BILL NUMBER: AB 1839	INTRODUCED
	BILL TEXT


INTRODUCED BY   Assembly Member Ma

                        FEBRUARY 22, 2012

   An act to amend Sections 4826, 4826.2, 4833, 4836, 4836.1, 4836.5,
4840, 4840.2, 4840.7, and 4840.9 of the Business and Professions
Code, relating to veterinary medicine.


	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   AB 1839, as introduced, Ma. Veterinary medicine: veterinary
assistants.
    Existing law, the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act, provides for
the licensure and registration of veterinarians and registered
veterinary technicians and the regulation of the practice of
veterinary medicine by the Veterinary Medical Board. The act also
permits unregistered assistants to carry out specified acts in the
veterinary care and treatment of animals, and authorizes the board to
regulate the veterinary care activities of unregistered assistants.
   This bill would instead refer to unregistered assistants as
veterinary assistants throughout the act.
   Existing law authorizes, until January 1, 2013, a registered
veterinary technician and an unregistered assistant to administer a
drug, including, but not limited to, a drug that is a controlled
substance, except for the induction of anesthesia, under specified
circumstances.
   This bill would make these provisions operative indefinitely, and
would authorize veterinary assistants to administer a controlled
substance only if specified requirements are satisfied, including
completion of a fingerprinting background check. The bill would also
authorize the board to limit veterinary assistants' access to
specified dangerous drugs, as defined.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  Section 4826 of the Business and Professions Code is
amended to read:
   4826.  A person practices veterinary medicine, surgery, and
dentistry, and the various branches thereof, when he or she does any
one of the following:
   (a) Represents himself or herself as engaged in the practice of
veterinary medicine, veterinary surgery, or veterinary dentistry in
any of its branches.
   (b) Diagnoses or prescribes a drug, medicine, appliance,
application, or treatment of whatever nature for the prevention, cure
or relief of a wound, fracture, bodily injury, or disease of
animals.
   (c) Administers a drug, medicine, appliance, application, or
treatment of whatever nature for the prevention, cure, or relief of a
wound, fracture, bodily injury, or disease of animals, except where
the medicine, appliance, application, or treatment is administered by
a registered veterinary technician or  an unregistered
  a veterinary  assistant at the direction of and
under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian subject to
Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 4832) or where the drug,
including, but not limited to, a drug that is a controlled substance,
is administered by a registered veterinary technician or  an
unregistered   a veterinary  assistant pursuant to
Section 4836.1. However, no person, other than a licensed
veterinarian, may induce anesthesia unless authorized by regulation
of the board.
   (d) Performs a surgical or dental operation upon an animal.
   (e) Performs any manual procedure for the diagnosis of pregnancy,
sterility, or infertility upon livestock or Equidae.
   (f) Uses any words, letters or titles in such connection or under
such circumstances as to induce the belief that the person using them
is engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine, veterinary
surgery, or veterinary dentistry. This use shall be prima facie
evidence of the intention to represent himself or herself as engaged
in the practice of veterinary medicine, veterinary surgery, or
veterinary dentistry.
  SEC. 2.  Section 4826.2 of the Business and Professions Code is
amended to read:
   4826.2.  Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a
veterinarian, registered veterinary technician, or  an
unregistered   a veterinary  assistant working
under the supervision of a veterinarian, may provide veterinary care
and treatment for any animal restricted pursuant to Section 2118 of
the Fish and Game Code. A veterinarian, registered veterinary
technician, or  an unregistered   a veterinary
 assistant working under the supervision of a veterinarian, may
lawfully possess one or more of the animals only for the period of
time that, in his or her judgment, veterinary care and treatment are
necessary. No veterinarian, registered veterinary technician, or
 unregistered   veterinary  assistant
working under the supervision of a veterinarian, has a duty to advise
law enforcement if he or she becomes aware that one or more of the
animals is possessed in the state. For the purposes of this section,
"veterinary care and treatment" does not include boarding when no
veterinary care or treatment is required.
  SEC. 3.  Section 4833 of the Business and Professions Code is
amended to read:
   4833.  (a) The committee shall advise and may assist the board in
the examination of applicants for veterinary technician registration.
The examination shall be held at least once a year at the times and
places designated by the board.
   (b) The committee may investigate and evaluate each applicant
applying for registration as a registered veterinary technician and
may recommend to the board for final determination the admission of
the applicant to the examination and eligibility for registration.
   (c) The committee may make recommendations to the board regarding
the establishment and operation of the continuing education
requirements authorized by Section 4838 of this article.
   (d) The committee shall advise and may assist the board in the
inspection and approval of all schools or institutions offering a
curriculum for training registered veterinary technicians.
   (e) The committee may advise and assist the board in developing
regulations to establish animal health care tasks and the appropriate
degree of supervision required for those tasks for registered
veterinary technicians and for  unregistered  
veterinary  assistants.
   (f) The committee may advise and assist the board in developing
regulations to define subdivision (c) of Section 4840, including, but
not limited to, procedures for citations and fines, in accordance
with Section 125.9.
   (g) This section shall become inoperative on the July 1 following
the initial appointment of a registered veterinary technician to the
board, and on the January 1 following that date is repealed, unless a
later enacted statute, that becomes operative on or before that
January 1, deletes or extends the dates on which it becomes
inoperative and is repealed.
  SEC. 4.  Section 4836 of the Business and Professions Code is
amended to read:
   4836.  (a) The board shall adopt regulations establishing animal
health care tasks and an appropriate degree of supervision required
for those tasks that may be performed only by a registered veterinary
technician or a licensed veterinarian.
   (b) The board also may adopt regulations establishing animal
health care tasks that may be performed by  an unregistered
  a veterinary  assistant as well as by a
registered veterinary technician or a licensed veterinarian. The
board shall establish an appropriate degree of supervision by a
registered veterinary technician or a licensed veterinarian over
 an unregistered   a veterinary  assistant
for any tasks established under this subdivision and the degree of
supervision for any of those tasks shall be higher than, or equal to,
the degree of supervision required when a registered veterinary
technician performs the task.
   (c) The board may adopt regulations, as needed, to define
subdivision (c) of Section 4840, including, but not limited to,
procedures for citations and fines, in accordance with Section 125.9.

  SEC. 5.  Section 4836.1 of the Business and Professions Code is
amended to read:
   4836.1.  (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a
registered veterinary technician or  an unregistered
  a veterinary  assistant may administer a drug,
including, but not limited to, a drug that is a controlled substance,
under the direct or indirect supervision of a licensed veterinarian
when done pursuant to the order, control, and full professional
responsibility of a licensed veterinarian. However, no person, other
than a licensed veterinarian, may induce anesthesia unless authorized
by regulation of the board. 
   (b) Access to controlled substances by veterinary assistants under
this section is limited to persons who have completed a state and
federal fingerprinting background check and who do not have any drug
or alcohol related felony convictions. The results of the background
check shall be retained in the personnel records of the employer and
made available to the Veterinary Medical Board and the Department of
Justice, upon their request.  
   (c) Notwithstanding subdivision (b), if the Veterinary Medical
Board, in consultation with the Board of Pharmacy, identifies a
dangerous drug, as defined in Section 4022, as a drug which has an
established pattern of being diverted, the Veterinary Medical Board
may restrict access to that drug by veterinary assistants. 

   (b) 
    (d)  For purposes of this section, the following
definitions apply:
   (1) "Controlled substance" has the same meaning as that term is
defined in Section 11007 of the Health and Safety Code.
   (2) "Direct supervision" has the same meaning as that term is
defined in subdivision (e) of Section 2034 of Title 16 of the
California Code of Regulations.
   (3) "Drug" has the same meaning as that term is defined in Section
11014 of the Health and Safety Code.
   (4) "Indirect supervision" has the same meaning as that term is
defined in subdivision (f) of Section 2034 of Title 16 of the
California Code of Regulations. 
   (c) This section shall remain in effect until January 1, 2013, and
as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted statute, which
is enacted before January 1, 2013, deletes or extends that date.

  SEC. 6.  Section 4836.5 of the Business and Professions Code is
amended to read:
   4836.5.  The board shall take action pursuant to Article 4
(commencing with Section 4875) of this chapter against any
veterinarian licensed or authorized to practice in this state who
permits any registered veterinary technician or  unregistered
  veterinary  assistant to perform any animal
health care services other than those allowed by this article.
  SEC. 7.  Section 4840 of the Business and Professions Code is
amended to read:
   4840.  (a) Registered veterinary technicians and 
unregistered   veterinary  assistants are approved
to perform those animal health care services prescribed by law under
the supervision of a veterinarian licensed or authorized to practice
in this state.
   (b) Registered veterinary technicians may perform animal health
care services on those animals impounded by a state, county, city, or
city and county agency pursuant to the direct order, written order,
or telephonic order of a veterinarian licensed or authorized to
practice in this state.
   (c) Registered veterinary technicians may apply for registration
from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration that authorizes the
direct purchase of sodium pentobarbital for the performance of
euthanasia as provided for in subdivision (d) of Section 4827 without
the supervision or authorization of a licensed veterinarian.
  SEC. 8.  Section 4840.2 of the Business and Professions Code is
amended to read:
   4840.2.  Registered veterinary technicians and 
unregistered   veterinary  assistants shall not
perform the following health care services:
   (a) Surgery.
   (b) Diagnosis and prognosis of animal diseases.
   (c) Prescribing of drugs, medicine and appliances.
  SEC. 9.  Section 4840.7 of the Business and Professions Code is
amended to read:
   4840.7.  (a) A registered veterinary technician who has been
examined by the board in the area of radiation safety and techniques
may operate radiographic equipment under the indirect supervision of
a licensed veterinarian.
   (b) (1)  An unregistered   A veterinary 
assistant who has been trained in the area of radiation safety and
techniques may operate radiographic equipment under the direct
supervision of a registered veterinary technician or a licensed
veterinarian.
   (2) The responsible managing licensee of a veterinary premises
shall maintain records of the training described in paragraph (1).
 An unregistered  A veterinary  assistant
for whom records of this training do not exist shall not operate
radiographic equipment.
   (3) The training records described in paragraph (2) shall be made
available to the board upon request and at the time of any inspection
of the veterinary premises.
  SEC. 10.  Section 4840.9 of the Business and Professions Code is
amended to read:
   4840.9.  Registered veterinary technicians and 
unregistered   veterinary  assistants may be
employed by any veterinarian licensed or authorized to practice in
this state or by any governmental agency which employs veterinarians.
However, the employer must be fully aware of the provisions of this
article as stated by regulations adopted by the board pursuant to
Section 4836.