State and local scope of practice issues

Aquatic livestock

Complementary and alternative veterinary medicine

  • Complementary and alternative veterinary medicine, AVMA guidelines
    These guidelines are intended to help veterinarians make informed and judicious decisions regarding medical approaches known by several terms including "complementary," "alternative," and "integrative."

Summary report:

Scope of Practice: complementary and alternative veterinary medicine and other practice act exemptions
This chart summarizes key provisions of state veterinary practice acts and accompanying regulations relating to common complementary and alternative veterinary treatments such as chiropractic, acupuncture and physical therapy. Other common practice act exemptions such as animal owner and livestock management are also included.


  • Dentistry, AVMA policy
    The performance of dentistry on animals is part of the practice of veterinary medicine and is regarded as such under state veterinary practice acts.

Summary report:

Authority of veterinary technicians and other non-veterinarians to perform dental procedures
This table was created to address the scope of practice for veterinary technicians and other non-veterinarians with respect to dental procedures or dental surgeries.

Education, training, certification and regulatory oversight: a comparison of veterinarian and non-veterinarian providers in selected areas of practice

The following charts were prepared to provide an example of the education, training, certification and regulatory oversight requirements of veterinarians and non-veterinarian providers in selected areas of veterinary practice. These charts are intended for informational purposes only and are not intended to be a comprehensive statement on the subject matter covered, but rather a guide that provides practical information for the reader. The charts do not represent legal advice and do not constitute a limitation or expansion of the lawful scope of practice applicable in any jurisdiction. The educational programs included in these resources are those known to AVMA and most often referenced in state regulations. This list is not exhaustive and not intended to describe every program offered in any covered category. The information was prepared in September 2011 and may not necessarily reflect future changes in programs.

Embryo transfer

  • Embryo transfer procedures
    The AVMA believes that the embryo transfer procedure is a function of veterinary practice, because it requires diagnosis and the use of legend pharmaceuticals and/or use of pharmaceuticals in an extra-label manner as described by the Animal Medicinal Drug Use Clarification Act and it may require surgery and use of controlled substances. 
  • Embryo transfer and pregnancy diagnosis in Iowa (PDF)
    This brochure was developed by the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association to educate the public on the need for veterinary oversight for embryo transfer and pregnancy diagnosis procedure, and may be useful as a model in other states facing legislative attempts to take the veterinarian out of livestock reproductive management.

Model Veterinary Practice Act

  • Model Veterinary Practice Act, AVMA
    The AVMA Model Veterinary Practice Act is intended to serve as a model set of guiding principles for those who are now or will be in the future preparing or revising a practice act under the codes and laws of an individual state.

Sanctions for unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine

Summary report:

Scope of practice advocacy tools

Scope of practice reporting form

  • Scope of practice reporting form (PDF)
    This form was developed to collect information on the unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine and other practices by non-veterinarians that may be harmful to animals. The information collected will be used to provide quantitative data to legislative and regulatory bodies. Those sharing this information with AVMA are also urged to report the incidents to the appropriate state regulatory agency and their state's veterinary medical association.

Veterinary technicians and assistants

Summary report: