The CVMA is strongly opposed to the illegal practice of veterinary medicine by unlicensed persons providing illegal services in unregulated locations. We further promote and support efforts by the California Veterinary Medical Board and the Department of Consumer Affairs to enforce criminal sanctions against unlicensed activity, thereby protecting the consumer and safeguarding the health and welfare of animals. Facts:
California law restricts the practice of veterinary medicine to licensed veterinarians and persons under the supervision of licensed veterinarians.
In California, licensing standards include a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from a veterinary college recognized by the California Veterinary Medical Board and the passage of a national and state board examination, as well as a veterinary law exam.
Veterinarians are medical doctors. They are educated to care for and protect the health of all animal species. Only veterinarians are licensed to provide medical care to animals, and are regulated by the state. Veterinary premises are also regulated and they must adhere to strict rules of animal safety
RVTs may only perform certain animal health care job tasks under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.
An unregistered assistant must be under the supervision of a veterinarian in an animal hospital setting when performing auxiliary health care tasks. An animal hospital setting means “all veterinary premises which are required by Section 4853 of the Code to be registered with the Board.”1
A licensed human medicine professional, like a physical therapist or chiropractor, is limited to treating humans and cannot legally administer veterinary care to animals unless they are under the direct supervision of a veterinarian.
Direct Supervision means: “(1) the supervisor is physically present at the location where animal health care job tasks are to be performed and is quickly and easily available; and (2) the animal has been examined by a veterinarian at such time as good veterinary medical practice requires consistent with the particular delegated animal health care job task.” – CCR 2034(e) Under California law, a veterinarian can only make a referral to another veterinarian. There are no provisions that allow for referral by a veterinarian to anyone else, including persons licensed in another health care profession.
The California Veterinary Medicine Practice Act regulates the practice of veterinary medicine in California. It is enforced to protect consumer rights, the life and health of animals, and the integrity of veterinary medicine.
The Illegal practice of veterinary medicine exists in small animal, large animal, and equine medicine.
There is limited legal recourse to pursue cases by the Veterinary Medical Board. Stronger enforcement authority is needed.
The CVMA PAC
It’s Not About Politics….It’s About Your Profession. The CVMA PAC is a bipartisan political action committee whose purpose is to educate state legislators and candidates on issues of importance to the veterinary profession.