Veterinary Mobility Bill Moves to Full House

Veterinary Mobility Bill Moves to Full House

The bill would allow licensed veterinarians who operate mobile clinics or who treat horses on farms and elsewhere to lawfully transport to and dispense controlled substances at treatment sites.

Photo: The Horse Staff

Veterinarians who make farm calls could soon be better protected against prosecution under federal drug laws since a bill intended to amend the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) has moved out of committee and on to the full U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.

The CSA is intended to prevent the unauthorized manufacture, sale, and transport of drugs that are likely to be abused. Under current law, veterinarians who carry drugs to farm calls or in mobile veterinary units could be found in violation of the act.

Last year, congressmen Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) introduced HR 1528, which would amend the CSA to allow licensed veterinarians who operate mobile clinics or who treat horses on farms and elsewhere to lawfully transport to and dispense controlled substances at treatment sites. The Senate passed a twin bill, S 1171 introduced by senators Angus King (I-Maine) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), in January. 

Schrader's website states that the U.S. House Committee on Energy and Commerce unanimously passed HR 1528 on April 3. The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.

Ashley S. Morgan, DVM, assistant director of the Government Relations Division of the American Veterinary Medical Association welcomed the bill's advancement.

“We're obviously thrilled,” she said. “This is a non-partisan bill that is good for everyone and hopefully the House will act on it soon before the end of this Congress.”

Jeff Blea, DVM, president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, said the legislation is crucial to veterinarians who treat equines.

“Our ability as doctors of veterinary medicine to care for horses on farm calls or at event locations is dependent upon passage of this bill,” Blea said. "However we still have to get over the next hurdle of having the House vote on it.”

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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