BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

        |Hearing Date:June 21, 2010         |Bill No:AB                         |
        |                                   |1980                               |

                               AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
                         Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod, Chair

                         Bill No:        AB 1980Author:Hayashi
                        As Amended:June 7, 2010  Fiscal:   Yes

        SUBJECT:  Healing arts:  Veterinary medicine.
        SUMMARY:  Changes the composition of the Veterinary Medical Board  
        (VMB);  makes permanent the "multidisciplinary committee" of the VMB  
        and provides for additional duties of the committee; eliminates the  
        Registered Veterinary Technician Committee; specifies that the  
        practice of veterinary medicine also includes physical rehabilitation  
        or musculoskeletal manipulation upon an animal, unless otherwise  
        authorized by regulation of the VMB; prohibits the use of the title  
        "registered veterinary technician" unless registered with the VMB;   
        requires training for an "unregistered assistant" in the use of  
        radiation safety and techniques before they may operate radiographic  
        equipment; clarifies the reporting requirement for veterinarians who  
        must  report any animal injuries which occurred at a rodeo event;  
        allows students in their final year of study in a veterinary  
        technology program to perform tasks of a registered veterinary  
        technician; exempts from liability veterinarians or registered  
        veterinarians who provide services during any state of war emergency,  
        a state of emergency, or local emergency.

         NOTE  :  This measure is a  new   bill  and was amended in this Committee.   
        The former language of this measure also dealt with the Veterinary  
        Medicine Practice Act.
        Existing law, the Business and Professions Code:
        1) Provides for the examination, licensing, and regulation of  
           approximately 9,800 veterinarians and 4,300 registered  
           veterinary technicians by the VMB in the Department of Consumer  


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        2) Establishes the VMB which consists of seven members, three of  
           whom are public members and four of whom are licensed  
           veterinarians, and requires the Governor to appoint the four  
           licensed veterinarians and the Senate Committee on Rules and  
           the Speaker of the Assembly to each appoint a public member,  
           and specifies the requirements for the veterinarian and public  
           members of the VMB. 

        3) Provides that the VMB shall become inoperative on July 1, 2011,  
           and, as of January 1, 2012, is repealed, unless a later enacted  
           statute, which becomes effective on or before January 1, 2012,  
           deletes or extends the dates on which it becomes operative and  
           is repealed.  Subjects the VMB to the process of sunset review  
           prior to its repeal.

        4) Requires the VMB to appoint a voluntary, advisory  
           multidisciplinary committee of no more than nine members to  
           assist, advise, and make recommendations for the implementation  
           of rules and regulations necessary to ensure proper  
           administration and enforcement of the Veterinary Medicine  
           Practice Act (VMP Act), and provides that that the  
           multidisciplinary committee shall become inoperative on July 1,  
           2011, and repealed as of January 1, 2012.

        5) Requires the VMB to establish an advisory committee on issues  
           pertaining to the practice of veterinary technicians, to be  
           known as the Registered Veterinary Technician (RVT) Committee,  
           and provides that the duties of the RVT Committee include,  
           among other things, advising and assisting the VMB in the  
           examination of applicants for veterinary technician  
           registration, the inspection and approval of schools, and  
           developing regulations to establish animal health care tasks  
           and the appropriate degree of supervision.

        6) Requires that the VMB shall, by means of examination, ascertain  
           the professional qualifications of all applicants for licensure  
           to practice veterinary medicine in this state and shall issue a  
           license to every person whom it finds to be qualified.

        7) Prohibits the practice of veterinary medicine without a license  
           and specifies that a person practices veterinary medicine when  
           he or she, among other things, represents himself or herself as  
           engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine or administers   
           a treatment of whatever nature for the cure or relief of a  
           bodily injury or disease of an animal.


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        8) Requires the examination for veterinarians to consist of a  
           licensing examination that is administered on a national basis,  
           a state board examination, and an examination concerning the  
           statutes and regulations of the VMP Act administered by the  

        9) Provides that any person performing any of the tasks as  
           designated by the VMB and any person representing himself or  
           herself as a RVT in this state, shall hold a valid unexpired  
           certificate of registration as provided by the VMB.

        10)Specifies that a registered veterinary technician means a  
           person who is registered by the VMB if they have passed a  
           written and practical examination, as specified, and have met  
           the following requirements:

            a)    Be at least 18 years of age.

            b)    Furnish satisfactory evidence of graduation from a  
              postsecondary institution approved by the VMB, and if a  
              private postsecondary institution, also approved by the  
              Bureau of Private Postsecondary and Vocational Education.

            c)    Completed the  equivalent  of education and clinical  
              experience as determined by the VMB.

        11)Authorizes an RVT who has been examined by the VMB in the area  
           of radiation safety and techniques to operate radiographic  
           equipment under the indirect supervision of a licensed  
           veterinarian, and allows an "unregistered assistant" to operate  
           radiographic equipment under the direct supervision of a RVT or  
           licensed veterinarian.

        Existing law, the Penal Code:  Requires the attending or on-call  
        veterinarian at a rodeo event to submit a brief written listing of any  
        animal injury requiring veterinary treatment to the VMB within 48  
        hours of the conclusion of the event.

        Existing law, the Government Code:  Exempts certain healing arts  
        practitioners from liability for specified medical services rendered  
        during a state of war, state of emergency, or local emergency.
        This bill:

        1) Adds one RVT to the board, to be appointed by the Governor, and  
           specifies that the RVT shall be a bona fide resident of this state  


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           for a period of at least five years immediately preceding his or  
           her appointment and shall have been registered with the VMB and  
           actually engaged in the practice of RVT during that period. 

        2) Extends the inoperative date and repeal date of the VMB to January  
           1, 2014.

        3) Provides that the current multidisciplinary committee of the VMB  
           shall be re-named the "Veterinary Medicine Multidisciplinary  
           Advisory Committee" (VMMA Committee) and that in addition to its  
           current responsibilities it shall also assist the board in its  
           examination, licensure, and registration programs.  

        4) Prescribes the VMMA Committee composition and provides that it  
           shall consist of 7 members, 4 licensed veterinarians, 2 registered  
           veterinary technicians, and 1 public member, and requires members  
           to serve for 3-year terms, as specified.  Also authorizes the VMB  
           to remove a member of the VMMA Committee for continued neglect of  
           duty, incompetence, or unprofessional conduct. 

        5) Provides that the VMMA Committee shall represent a sufficient cross  
           section of the interests in veterinary medicine in order to address  
           the issues before it, as determined by the VMB, including  
           veterinarians, RVTs, and members of the public. 

        6) Removes the inoperative date and repeal date of the VMMA Committee,  
           thereby making the committee operative indefinitely.   

        7) Makes the RVT Committee inoperative as of July 1 following the  
           initial appointment of a RVT to the VMB.

        8) Provides that a person also practices veterinary medicine when he  
           or she performs physical rehabilitation or musculoskeletal  
           manipulation upon an animal, unless otherwise authorized by  
           regulation or the VMB.

        9) Adds the reporting requirement under the Penal Code to the VMP Act  
           and would specify that this requirement applies regardless of  
           whether the attending or on-call veterinarian renders the treatment  
           to the animal, also requires that a veterinarian who subsequently  
           renders treatment to an animal known to be injured at a rodeo event  
           to report to the VMB within 7 days, and requires the report to  
           consist of specified information and for the VMB to post a form on  
           its website for purposes of this requirement.

        10)Prohibits a person from using the title "registered veterinary  


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           technician" or "veterinary technician," or any other words,  
           letters, or symbols, including, but not limited to, the  
           abbreviation "R.V.T.," with the intent to represent that the person  
           is authorized to act as a registered veterinary technician, unless  
           he or she has met the specified requirements.

        11)Requires an "unregistered assistant" to be  trained  in the area of  
           radiation safety and techniques in order to operate radiographic  
           equipment under the direct supervision of a RVT or licensed  
           veterinarian and would require the responsible managing licensee of  
           the veterinary premises to maintain records of that training.  If  
           records do not exist of this training then the "unregistered  
           assistant" shall not operate radiographic equipment.  The training  
           records shall be made available to the VMB upon request and at the  
           time of any inspection of the veterinary premises.

        12)Provides that the requirements for examination and registration as  
           a RVT shall not apply to students in the clinical portion of their  
           final year of study in a board-approved California veterinary  
           technology program who perform the job tasks for RVTs as part of  
           their educational experience, including students both on and off  
           campus acting under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian "in  
           good standing," as defined.  The VMB shall adopt regulations  
           defining the parameters of supervision for these students. 

        13)Makes other conforming technical and clarifying changes to the VMP  

        14)(Government Code) Similar to other health care practitioners,  
           exempts veterinarians and RVTs for services rendered to animals  
           during a state of war, state of emergency, or local emergency if  
           provided at the express or implied request of any responsible state  
           or local official or agency. 

        FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown.  This measure has been keyed "fiscal" by  
        Legislative Counsel.

        1. Purpose.  The California Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) and the  
           California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) are Co-Sponsors of  
           this measure.  According to the Sponsors, this measure is the  
           result of more than six months of collaboration between the VMB,  
           the CVMA and the California Registered Veterinary Technician  
           Association (CaRVTA).  All three organizations identified segments  


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           within the VMP Act that needed clarification or revision.

        The Sponsors indicate that the measure, among other things, provides a  
           temporary, limited sunset date for the VMB, and increases the  
           membership on the board by one position to allow a RVT to have a  
           voice on the board.  The bill also makes several important changes  
           to a very effective Multidiscipline Advisory Committee that was  
           established in 2008, including adding an additional RVT to that  
           committee, reducing the membership of the committee by two members,  
           making the committee permanent, and collapsing another advisory  
           committee for cost savings and efficiency.

        The Sponsors further state that the bill makes revisions to the  
           current requirements for veterinarians to report injuries at  
           rodeos.  Specifically, injuries occurring at a rodeo, but  
           subsequently treated by a veterinarian off of the premises of a  
           rodeo, must also be reported to the VMB.  The bill, as noted by the  
           Sponsors, requires an employer to document the training of  
           employees on radiographic equipment and to make the paperwork  
           available to the VMB on request.  The bill also strengthens the  
           Practice Act in the area of unlicensed activity surrounding animal  
           physical therapy and musculoskeletal manipulation.  Finally, the  
           language is paralleled after the immunity provisions currently  
           provided in the Government Code for physicians, dentists, etc., who  
           assist under these same types of emergency scenarios.

        The Sponsors believe that this measure is a well conceived consensus  
           product that will improve collaboration and enhance efficiency  
           within the VMB structure, as well as some much needed  
           clarifications to the existing Practice Act.

        2. Related Legislation.   AB 107  (Galgiani, Chapter 80, Statutes of  
           2009) clarified the appointment of members to the VMB by the  
           Governor;  required the VMB to offer both a written and practical  
           examination at least twice a year until January 1, 2011, and after  
           that date, to offer a national examination and a state specific  
           examination on animal health care tasks; made other changes related  
           to reciprocity and temporary licensing requirements for  
           out-of-state veterinarians; clarified the enforcement actions that  
           may be taken against a registered veterinarian technician; and,  
           made other technical and conforming changes to the VMP Act.

         SB 1584  (Padilla, Chapter 529, Statutes of 2008) increased the fees  
           charged for licensing of veterinarians and registration of RVTs;  
           required the VMB to appoint a voluntary, advisory,  
           multidisciplinary committee to assist, advise, and make  


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                                                                         Page 7

           recommendations for the implementation of rules and regulations  
           necessary to ensure proper administration of the VMP Act; specified  
           changes in the membership terms and the composition of the RVT  
           Committee; amended the RVT exam eligibility requirements; required  
           the VMB to prioritize its investigative and prosecutorial resources  
           and establish a priority list for investigative and prosecutorial  
           resources; required the VMB to report annually and make publicly  
           available the number of disciplinary actions it takes, as  
           specified; made changes to the inspection and enforcement programs  
           of the VMB.

        3. Arguments in Support.  The  CaRVTA  is pleased to support this  
           measure and believes it accomplishes many of the long-standing  
           goals, the most important being adding a RVT to the VMB.  The  
           CaRVTA is also pleased that veterinary technician students will be  
           able to perform duties reserved for RVTs as part of their course of  
           study once appropriate regulations are written.  Another important  
           provision, as indicated by CaRVTA is the requirement for  
           documentation of radiation safety training for unregistered  
           assistants.  The CaRVTA considers this particular provision  
           particularly important, since many veterinarians have been unaware  
           of the requirement of such training, which involves the safety of  
           both the assistants and the patients.

         Action for Animals  (AfA) is in strong support of this measure to amend  
           and improve the VMP Act, and in particular provisions which deal  
           with the rodeo reporting requirement for veterinarians.  AfA points  
           out that California boasts one of the best and most progressive  
           rodeo animal welfare laws in the country but astoundingly in the  
           ten years of the law's existence, a total of only  eight  such  
           reports have been submitted to the VMB.  In light of the 60  
           professional rodeos held annually in California, plus probably  
           double that number of amateur events, and untold number of  
           "charreadas" (the Mexican-style rodeos), there should be a minimum  
           of 50-60 such reports submitted annually, as argued by AfA.  In  
           some instances AfA questioned veterinarians about reporting animal  
           injuries they observed and they were unaware the law existed, or  
           their obligations to report the animal injuries.  The AfA believes  
           that these proposed changes to the Veterinary Practice Act to  
           include these reporting requirements should improve things  
           considerably.  "It is a real good step in the right direction and  
           will undoubtedly help ameliorate the plight of rodeo animals, and  
           help educate rodeo veterinarians."

        4. Suggested Technical Amendment.  On page 9, lines 27 and 28, strike  
           the following:


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        "  regardless of whether the veterinarian provides treatment to the  
           animal  ."

        This is redundant and confusing language.  The attending veterinarian  
           would already be treating the animal and the on-call veterinarian  
           would also be treating the animal, and if not, then would not be  
           aware of the animal injury and therefore should not be required to  
           report.  Under either circumstance, however, the attending  
           veterinarian or on-call veterinarian at a rodeo event would still  
           have to report any animal injury if they have knowledge that the  
           injury occurred at the rodeo.


        California Veterinary Medical Association (Co-Sponsor)
        California Veterinary Medical Board (Co-Sponsor)
        Action for Animals
        California Registered Veterinary Technicians Association

         Opposition:  None on file as of June 16, 2010.

        Consultant: Bill Gage