Florida Senate - 2021                                    SB 1370
       By Senator Rodriguez
       39-00805A-21                                          20211370__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to the medical treatment of animals;
    3         amending s. 474.202, F.S.; revising the definition of
    4         the term “veterinarian/client/patient relationship”;
    5         amending s. 474.203, F.S.; revising exceptions to who
    6         may immunize or treat an animal for certain diseases;
    7         amending s. 474.214, F.S.; revising grounds for
    8         disciplinary action against a veterinarian; amending
    9         s. 828.30, F.S.; authorizing employees, agents, or
   10         contractors of animal control authorities to
   11         administer rabies vaccinations under certain
   12         circumstances; providing that a supervising
   13         veterinarian assumes responsibility for any person
   14         working at his or her discretion or under his or her
   15         supervision; defining the term “indirect supervision”;
   16         providing requirements; authorizing a veterinarian who
   17         indirectly supervises the administration of the rabies
   18         vaccination to affix his or her signature stamp on a
   19         rabies vaccination certificate; providing an effective
   20         date.
   22  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   24         Section 1. Subsection (12) of section 474.202, Florida
   25  Statutes, is amended to read:
   26         474.202 Definitions.—As used in this chapter:
   27         (12) “Veterinarian/client/patient relationship” means a
   28  relationship where the veterinarian has assumed the
   29  responsibility for making medical judgments regarding the health
   30  of the animal and its need for medical treatment. Such
   31  relationship may be established in person, by telephone, or by
   32  other means consistent with the individual veterinarian’s
   33  professional judgment. A physical examination is not required
   34  for the veterinarian to assume responsibility for making medical
   35  judgments or providing treatment.
   36         Section 2. Paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of section
   37  474.203, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   38         474.203 Exemptions.—This chapter does not apply to:
   39         (5)(a) Any person, or the person’s regular employee,
   40  administering to the ills or injuries of her or his own animals,
   41  including, but not limited to, castration, spaying, and
   42  dehorning of herd animals, unless title is transferred or
   43  employment provided for the purpose of circumventing this law.
   44  This exemption does not apply to any person licensed as a
   45  veterinarian in another state or foreign jurisdiction and
   46  practicing temporarily in this state. However, except as
   47  provided in s. 828.30, only a veterinarian may immunize or treat
   48  an animal for diseases that are communicable to humans and that
   49  are of public health significance.
   51  For the purposes of chapters 465 and 893, persons exempt
   52  pursuant to subsection (1), subsection (2), or subsection (4)
   53  are deemed to be duly licensed practitioners authorized by the
   54  laws of this state to prescribe drugs or medicinal supplies.
   55         Section 3. Paragraph (y) of subsection (1) of section
   56  474.214, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   57         474.214 Disciplinary proceedings.—
   58         (1) The following acts shall constitute grounds for which
   59  the disciplinary actions in subsection (2) may be taken:
   60         (y) Using the privilege of ordering, prescribing, or making
   61  available medicinal drugs or drugs as defined in chapter 465, or
   62  controlled substances as defined in chapter 893, for use other
   63  than for the specific treatment of animal patients for which
   64  there is a documented veterinarian/client/patient relationship.
   65  Pursuant thereto, The veterinarian shall:
   66         1. Have sufficient knowledge of the animal to initiate at
   67  least a general or preliminary diagnosis of the medical
   68  condition of the animal, which means that the veterinarian is
   69  personally acquainted with the keeping and caring of the animal
   70  and has recently seen the animal or has made medically
   71  appropriate and timely visits to the premises where the animal
   72  is kept.
   73         2. Be available or provide for followup care and treatment
   74  in case of adverse reactions or failure of the regimen of
   75  therapy.
   76         3. Maintain records which document patient visits,
   77  diagnosis, treatment, and other relevant information required
   78  under this chapter.
   79         Section 4. Subsections (1) and (3) of section 828.30,
   80  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
   81         828.30 Rabies vaccination of dogs, cats, and ferrets.—
   82         (1)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), all dogs, cats,
   83  and ferrets 4 months of age or older must be vaccinated by a
   84  licensed veterinarian against rabies with a vaccine that is
   85  licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture for use
   86  in those species.
   87         (b) An employee, agent, or contractor of an animal control
   88  authority acting under the indirect supervision of a
   89  veterinarian may vaccinate impounded animals that will be
   90  transferred, rescued, fostered, adopted, or reclaimed by the
   91  owner. As used in this subsection, the term “indirect
   92  supervision,” means that the supervising veterinarian is
   93  available for consultation by telecommunications but is not
   94  required to be on the premises during such consultation. The
   95  supervising veterinarian assumes responsibility for the
   96  veterinary care given to the animal by any person working under
   97  or at his or her direction and supervision.
   98         (c) The owner of every dog, cat, and ferret shall have the
   99  animal revaccinated 12 months after the initial vaccination.
  100  Thereafter, the interval between vaccinations shall conform to
  101  the vaccine manufacturer’s directions. The cost of vaccination
  102  must be borne by the animal’s owner. Evidence of circulating
  103  rabies virus neutralizing antibodies may shall not be used as a
  104  substitute for current vaccination in managing rabies exposure
  105  or determining the need for booster vaccinations.
  106         (3) Upon vaccination against rabies, the licensed
  107  veterinarian shall provide the animal’s owner and the animal
  108  control authority with a rabies vaccination certificate. Each
  109  animal control authority and veterinarian shall use the “Rabies
  110  Vaccination Certificate” of the National Association of State
  111  Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) or an equivalent form
  112  approved by the local government that contains all the
  113  information required by the NASPHV Rabies Vaccination
  114  Certificate. The veterinarian who administers the rabies
  115  vaccination, or who supervises an employee, agent, or contractor
  116  of an animal control authority administering the rabies
  117  vaccination, vaccine to an animal as required under this section
  118  may affix his or her signature stamp in lieu of an actual
  119  signature.
  120         Section 5. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.