Friday, August 6, 2010

AB 1980 ~ Please Act

A bit redundant, perhaps (blog, newsletter and Facebook), but we're passionate about this matter! Please read.

Thank you,


DAP said...

August 3, 2010

Debranne Pattillo, President and Founder
Equinology INC and Caninology
P.O. Box 1192
Gualala, CA. 95445


Ms. Pattillo,

Thank you for speaking with CVMA’s lobbyists this week regarding AB 1980 by Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, which seeks to make a series of reforms to the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act. Several members of the animal massage community, and for that matter, the animal chiropractic community, have raised concerns with an amendment in the bill in Section 4826 of the Practice Act. This letter seeks to provide you with some additional clarification for your membership and students.

AB 1980 is jointly sponsored by the California Veterinary Medical Board, the California Veterinary Medical Association, and the California Registered Veterinary Technician Association. Section 4826 of the Business and Professions Code (Veterinary Practice Act) is being amended (in italics) thus:

4826. A person practices veterinary medicine, surgery, and dentistry and the various branches thereof, when he or she does any one of the following….
(f) Performs physical rehabilitation or musculoskeletal manipulation upon an animal, unless otherwise authorized by regulation of the board.

The intent behind adding “f” to Section 4826 of the Practice Act is to give the Veterinary Medical Board two authorities: 1) the ability to crack down on unlicensed activity by lay people purporting to be “animal physical therapists” and “animal chiropractors” and 2) the ability to write regulations regarding the animal physical therapists. (The animal chiropractic regulations – Section 2038 of the California Code of Regulations – have been in effect for over a decade.) Legislative Counsel specifically recommended that we include the phrase “unless otherwise authorized by regulation of the board,” or (f) would be restricted to only veterinarians who could perform these tasks. Clearly, we did not intend to limit this provision to veterinarians only, and so we concurred with Legislative Counsel’s recommended language.

The bill is totally and completely silent with regard to animal massage therapists and it will not impact your ability to practice whatsoever. Animal massage is specifically and intentionally not mentioned in these amendments. Perhaps some of the confusion on the bill has come from the use of the phrase “musculoskeletal manipulation.” This is a term that is contained in Section 2038 of the California Code of Regulations, relative to animal chiropractors, however, when we drafted this section years ago, we were told that the term “chiropractic” is a protected term by the industry and may not be used by any of the other healing arts professions. Thus, the VMB adopted the term “musculoskeletal manipulation” instead.

Lastly, the addition of (f) to Section 4826 is, in no way, intended to impede the work of legitimate practitioners who perform work on animals. Rather, it seeks to highlight those “bad actors” in the world of animal chiropractic or animal physical rehabilitation who have no training or certification, and who are not safely working on animals.

We appreciate your recent conversation with us and we hope that this letter further assists your efforts in alleviating some of the recent concerns raised by Equinology or Caninology members/students. Please feel free to share this letter with those interested parties you find appropriate.


Valerie Fenstermaker, CVMA Executive Director

Valerie Fenstermaker I Executive Director
California Veterinary Medical Association
800.655.2862 x32 I Fax: 916.646.9176

Anonymous said...

My dog Bruiser, before he came into my life, was severly beaten by three boys under the age of 12. Bruiser was only 10 months old and was in a coma. He sustained two fractured ribs, a punctured lung, a dislocated vertebrae and severe head trauma. He was barely clinging to life. The emergency veterinarian called a certified veterinary chiropractitioner, once Bruiser had stabilized. The chiropractor relocated the vertebrae and Bruiser was able to right his head back to a neutral position. Shortly after the abuse I adopted Bruiser. He has made a full recovery and I will always be eternally grateful to botht he veterinarian and his chiropractor. They were a great team!