Florida Senate - 2021                             CS for SB 1370
       By the Committee on Regulated Industries; and Senator Rodriguez
       580-02591-21                                          20211370c1
    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         defining the term “veterinary telemedicine”; creating
    6         s. 474.2021, F.S.; authorizing veterinarians to
    7         practice veterinary telemedicine; prohibiting
    8         veterinarians from prescribing controlled substances;
    9         providing exceptions; providing licensure requirements
   10         to practice veterinary telemedicine; providing
   11         jurisdiction of the Florida Board of Veterinary
   12         Medicine; providing construction; amending s. 474.203,
   13         F.S.; revising exceptions to who may immunize or treat
   14         an animal for certain diseases; amending s. 474.214,
   15         F.S.; revising grounds for disciplinary action against
   16         a veterinarian; amending s. 828.30, F.S.; authorizing
   17         employees, agents, or contractors of animal control
   18         authorities to administer rabies vaccinations under
   19         certain circumstances; providing that a supervising
   20         veterinarian assumes responsibility for any person
   21         working at his or her discretion or under his or her
   22         supervision; defining the term “indirect supervision”;
   23         providing requirements; authorizing a veterinarian who
   24         indirectly supervises the administration of the rabies
   25         vaccination to affix his or her signature stamp on a
   26         rabies vaccination certificate; providing an effective
   27         date.
   29  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   31         Section 1. Subsection (12) of section 474.202, Florida
   32  Statutes, is amended, and subsection (14) is added to that
   33  section, to read:
   34         474.202 Definitions.—As used in this chapter:
   35         (12) “Veterinarian/client/patient relationship” means a
   36  relationship where the veterinarian has assumed the
   37  responsibility for making medical judgments regarding the health
   38  of the animal and its need for medical treatment. Such
   39  relationship may be established in person or by means of
   40  veterinary telemedicine if audio-visual technology is used to
   41  establish such relationship. A physical examination is not
   42  required for the veterinarian to assume responsibility for
   43  making medical judgments or providing treatment.
   44         (14)“Veterinary telemedicine” means the practice of
   45  veterinary medicine in a remote setting, including through the
   46  use of telephone or audio-visual technology or by other means
   47  consistent with the veterinarian’s professional judgment, as
   48  long as the veterinarian/client/patient relationship is
   49  established either in person or by audio-visual technology.
   50         Section 2. Section 474.2021, Florida Statutes, is created
   51  to read:
   52         474.2021Veterinary telemedicine.—
   53         (1)A veterinarian may practice veterinary telemedicine.
   54         (2)A veterinarian may not prescribe controlled substances
   55  if the veterinarian/client/patient relationship has been
   56  established remotely under this section and the veterinarian has
   57  not previously performed a physical examination, unless the
   58  controlled substance is prescribed for the following:
   59         (a)Inpatient treatment at an animal clinic or hospital; or
   60         (b)The treatment of a patient receiving hospice services.
   61         (3)A veterinarian must hold a current license to practice
   62  veterinary medicine in this state in order to practice
   63  veterinary telemedicine.
   64         (4)The board has jurisdiction over a veterinarian
   65  practicing veterinary telemedicine in this state, regardless of
   66  where the veterinarian’s physical offices are located. The
   67  practice of veterinary telemedicine in accordance with this
   68  section is not a standard of care violation, and a veterinarian
   69  may not be disciplined solely for practicing veterinary
   70  telemedicine.
   71         Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of section
   72  474.203, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   73         474.203 Exemptions.—This chapter does not apply to:
   74         (5)(a) Any person, or the person’s regular employee,
   75  administering to the ills or injuries of her or his own animals,
   76  including, but not limited to, castration, spaying, and
   77  dehorning of herd animals, unless title is transferred or
   78  employment provided for the purpose of circumventing this law.
   79  This exemption does not apply to any person licensed as a
   80  veterinarian in another state or foreign jurisdiction and
   81  practicing temporarily in this state. However, except as
   82  provided in s. 828.30, only a veterinarian may immunize or treat
   83  an animal for diseases that are communicable to humans and that
   84  are of public health significance.
   86  For the purposes of chapters 465 and 893, persons exempt
   87  pursuant to subsection (1), subsection (2), or subsection (4)
   88  are deemed to be duly licensed practitioners authorized by the
   89  laws of this state to prescribe drugs or medicinal supplies.
   90         Section 4. Paragraph (y) of subsection (1) of section
   91  474.214, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   92         474.214 Disciplinary proceedings.—
   93         (1) The following acts shall constitute grounds for which
   94  the disciplinary actions in subsection (2) may be taken:
   95         (y) Using the privilege of ordering, prescribing, or making
   96  available medicinal drugs or drugs as defined in chapter 465, or
   97  controlled substances as defined in chapter 893, for use other
   98  than for the specific treatment of animal patients for which
   99  there is a documented veterinarian/client/patient relationship.
  100  Pursuant thereto, The veterinarian shall:
  101         1. Have sufficient knowledge of the animal to initiate at
  102  least a general or preliminary diagnosis of the medical
  103  condition of the animal, which means that the veterinarian is
  104  personally acquainted with the keeping and caring of the animal
  105  and has recently seen the animal or has made medically
  106  appropriate and timely visits to the premises where the animal
  107  is kept.
  108         2. Be available or provide for followup care and treatment
  109  in case of adverse reactions or failure of the regimen of
  110  therapy.
  111         3. Maintain records which document patient visits,
  112  diagnosis, treatment, and other relevant information required
  113  under this chapter.
  114         Section 5. Subsections (1) and (3) of section 828.30,
  115  Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
  116         828.30 Rabies vaccination of dogs, cats, and ferrets.—
  117         (1)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), all dogs, cats,
  118  and ferrets 4 months of age or older must be vaccinated by a
  119  licensed veterinarian against rabies with a vaccine that is
  120  licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture for use
  121  in those species.
  122         (b) An employee, an agent, or a contractor of an animal
  123  control authority acting under the indirect supervision of a
  124  veterinarian may vaccinate impounded animals that will be
  125  transferred, rescued, fostered, adopted, or reclaimed by the
  126  owner. As used in this subsection, the term “indirect
  127  supervision,” means that the supervising veterinarian is
  128  available for consultation by telecommunications but is not
  129  required to be on the premises during such consultation. The
  130  supervising veterinarian assumes responsibility for the
  131  veterinary care given to the animal by any person working under
  132  or at his or her direction and supervision.
  133         (c) The owner of every dog, cat, and ferret shall have the
  134  animal revaccinated 12 months after the initial vaccination.
  135  Thereafter, the interval between vaccinations shall conform to
  136  the vaccine manufacturer’s directions. The cost of vaccination
  137  must be borne by the animal’s owner. Evidence of circulating
  138  rabies virus neutralizing antibodies may shall not be used as a
  139  substitute for current vaccination in managing rabies exposure
  140  or determining the need for booster vaccinations.
  141         (3) Upon vaccination against rabies, the licensed
  142  veterinarian shall provide the animal’s owner and the animal
  143  control authority with a rabies vaccination certificate. Each
  144  animal control authority and veterinarian shall use the “Rabies
  145  Vaccination Certificate” of the National Association of State
  146  Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) or an equivalent form
  147  approved by the local government that contains all the
  148  information required by the NASPHV Rabies Vaccination
  149  Certificate. The veterinarian who administers the rabies
  150  vaccination, or who supervises an employee, an agent, or a
  151  contractor of an animal control authority administering the
  152  rabies vaccination, vaccine to an animal as required under this
  153  section may affix his or her signature stamp in lieu of an
  154  actual signature.
  155         Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.