by Ann E, Dwyer, DVM, president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners
The American Association of Equine Practitioners Welfare and Public Policy Advisory Council is working with the American Veterinary Medical Association and Congress to ensure that veterinarians can provide complete care to their animal patients. The recent introduction of the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2013 (H.R. 1528), we have the opportunity to make an impact.
As large animal veterinarians, most of us have frequent need to use controlled substances to treat our patients at the stables, ranches, farms and other sites where they live. However, the provisions of the existing Controlled Substances Act (CSA) make it illegal for any veterinarian to transport and/or use controlled substances outside of the DEA license location that is registered for that individual. This means that it is currently illegal for veterinarians to carry and use these vital medications for pain management, anesthesia or euthanasia on farms, at house calls, in veterinary mobile clinics, or in ambulatory response situations.
Veterinarians must be able to legally carry and use controlled substances for the health and welfare of the nation’s animals, to safeguard public safety and to protect the nation’s food supply.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which enforces the law, has informed organized veterinary medicine that without a statutory change, many veterinarians are in violation of the CSA and cannot legally administer controlled substances away from their registry site. The DEA has already notified some veterinarians in California and Washington State that they are in violation of this law.
We encourage you to contact your members of Congress and urge them to support the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2013 (H.R. 1528). This act would amend the CSA that currently prohibits veterinarians from transporting controlled substances to treat their animal patients outside of their registered locations.
Please join us in telling Congress that veterinarians need to be able to transport controlled substances to the locations of their animal patients, not only for the health and welfare of the nation’s animals, but for public safety.
The link below takes you to the AVMA Legislative Action Center where you can easily express your support of H.R. 1528. Contact information for your representative(s) is generated automatically by your zip code and a message which you may edit is provided.
Thank you for your advocacy.