Revised Model Veterinary Practice Act approved

Document is culmination of more than three years' work
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The Executive Board approved the 2003 revision of the AVMA Model Veterinary Practice Act recommended by the Practice Act Task Force. The act is intended to serve as a model set of guiding principles for those preparing or revising a state's veterinary practice act.

The revised act marks the culmination of more than three years' work, shaped by input from numerous sources, including state veterinary and medical practice acts, published opinion papers, AVMA policy statements and guidelines, and the expertise and experience of the task force members themselves.

The Executive Board established the Practice Act Task Force in April 2000 and charged it with reviewing and revising the AVMA Model Veterinary Practice Act.

In February 2001, a first draft of the revised act was distributed for review to several entities, including the AVMA House of Delegates and executive directors of state veterinary medical associations and allied organizations. The following November, the board approved adding five new members to the task force representing food animal practice, state licensing boards, the American Veterinary Medical Law Association, veterinary specialty boards, and the public.

The expanded, 10-member task force met three times last year to revise the model veterinary practice act.

In January 2003, the draft revised act with commentary was sent to state VMAs, state veterinary regulatory boards, members of the HOD, AVMA councils and committees, the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America, recognized specialty colleges, and allied organizations in the HOD. The document was also posted in the public area of the AVMA Web site from Jan. 15 through March 1 to allow interested persons to review and comment on it.

The task force received approximately 1,800 comments, most from the public, breed groups, and nonveterinary professional groups or organizations. Areas that received numerous comments dealt with complementary, alternative, and integrative therapies; modes of rendering advice; and the veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

After additional revisions to the document were completed, the task force forwarded its final proposed revised Model Veterinary Practice Act to the board for approval.