Current legislation may prevent mobile veterinarians from providing complete care to their patients. The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) makes it illegal for veterinarians to take and use controlled substances outside of the locations where they are registered, often their clinics or homes.
This means that it is illegal for veterinarians to carry and use vital medications for pain management, anesthesia and euthanasia on farms, in house calls, in veterinary mobile clinics, or ambulatory response situations.
As someone who has taken advantage of the service of mobile veterinarians for decades, I can’t sing the praises of the advantages of having your vet come to your home enough – especially for cats. This is why I urge you to support the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2013.(H.R. 1528), which would amend the CSA that currently prohibits veterinarians from transporting controlled substances to treat their animal patients outside of their registered locations (usually a veterinary clinic, or the mobile veterinarian’s home base).
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which enforces the law, has informed organized veterinary medicine that without a statutory change, veterinarians are in violation of the CSA and cannot legally provide complete veterinary care. The DEA has already notified some veterinarians in California and Washington State that they are in violation of this law.
When it was time to make the difficult decision to let Buckley and Amber go, my vet came to my home. Both times, it made what is without a doubt the most devastating thing a cat guardian will go through a peaceful experience. Rather than having to stress my cats by transporting them to a clinic, and having them die in the sterile environment of a veterinary exam room, they were able to die in the comfort of their familiar home, in a place that they loved best. I can’t even imagine not having that option in the future.
It only takes a minute to email or call your representative. The American Veterinary Medical Association provides a template for an email or letter on their Legislative Action Center website.
I urge you to help ensure that veterinarians can continue to provide complete care to all of their animal patients in all settings. Please support this bill.