AVMA seeks input on model practice act

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The AVMA is soliciting comments from the veterinary profession and public on its Model Veterinary Practice Act to help shape the future of veterinary medicine.

The current model practice act, which was last reviewed in 2003, includes sections on veterinary medical boards, licensing, client confidentiality, veterinary education, veterinary technicians and technologists, abandoned animals, and cruelty to animals.

The model practice act is available for review at avma.org/issues/policy/mvpa.asp.

Organizations and individuals can make comments about the model practice act at that AVMA website during the 30-day public comment period that is scheduled to start in January. The AVMA requests that the comments submitted be specific and include suggested language for the new model practice act.

Dr. Ron DeHaven, CEO of the AVMA, said by issuing this alert early, the Association hopes veterinarians and other stakeholders will take time to review the many provisions of the act in advance of the comment period.

The AVMA Model Veterinary Practice Act was first approved by the House of Delegates in 1964 and was subsequently revised in 1997 and 2003 to reflect changes in the profession such as new technologies and techniques and societal developments. It is intended to serve as a model set of guiding principles for states that are revising or are contemplating revising their state veterinary practice acts.

Each previous revision process included the creation of a task force to review the model act and suggest changes to the Executive Board.

The board at its meeting June 11 approved the AVMA Model Veterinary Practice Act Task Force, which is being chaired by Dr. John R. Scamahorn, District VI board member.

The task force plans to meet once in May 2011 at AVMA headquarters and is expected to submit revisions to the board by June 2011.

A specific goal for the 2011 revision is to address issues that the AVMA identifies as having changed in the veterinary profession.