acts constituting a violation of this Code section, except as otherwise specifically declared by the General Assembly.

Credits

Laws 1950, p. 254, § 4; Laws 1965, p. 92, § 1; Laws 1973, p. 260, § 4; Laws 1974, p. 1441, § 3; Laws 1982, p. 1065, § 5; Laws 1988, p. 1589, § 4; Laws 2000, p. 1589, § 3; Laws 2000, p. 1706, § 19; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2005, Act 19, § 43, eff. April 7, 2005; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-42. Temporary licenses

(a) Pursuant to Code Section 43-1-34, the board may issue a temporary license to military spouses and transitioning service members.

(b) The temporary license shall expire on the date that permanent licenses are issued to persons who have passed the examination, which examination occurred immediately following the issuance of the temporary license.

(c) A temporary license issued pursuant to this Code section may, in the discretion of the board, be renewed for one six-month period only; provided, however, that no temporary license shall be issued, renewed, or reissued to a person who fails to pass the examination established by the board.

Credits

Laws 1973, p. 260, § 2; Laws 1982, p. 1065, § 6; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-43. Veterinary faculty licenses

The board may, in its discretion, issue a veterinary faculty license to any qualified applicant associated with one of this state's institutions of higher learning and involved either in research activities within such institution or in the instructional program of either undergraduate or graduate veterinary medical students, subject to the following conditions:

(1) That the holder of the veterinary faculty license shall be remunerated for the practice aspects of his or her services solely from state, federal, or institutional funds and not from the animal patient-owner beneficiary of his or her practice efforts;

(2) That the holder of the veterinary faculty license shall practice solely at the institution of higher learning or in an educational or research program outside the institution but associated with the institution;

(3) That the license issued under this Code section may be revoked or suspended or the licensee may be otherwise disciplined in accordance with Code Section 43-50-41; and

(4) That the license issued under this Code section may be canceled by the board upon receipt of information that the holder of the veterinary faculty license has left or has otherwise been discontinued from faculty employment at an institution of higher learning of this state.

Credits

Laws 1973, p. 260, § 6; Laws 1982, p. 1065, § 7; Laws 1988, p. 1589, § 6; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-44. Activities not prohibited

This article shall not be construed to prohibit:

(1)(A) An employee of the federal, state, or local government or any contractual partner thereof from performing his or her duties relating to animals owned by, on loan to, or under the control of such employer or the control of stray animals; or

(B) Any employee of a public or private college or university from performing his or her duties relating to animals owned by or on loan to such employer;

(2)(A) A person who is a regular student in a veterinary school or school of veterinary technology performing duties or actions assigned by his or her instructors or working under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian;

(B) A member of the faculty, a resident, an intern, or a graduate student of an accredited college or school of veterinary medicine or school of veterinary technology performing his or her regular clinical or nonclinical functions or a person lecturing or giving instructions or demonstrations at an accredited college or school of veterinary medicine or school of veterinary technology in connection with a continuing education course or seminar;

(C) A graduate of a foreign college or school of veterinary medicine who is in the process of obtaining the ECFVG or PAVE certificate or substantial equivalent performing duties or actions under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian;

(3) Any person, compensated or otherwise, from performing current acceptable livestock and food animal management practices, including, but not limited to, castration of food animals, dehorning without the use of prescription drugs or surgical closure of wounds, hoof trimming or shoeing, docking, ear notching, removing needle teeth, testing for pregnancy, implantation of over-the-counter growth implants, implantation of over-the-counter identification devices, artificial insemination, the use of federally approved over-the-counter products, veterinary approved products, branding, collecting of fluids for genetic identification and classification, semen and embryo collection and storage, and the use of ultrasound for collection of production data and similar nondiagnostic purposes;

(4) Any person assisting with a nonsurgical fetal delivery in a food animal, provided that no fee is charged;

(5) The actions of a veterinarian who is currently licensed in another state, province of Canada, or a United States territory in consulting with a licensed veterinarian but who:

(A) Does not open an office or appoint a place to do business within this state;

(B) Does not print or use letterhead or business cards reflecting in-state addresses;

(C) Does not establish answering services or advertise the existence of a practice address within this state;

(D) Does not practice veterinary medicine as a consultant rendering services directly to the public without the direction of a licensed veterinarian more than two days per calendar year;

(E) Is providing services for an organization conducting a public event lasting less than ten days that utilizes animals in need of veterinary examinations, treatments, or oversight to promote the safety and health of the public, the event, and the animal participants; provided, however, that a veterinarian licensed in another state who practices veterinary medicine on animals belonging to residents of this state by communicating directly with such owners and independent of the attending veterinary licensee is not exempt from this state's licensing requirements; and

(F) Does not offer through electronic means remote services within this state, except for consulting, as otherwise permitted in this chapter;

(6)(A) Any merchant or manufacturer selling, at his or her regular place of business, medicines, feed, appliances, or other products used in the prevention or treatment of animal diseases. This shall not be construed to authorize the sale of medication requiring a prescription from a veterinarian, but shall only include the right to sell those medications which are classified as proprietary and which are commonly known as over-the-counter medicines.

(B) Subparagraph (A) of this paragraph shall not be construed to authorize the sale of antimicrobial feed additives without an order from a veterinarian under the guidance of the veterinary feed directive in compliance with 21 C.F.R. 558.6;

(7)(A) The owner of an animal or the owner's bona fide employees caring for and treating the animal belonging to such owner;

(B) The owner's friend or relative caring for or treating the animal belonging to such owner, provided that no fee is charged and the friend or relative does not solicit, advertise, or regularly engage in providing such care or treatment or administer or dispense prescription drugs without a valid prescription; or

(C) The owner of an animal and any of the owner's bona fide employees caring for and treating the animal belonging to such owner, except where the ownership of the animal was transferred for purposes of circumventing the provisions of this chapter. Persons must comply with all laws, rules, and regulations relative to the use of medicines and biologics; provided, however, that such owner and any of such owner's bona fide employees caring for and treating such animal shall not practice veterinary medicine except as otherwise permitted under this Code section;

(8)(A) The owner, operator, or employee of a licensed kennel, animal rescue organization, animal shelter, or stable or of a pet-sitting service providing food, shelter, or supervision of an animal or administering prescription drugs pursuant to prescription of a licensed veterinarian or over-the-counter medicine to an animal;

(B) Any person acting under the direct or indirect supervision of a licensed veterinarian to provide care to animals that are the property of an animal shelter when at least the following three conditions are met:

(i) The person is an employee of an animal shelter or a local government who has control over the governance of the animal shelter;

(ii) The person is performing these tasks in compliance with a written protocol developed in consultation with a licensed veterinarian; and

(iii) The person has received proper training; provided, however, that such persons shall not diagnose, prescribe, dispense, or perform surgery;

(9) Any person selling or applying any pesticide, insecticide, or herbicide, as permitted by law;

(10) Any person engaging in scientific research involving animals conducted in accordance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations;

(11) Any licensed veterinary technician, veterinary technologist, or other employee of a licensed veterinarian from performing lawful duties under the direction and supervision of such veterinarian who shall be responsible for the performance of the employee;

(12) The owner of an animal, the owner's employee, or a member of a nationally recognized organization that acknowledges persons performing embryo transfer or artificial breeding and that is approved by the board from:

(A) The nonsurgical removal of an embryo from an animal for the purpose of transplanting such embryo into another female animal, cryopreserving such embryo, or implanting such embryo in an animal, provided that the use of prescription medications in such animals is maintained under the direction of a licensed veterinarian with a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship; or

(B) The testing and evaluation of semen;

(13) Any other licensed or registered health care provider utilizing his or her special skills, or any person whose expertise, in the opinion of the veterinarian licensed in this state, would benefit the animal, so long as the treatment of the animal is under the direction of a licensed veterinarian with a valid veterinary-client-animal patient relationship;

(14) A person performing soft tissue animal massage or other forms of soft tissue animal manipulation;

(15) A person performing aquaculture or raniculture management practices;

(16) A person implanting electronic identification devices in small companion animals;

(17) An employee or contractual partner of a zoological park or aquarium accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association or other substantially equivalent nationally recognized accrediting agency as determined by the board from performing his or her duties that are approved by a licensed veterinarian and relate to animals owned by or on loan to such zoological park or aquarium;

(18) Any person lawfully engaged in the art or profession of farriery for the care of hooves and feet of equines and livestock;

(19) Any veterinarian licensed by a state and serving as a volunteer health practitioner as such term is defined in Code Section 38-3-161 from providing service after a state of emergency has been declared pursuant to Code Section 38-3-51 or other applicable law or laws; or

(20) Any veterinarian licensed by a state from practicing veterinary medicine in a temporary capacity at one of this state's institutions of higher learning. Such veterinarian shall be paid for his or her services solely from state, federal, or institutional funds. Such veterinarian shall practice solely at the institution of higher learning, or in an educational or research program outside the institution associated with the institution, for no more than six months in order to qualify for practice under this Code section. Any violation of state or federal laws, rules, or regulations by such veterinarian shall be reported to the applicable licensing board by the institution of higher learning.

Credits

Laws 1965, p. 92, § 1; Laws 1973, p. 260, § 1; Laws 1993, p. 700, § 1; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2006, Act 443, § 2, eff. March 30, 2006; Laws 2012, Act 633, § 1, eff. July 1, 2012; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-45. Unlawful practice; misdemeanor; injunctions; cumulative remedies

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to practice veterinary medicine without a valid license or for any person to use the designation veterinarian, licensed veterinarian, or any other designation indicating licensure status, including abbreviations, or hold themselves out as a veterinarian unless duly licensed as such.

(b) It shall be unlawful for any person to use the designation licensed veterinary technician, licensed veterinary technologist, or any other designation indicating licensure status, including abbreviations, or hold themselves out as a licensed veterinary technician or licensed veterinary technologist unless duly licensed as such.

(c) Any person who violates subsection (a) or (b) of this Code section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as provided in this Code section, provided that each act of an unlawful practice shall constitute a distinct and separate offense.

(d) Upon being convicted a first time under this Code section, such person shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500.00 for each offense. Upon being convicted a second or subsequent time under this Code section, such person shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000.00 for each offense, imprisonment for not more than 12 months, or both such fine and imprisonment.

(e) The board or any citizen of this state may bring an action to enjoin any person from practicing veterinary medicine without a valid license. If a court finds that the person is violating, or is threatening to violate, this article, it shall enter an injunction restraining him or her from such unlawful acts.

(f) The successful maintenance of an action based on any one of the remedies set forth in this Code section shall in no way prejudice the prosecution of an action based on any other of the remedies.

Credits

Laws 1965, p. 92, § 1; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

Part 3. Veterinary Technicians

§ 43-50-50. Purpose of part

It is the purpose of this part to encourage more effective utilization of the skills of licensed veterinarians by enabling them to delegate certain veterinary health care tasks to licensed veterinary technicians where such delegation is consistent with the animal patient's health and welfare.

Credits

Laws 1983, p. 705, § 1; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2006, Act 443, § 3, eff. March 30, 2006; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-51. Prohibited practices 

(a) Subject to the provisions of this Code section, the practice of veterinary technology by a licensed veterinary technician shall not be a violation of subsection (a) of Code Section 43-50-30 or subsection (a) of Code Section 43-50-45.

(b) No licensed veterinary technician shall make a diagnosis or prognosis, prescribe treatment, perform surgery, or prescribe medication for any animal.

Credits

Laws 2006, Act 443, § 3, eff. March 30, 2006; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

 § 43-50-52. Certificates of registration; applications; examinations; renewal; registration in another state; rules and regulations

(a)(1) Any person desiring to work as a licensed veterinary technician in this state shall apply to the board for a license as a veterinary technician. All such applications shall be made on forms provided by the board and shall be accompanied by such fee as may be required by the board.

(2) The application shall include evidence, satisfactory to the board, that:

(A) The applicant has attained the age of 18;

(B) The applicant is of good moral character;

(C)(i) The applicant is a graduate of a college or technical school course of study in veterinary technology from an institution accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Council on Education, including without limitation instruction in the operation of life sustaining oxygen equipment, and has successfully passed an examination required by the board; or

(ii) The applicant has successfully completed a college course of study in the care and treatment of animals from an institution having a curriculum approved by the board, including without limitation instruction in the operation of life sustaining oxygen equipment, and has successfully passed an examination required by the board; and

(D) The applicant meets such other qualifications or provides such other information as the board may require by rule or regulation.

(b) Until July 1, 2009, any person who during the period from July 1, 1993, through June 30, 2008, acquired a minimum of five years' experience assisting a licensed veterinarian may, with a signed affidavit from his or her supervising veterinarian attesting to his or her level of on-the-job training, be allowed to take the examination approved by the board. Upon receiving a passing grade on such examination, the board may issue a certificate of registration. The board shall provide a list of appropriate study materials to candidates.

(c) Until January 1, 2005, any person who at any time prior to July 1, 2003, was certified as a licensed veterinary technician in this state shall be entitled to renew such registration without examination and without meeting any requirements of subparagraph (a)(2)(C) of this Code section.

(d) The board may issue a license to an applicant if the applicant is currently registered in another state having standards for admission substantially the same as this state and such standards were in effect at the time the applicant was first admitted to practice in the other state.

(e) The board shall be responsible for licensing any person who wishes to practice as a licensed veterinary technician in this state and in accordance with this part shall govern such practice by board rule or regulation as the board deems appropriate and necessary for the protection of the public health, safety, and general welfare.

Credits

Laws 1983, p. 705, § 1; Laws 1984, p. 22, § 43; Laws 1984, p. 544, § 1; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2006, Act 443, § 3, eff. March 30, 2006; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-53. Registration examinations; reactivation of registration

(a) The board shall approve an examination to measure the competence of the applicant to engage in the practice as a licensed veterinary technician and shall set by rule or regulation the score needed to pass any such examination.

(b) If an applicant fails an examination, the applicant may take a subsequent examination upon payment of license examination fees.

(c) Any licensed veterinary technician in this state whose license has been on inactive status for at least five consecutive years and who desires to reactivate such license shall be required to take continuing education, pay all fees, and meet all other requirements and board rules or regulations as a licensed veterinary technician.

Credits

Laws 1983, p. 705, § 1; Laws 2000, p. 1706, § 19; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2006, Act 443, § 3, eff. March 30, 2006; Laws 2012, Act 654, § 3, eff. July 1, 2012; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-54. Supervision required; disciplinary actions; duties limited

(a) Any licensed veterinary technician must at all times be under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian whenever practicing veterinary technology in this state. The level of supervision shall be consistent with the delegated animal health care task. Subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of Code Section 43-50-51, a licensed veterinarian may in his or her discretion delegate any animal health care task to a licensed veterinary technician; provided, however, that the board may establish by rules or regulations, in such general or specific terms as it deems necessary and appropriate for purposes of this part, the level of supervision, whether direct supervision, immediate supervision, or indirect supervision, that is required by the licensed veterinarian for any delegated animal health care task to be performed by a licensed veterinary technician. Such rules or regulations may require lower levels of supervision for licensed veterinary technicians as compared to veterinary assistants performing the same or similar animal health care tasks.

(b) Specifically and without limitation, the board may take disciplinary action against a licensed veterinary technician if the technician:

(1) Solicits animal patients from a licensed veterinarian;

(2) Solicits or receives any form of compensation from any person for veterinary services rendered other than from the licensed veterinarian or corporation under whom the licensed veterinary technician is employed;

(3) Willfully or negligently divulges a professional confidence or discusses a licensed veterinarian's diagnosis or treatment without the express permission of the licensed veterinarian; or

(4) Demonstrates a manifest incapability or incompetence to perform as a licensed veterinary technician.

(c) A licensed veterinary technician shall not be utilized in any manner which would be in violation of this article.

(d) A licensed veterinary technician shall not be utilized to perform the duties of a pharmacist licensed under Chapter 4 of Title 26.

Credits

Laws 1983, p. 705, § 1; Laws 1999, p. 81, § 43; Laws 2000, p. 1706, § 19; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2006, Act 443, § 3, eff. March 30, 2006; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-55. Posting notice of use of veterinary technicians; identification of technicians

(a) Any licensed veterinarian, animal clinic, or animal hospital using licensed veterinary technicians shall post a notice to that effect in a prominent place.

(b) A licensed veterinary technician must clearly identify himself or herself as such in order to ensure that he or she is not mistaken by the public as a licensed veterinarian. This may be accomplished, for example, by the wearing of an appropriate name tag. Any time the licensed veterinary technician's name appears in a professional setting, his or her status must be shown as “licensed veterinary technician.”

Credits

Laws 1983, p. 705, § 1; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2006, Act 443, § 3, eff. March 30, 2006; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-56. Responsibility of veterinarian

A veterinarian who utilizes a licensed veterinary technician shall be responsible for any violation of any limitations which are placed on the duties of a licensed veterinary technician.

Credits

Laws 1983, p. 705, § 1; Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2006, Act 443, § 3, eff. March 30, 2006; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-57. Repealed by Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July, 1, 2003

§§ 43-50-58, 43-50-59. Repealed by Laws 1983, p. 705, § 1, eff. July 1, 1983

 

Article 3A. Veterinary Assistants

§ 43-50-60. Purpose

It is the purpose of this article to encourage more effective utilization of the skills of licensed veterinarians by enabling them to delegate certain veterinary health care tasks to veterinary assistants where such delegation is consistent with the animal patient's health and welfare.

Credits

Laws 2006, Act 443, § 4, eff. March 30, 2006; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-61. Duties limited

(a) Subject to the provisions of this Code section, the practice of veterinary technology by a veterinary assistant shall not be a violation of subsection (a) of Code Section 43-50-30 or subsection (a) of Code Section 43-50-45.

(b) No veterinary assistant shall make a diagnosis or prognosis, prescribe treatment, perform surgery, prescribe medication, perform a nonemergency intubation, induce anesthesia, perform central venous catheterization, or perform arterial catheterization and arterial collection for any animal.

Credits

Laws 2006, Act 443, § 4, eff. March 30, 2006; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

 § 43-50-62. Supervision required; utilization of assistants

(a) Any veterinary assistant must at all times be under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian whenever practicing veterinary technology in this state. The level of supervision shall be consistent with the delegated animal health care task. Subject to the provisions of subsection (b) of Code Section 43-50-61, a licensed veterinarian may in his or her discretion delegate any animal health care task to a veterinary assistant; provided, however, that the board may establish by rules or regulations, in such general or specific terms as it deems necessary and appropriate for purposes of this article, the level of supervision, whether direct supervision, immediate supervision, or indirect supervision, that is required by the licensed veterinarian for any delegated animal health care task to be performed by a veterinary assistant. Such rules or regulations may require higher levels of supervision for veterinary assistants as compared to licensed veterinary technicians performing the same or similar animal health care tasks.

(b) A veterinary assistant shall not be utilized in any manner which would be in violation of this article.

(c) A veterinary assistant shall not be utilized to perform the duties of a pharmacist licensed under Chapter 4 of Title 26.

Credits

Laws 2006, Act 443, § 4, eff. March 30, 2006; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-63. Posting notice of use of veterinary assistants; identification of assistants

(a) Any licensed veterinarian, animal clinic, or animal hospital using veterinary assistants shall post a notice to that effect in a prominent place.

(b) A veterinary assistant must clearly identify himself or herself as such in order to ensure that he or she is not mistaken by the public as a licensed veterinarian or licensed veterinary technician. This may be accomplished, for example, by the wearing of an appropriate name tag. Any time the veterinary assistant's name appears in a professional setting, his or her status must be shown as “veterinary assistant.”

Credits

Laws 2006, Act 443, § 4, eff. March 30, 2006; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

 § 43-50-64. Responsibility of veterinarian 

A veterinarian who utilizes a veterinary assistant shall be responsible for any violation of any limitations which are placed on the duties of a veterinary assistant.

Credits

Laws 2006, Act 443, § 4, eff. March 30, 2006; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§§ 43-50-70, 43-50-71. Renumbered §§ 43-50-90, 43-50-91 by Laws 2006, Act 443, § 4, eff. March 30, 2006

 

Article 4. Good Samaritan Treatment of Animals

§ 43-50-80. Relief from liability for rendering emergency care 

Any person who gratuitously and in good faith administers emergency treatment to a sick or injured animal at the scene of an accident or emergency shall not be in violation of this chapter and shall not be liable to the owner of such animal in any civil action for damages; provided, however, that this Code section shall not provide immunity for acts of gross negligence.

Credits

Laws 2003, Act 257, § 1-1, eff. July 1, 2003; Laws 2006, Act 443, § 4, eff. March 30, 2006; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

Article 5. Facilities and Equipment

§ 43-50-90. Establishment of standards; rules; enforcement actions

<Text of section effective upon appropriation of funds for the purposes of Laws 2003, Act 257.>

(a) The board shall work cooperatively with licensed veterinarians to establish standards for veterinary facilities and equipment and shall promulgate rules for same.

(b) The board shall have the authority to establish a method to monitor veterinary facilities, conduct investigations and hold proceedings related to alleged violations, and take necessary enforcement action against the license of a veterinarian or licensed veterinary technicians for violations of rules promulgated under subsection (a) of this Code section.

Credits

Laws 2003, Act 257, § 2-3; Laws 2006, Act 443, § 4, eff. March 30, 2006; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

§ 43-50-91. Exemptions 

<Text of section effective upon appropriation of funds for the purposes of Laws 2003, Act 257.>

This article shall not apply to any facility owned by the federal, state, or any local government, a public or private college or university, or a zoological park or aquarium that is accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association or other substantially equivalent nationally recognized accrediting agency as determined by the board.

Credits

Laws 2003, Act 257, § 2-3; Laws 2006, Act 443, § 4, eff. March 30, 2006; Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

Article 6. Operation of Board

§ 43-50-110. Powers and duties of board; adoption of rules and regulations

Effective: July 1, 2018

The board shall have all of the duties, powers, and authority specifically granted by or necessary for the enforcement of this chapter. The board shall adopt such rules and regulations as are reasonable and necessary to implement and effectuate this chapter.

Credits

Laws 2018, Act 456, § 3, eff. July 1, 2018.

 

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