Model practice act goes before HOD again

Published on May 29, 2019

The AVMA House of Delegates will consider revisions to the AVMA Model Veterinary Practice Act and two policies on antimicrobials during its regular annual session coming up Aug. 1-2 in Washington, D.C.

Delegates had referred proposed revisions to the model practice act back to the AVMA Board of Directors to respond to concerns raised by some state VMAs. The Board referred the questions raised by the HOD to the AVMA Council on Veterinary Service.

The latest iteration of the revisions removes the phrase "and ethically provided" from the statement in the preamble that the purpose of the act is "to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public and animals by ensuring the delivery of competent and ethically provided veterinary medical care." The California VMA had raised a concern that the phrase would be open to a wide range of interpretations in court. The word "ethical" remains in the commentary to the preamble.

The Georgia VMA had argued that differences between Georgia's newly revised veterinary practice act and the AVMA Model Veterinary Practice Act would lead to liability claims. According to background materials from the AVMA Council on Veterinary Service, legal processes in Georgia should only consider state law, not a model practice act.

At the suggestion of the Texas VMA, the proposed definition of the veterinarian-client-patient relationship in the model practice act was reworded to avoid stating that a VCPR can exist when a veterinarian has "seen" a patient because that wording could allow a VCPR to be established by telecommunication.

The AVMA Board of Directors referred the revised draft of the AVMA Model Veterinary Practice Act back to the House with a recommendation for approval.

The AVMA Committee on Antimicrobials reviewed the policy "Judicious Therapeutic Use of Antimicrobials" in accordance with the AVMA's five-year policy review cycle. The committee recommended revisions for clarity and to reflect current thinking on efforts relating to antimicrobial resistance.

The committee also recommended moving the sections on objectives, strategies, and needs for collaboration to the policy "AVMA Strategy Regarding Antimicrobial-Resistant Bacteria." The Board referred the revised policy on judicious use to the House with a recommendation for approval, while sending the strategy regarding antimicrobial-resistant bacteria back to the Committee on Antimicrobials to clarify strategy versus policy.

Also in accordance with the AVMA's five-year policy review cycle, the American Association of Bovine Practitioners revised the policy "AABP-AVMA Judicious Therapeutic Use of Antimicrobials in Cattle." This is an AABP policy that the AVMA has adopted as one of its own and co-branded. The AVMA Committee on Antimicrobials recommended that the AVMA Board of Directors approve the policy as revised by the AABP, and the Board referred the policy to the House with a recommendation for approval.

Related JAVMA content:

Model practice act referred, bylaws amendments passed (March 1, 2019)

Updated model practice act goes to HOD (Nov. 1, 2018)

AVMA adjusts declaw, antimicrobial policies (Sept. 15, 2014)