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Sunset Continue Regulation Of Veterinary Practice

Concerning the continuation of the regulation of veterinary practice by the state board of veterinary medicine, and, in connection therewith, implementing the recommendations of the 2021 sunset report on the "Colorado Veterinary Practice Act" by the department of regulatory agencies, adding registration requirements for veterinary technicians, adding veterinary technicians to the state board of veterinary medicine, allowing certain unlicensed individuals to administer rabies vaccinations, and making an appropriation.
2022 Regular Session
Professions & Occupations
Bill Summary

Sunset Process - House Agriculture, Livestock, and Water Committee. The bill implements recommendations of the department of regulatory agencies, as specified in the department's sunset review of and report on the "Colorado Veterinary Practice Act" (practice act), as follows:

  • Continues the practice act for 11 years, until September 1, 2033 ( sections 1 and 2 of the bill);
  • Requires a veterinarian to notify the board of veterinary medicine (board) if the veterinarian suffers from a physical illness or condition or a behavioral or mental health disorder that renders the veterinarian unable to practice with reasonable skill and safety ( section 6 );
  • Repeals the requirement that the board send a letter of admonition by certified mail ( section 14 );
  • Requires veterinarians to create a written plan for the storage, security, and disposal of patient records ( section 18 ); and
  • If the board has reasonable cause to believe a veterinarian is unable to practice with reasonable skill and safety due to a physical condition, authorizes the board to order the veterinarian to submit to an examination and to suspend the veterinarian's license for failing to comply with the board's order ( section 20 ).

The bill makes other amendments to the practice act as follows:

  • Authorizes a person who is not a licensed veterinarian in this state to administer rabies vaccinations in a clinic setting under direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian, or through the indirect supervision of a licensed veterinarian if the person is working on behalf of an animal shelter for shelter-owned animals ( sections 9 and 22 );
  • Adds two members to the board who are veterinary technicians ( section 10 );
  • Requires credit hours of practice act jurisprudence as part of veterinarians' continuing education program and permits veterinarians to take nonbiomedical courses as part of the program ( section 12 );
  • Repeals and reenacts the veterinary peer health assistance program to reorganize existing provisions, to allow veterinary technicians access to the program and to require veterinary professionals, including veterinary technicians, to self-refer to the program upon arrest for a drug- or alcohol-related crime ( section 19 ); and
  • Creates the veterinary professional assistance program funded through licensing fees to provide counseling, education, coaching, and other services, as requested, to veterinarians and veterinary technicians concerning issues including physical and mental health and wellness, workplace concerns, and legal and financial issues ( section 19 ).

Section 21 creates the regulation of veterinary technicians. Effective January 1, 2024, a person who practices as a veterinary technician in this state must be registered by the board. To be registered, a person must have been certified by a national body. For an individual who is not yet nationally certified but who has been practicing as a veterinary technician, the board may issue a provisional registration of limited duration under specified circumstances. Veterinary technicians are subject to discipline by the board for engaging in conduct that is grounds for discipline.Section 21 gives title protection to veterinary technicians and grants standard registration, rule-making, and disciplinary powers to the board. Section 21 repeals the regulation of veterinary technicians on September 1, 2033, subject to and consistent with the sunset review of the practice act.Sections 22 through 29 replace "humane society" with "animal shelter" to update and make terminology consistent in statute.Sections 3 through 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, and 13 through 17 amend existing provisions throughout the practice act to include veterinary technicians, as applicable, and make other conforming amendments.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)

(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)


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Bill Text