The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) applauds U.S. Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) for introducing legislation on Friday that corrects a restriction in the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), which prevents veterinarians from transporting or using controlled substances outside of their registered places of business. The bill, the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2013 (H.R. 1528), will make it legal for veterinarians to transport and dispense medications for pain management, anesthesia and euthanasia that they need to properly care for animal patients in various settings.
“As Congressmen Schrader and Yoho can attest, being a veterinarian does not start and stop within the walls of the veterinary clinic. Animals come in all shapes and sizes, and live and roam in a variety of settings,” said Dr. Mark Lutschaunig, director of AVMA’s Governmental Relations Division. “To provide complete care for their animal patients, veterinarians must have the ability to transport the medications they need beyond their brick-and-mortar clinics. On behalf of the U.S. veterinary profession, we are pleased to see this legislation introduced and we encourage Congress to pass it quickly for the health and welfare of the nation’s animals, to safeguard public safety and to protect the nation’s food supply.”
“As my fellow veterinarians know all too well, in the practice of veterinary medicine we are often required to provide mobile or ambulatory services in the field to treat our animal patients in a wide variety of settings,” Rep. Schrader said. “The Drug Enforcement Administration’s confusing interpretation of existing law makes little sense, is completely unreasonable, and hinders the ability of mobile and ambulatory veterinarians to properly care for their clients. We’ve made good faith attempts to work with the DEA to cut through the bureaucratic red tape and find a sensible solution, but our overtures have fallen on deaf ears. Therefore, we’re moving forward with what any reasonable person would interpret as a commonsense legislative solution to this bureaucratic nonsense.”
"Veterinarians protect public health and keep our food supply the best and safest in the world. This is another example of a well-intentioned regulation getting in the way of highly trained professionals trying to do their jobs efficiently,” said Rep. Yoho. “Veterinarians like us must be able to travel to treat animals, and in emergency cases, any veterinarian should be able to get to the animal—and the community—in need. The government should facilitate this important work and not allow it to be debilitated with bureaucracy."