An Act To Update the Maine Veterinary Practice Act
Sec. 1. 32 MRSA §4851, as enacted by PL 1975, c. 477, §4, is amended to read:
§ 4851. Legislative findings
The Legislature finds and declares that the public health, safety and welfare of the State of Maine requires the exercise of the police powers of this State to safeguard the people of Maine from incompetent, dishonest or unprincipled practitioners of veterinary medicine by ensuring the delivery of competent veterinary medical care and further that the right to practice veterinary medicine is a privilege conferred by legislative grant to persons possessed of personal and professional qualifications specified in this chapter.
Sec. 2. 32 MRSA §4853, sub-§1-A, as enacted by PL 1993, c. 404, Pt. A, §3, is amended to read:
Sec. 3. 32 MRSA §4853, sub-§4-A, as amended by PL 1997, c. 246, §3, is further amended to read:
Sec. 4. 32 MRSA §4853, sub-§4-B, as enacted by PL 1993, c. 404, Pt. A, §5, is further amended to read:
Sec. 5. 32 MRSA §4853, sub-§5-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 6. 32 MRSA §4853, sub-§7, as repealed and replaced by PL 1997, c. 246, §4, is amended to read:
The practice of veterinary medicine must occur within an established veterinarian-client-patient relationship.
Sec. 7. 32 MRSA §4853, sub-§7-B is enacted to read:
Sec. 8. 32 MRSA §4853, sub-§8-A, as enacted by PL 1993, c. 404, Pt. A, §5, is amended to read:
Sec. 9. 32 MRSA §4853, sub-§11, as enacted by PL 1993, c. 404, Pt. A, §5, is amended to read:
Sec. 10. 32 MRSA §4860, first ¶, as amended by PL 1983, c. 48, §3, is further amended to read:
No A person may not practice veterinary medicine in this State who is not a licensed veterinarian or the holder of a valid temporary permit or permit for the performance of relief veterinary service issued by the board. This shall section does not apply to:
Sec. 11. 32 MRSA §4860, sub-§5, as enacted by PL 1975, c. 477, §4, is amended to read:
Sec. 12. 32 MRSA §4860, sub-§7, as enacted by PL 1975, c. 477, §4, is repealed.
Sec. 13. 32 MRSA §4861, as amended by PL 2011, c. 189, §1, is further amended to read:
§ 4861. Application for license; qualifications and examination
A person desiring a license to practice veterinary medicine in this State must make written application and pay the license fee as set under section 4863-A. The application must show that the applicant holds a doctorate degree in veterinary medicine from an approved veterinary medicine program that is recognized by the United States Department of Education and by the board, and is trustworthy and competent and provide such other information and proof as the board may establish by rule. The board may adopt rules applicable to graduates of approved veterinary medicine programs by the Commissioner of Education and rules applicable to foreign educated graduates who can demonstrate equivalent education and training. Rules adopted pursuant to this section are routine technical rules as defined by Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.
The board may employ and cooperate and contract with an organization or consultant in the preparation, administration and grading of an examination, but retains sole discretion and responsibility for determining which applicants have successfully passed the examination. The applicant shall pay the examination fee as set under section 4863-A.
Notwithstanding this subsection, the board shall waive the requirement that a veterinarian pass an examination for veterinarians who have, during the 6 years preceding the application, actively practiced clinical veterinary medicine for at least 6,000 hours without disciplinary action relating to the practice of veterinary medicine by another state, United States territory or province of Canada.
Sec. 14. 32 MRSA §4861-A is enacted to read:
§ 4861-A. Application for veterinary technician license; qualifications and examination
In order to practice as a licensed veterinary technician in this State, a person must apply for a veterinary technician license by submitting a written application, paying the license fee as set under section 4863-A and taking an examination for a license. In order to take the examination for a license, an applicant must:
Upon the request of the state veterinarian to the board, a licensed veterinary technician may practice in the State for a period not to exceed 30 days without a state license.
Sec. 15. 32 MRSA §4864, sub-§12, as amended by PL 2011, c. 594, §1, is further amended to read:
Sec. 16. 32 MRSA §4865, as amended by PL 2005, c. 347, Pt. C, §3, is repealed.
Sec. 17. 32 MRSA §4866, as amended by PL 1997, c. 246, §§25 and 26, is further amended to read:
§ 4866. Duties of licensed veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants
An animal health A veterinary assistant may, under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian or a registered licensed veterinary technician, perform duties of an animal health care nature . The duties do not include excluding diagnosing, making prognoses, performing surgery, interpreting laboratory tests or prescribing or initiating treatment.
A licensed veterinary technician registered in the State may perform, under the supervision and direction of a licensed veterinarian, such duties as drug administration, nursing care, x-ray film exposure and processing, bandage changes, dental prophylaxis, restraint, blood and fecal collections, diagnostic laboratory procedures and other duties the supervising veterinarian or the board may prescribe by rule, consistent with this chapter, except no one but a veterinarian may diagnose, make prognoses, prescribe or initiate treatment or surgery or perform surgery engage in the practice of veterinary technology on the basis of written or oral instruction of a veterinarian.
Sec. 18. 32 MRSA §4869, as amended by PL 1993, c. 404, Pt. A, §13, is further amended to read:
§ 4869. Reinstatement
A veterinarian or licensed veterinary technician whose license is revoked or suspended or a veterinary technician whose registration is revoked or suspended may, at the discretion of the board, be relicensed , reregistered or reinstated at any time without an examination by majority vote of the board on written application made to the board showing cause justifying the relicensing , reregistration or reinstatement.
Sec. 19. 32 MRSA §4870, as amended by PL 2007, c. 402, Pt. R, §10, is further amended to read:
§ 4870. Enforcement
Any person who practices veterinary medicine without a currently valid license , temporary permit or permit for the performance of relief veterinary service is subject to the provisions of Title 10, section 8003-C. A person engaged in the practice of veterinary technology without a valid license is subject to the provisions of Title 10, section 8003-C.
Sec. 20. 32 MRSA §4877 is enacted to read:
§ 4877. Veterinarian-client-patient relationship required
In order to practice veterinary medicine, a veterinarian must be engaged in a veterinarian-client-patient relationship. A veterinarian-client-patient relationship exists when a veterinarian:
This bill makes the following changes to the Maine Veterinary Practice Act.
1. It amends the legislative findings section to update the language.
2. It changes the designation of "animal health assistant" to "veterinary assistant."
3. It defines "patient" as an animal or group of animals examined or treated by a veterinarian.
4. It amends the definition of "practice of veterinary medicine."
5. It establishes a definition of "practice of veterinary technology."
6. Currently, veterinary technicians are registered under state law; this bill requires that veterinary technicians be licensed.
7. Currently, owners or caretakers of animals who care for or treat their animals are exempted from the requirement that only a licensed veterinarian may provide certain aspects of veterinary care. This bill limits that exemption to owners or caretakers of livestock.
8. Under current law, a person may sell or apply pesticide or insecticide for the betterment and protection of an animal without licensure as a veterinarian; this bill eliminates this licensure exemption.
9. It eliminates the Maine State Board of Veterinary Medicine's authority to issue a temporary permit to a qualified applicant for a veterinary license pending examination, and authorizes a licensed veterinarian or a licensed veterinary technician to practice for no more than 30 days in the State upon the request of the state veterinarian.
10. It requires that, in order to take the licensing examination for veterinary technicians, the applicant must have completed the professional education requirements for licensure or be within the final 6 months of professional study in an approved program of education.
11. It removes the prohibition against association for the joint practice of veterinary medicine with any person, corporation or partnership not licensed to practice veterinary medicine.
12. It updates language outlining the duties of licensed veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants.