The U.S. House of Representatives July 8 passed the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, which allows veterinarians to transport, administer and dispense controlled substances and medications outside of their registered offices and hospitals.
The bill, passed by a voice vote, is sponsored by Representatives Kurt Schrader of Oregon and Ted Yoho of Florida, who are both veterinarians. The measure was passed earlier this year by the U.S. Senate. The American Horse Council has strongly supported the bill.
The Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, which amends the Controlled Substances Act, ensures that equine veterinarians have the ability to provide mobile or ambulatory services in the field to the horse community as they have traditionally.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) changed its interpretation of provisions of the Controlled Substances Act regarding what veterinarians may carry with them and has stated it now believes it is illegal for veterinarians to transport controlled substances and medications for use outside of their registered locations, such as an animal hospital.
But equine veterinarians often provide mobile services and treat horses at farms, training facilities, horse shows, or racetracks. In many cases it is not possible for owners to bring their horses to a clinic or hospital. For this reason, veterinarians have for years carried any medications they may need with them secured in their vehicle. Their ability to do this and provide care to horses in the field is in jeopardy without this legislation.
This bill now goes to President Barack Obama, and he is expected to sign it into law in the near future.