Florida Senate - 2021 CS for CS for SB 1370
By the Committees on Agriculture; and Regulated Industries; and
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; specifying the
8 services a veterinarian may provide without first
9 establishing a veterinarian/client/patient
10 relationship by a physical examination; prohibiting
11 veterinarians from prescribing controlled substances
12 under certain circumstances; providing exceptions;
13 providing licensure requirements to practice
14 veterinary telemedicine; providing jurisdiction of the
15 Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine; providing
16 construction; amending s. 474.203, F.S.; revising
17 exceptions to who may immunize or treat an animal for
18 certain diseases; amending s. 474.214, F.S.; revising
19 grounds for disciplinary action against a
20 veterinarian; amending s. 828.30, F.S.; authorizing
21 employees, agents, or contractors of animal control
22 authorities to administer rabies vaccinations under
23 certain circumstances; providing that a supervising
24 veterinarian assumes responsibility for any person
25 working at his or her discretion or under his or her
26 supervision; defining the term “indirect supervision”;
27 providing requirements; authorizing a veterinarian who
28 indirectly supervises the administration of the rabies
29 vaccination to affix his or her signature stamp on a
30 rabies vaccination certificate; providing an effective
33 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
35 Section 1. Subsection (12) of section 474.202, Florida
36 Statutes, is amended, and subsection (14) is added to that
37 section, to read:
38 474.202 Definitions.—As used in this chapter:
39 (12) “Veterinarian/client/patient relationship” means a
40 relationship where the veterinarian has assumed the
41 responsibility for making medical judgments regarding the health
42 of the animal and its need for medical treatment. Such
43 relationship may be established in person or by means of
44 veterinary telemedicine if audio-visual technology is used to
45 establish such relationship.
46 (14) “Veterinary telemedicine” means the practice of
47 veterinary medicine in a remote setting, including through the
48 use of telephone or audio-visual technology or by other means
49 consistent with the veterinarian’s professional judgment, as
50 long as the veterinarian/client/patient relationship is
51 established either in person or by audio-visual technology.
52 Section 2. Section 474.2021, Florida Statutes, is created
53 to read:
54 474.2021 Veterinary telemedicine.—
55 (1) A veterinarian may practice veterinary telemedicine. A
56 physical examination is not required for the veterinarian to
57 assume responsibility for making medical judgments or providing
58 treatment by means of veterinary telemedicine in a manner
59 consistent with the veterinary standard of care.
60 (2)(a) A veterinarian who establishes a
61 veterinarian/client/patient relationship without a physical
62 examination may only provide the following services through
63 veterinary telemedicine:
64 1. Triage of patients in first aid and emergency cases.
65 2. Consultation and prescription of drugs for the following
66 areas of care: nutrition, training, dermatological conditions,
67 and anxiety.
68 (b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a veterinarian may not
69 prescribe drugs for extralabel use or veterinary feed directive
70 drugs without a veterinarian/client/patient relationship that is
71 established through a physical examination and is otherwise
72 consistent with federal law.
73 (3) A veterinarian may not prescribe controlled substances
74 if the veterinarian/client/patient relationship has been
75 established by means of veterinary telemedicine under this
76 section and the veterinarian has not previously performed a
77 physical examination.
78 (4) A veterinarian must hold a current license to practice
79 veterinary medicine in this state in order to practice
80 veterinary telemedicine.
81 (5) The board has jurisdiction over a veterinarian
82 practicing veterinary telemedicine in this state, regardless of
83 where the veterinarian’s physical offices are located. The
84 practice of veterinary telemedicine in accordance with this
85 section is not itself a standard of care violation, and a
86 veterinarian may not be disciplined solely for practicing
87 veterinary telemedicine. The same veterinary standard of care
88 applies to services provided through veterinary telemedicine as
89 applies to veterinary care provided during an in-person visit.
90 Section 3. Paragraph (a) of subsection (5) of section
91 474.203, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
92 474.203 Exemptions.—This chapter does not apply to:
93 (5)(a) Any person, or the person’s regular employee,
94 administering to the ills or injuries of her or his own animals,
95 including, but not limited to, castration, spaying, and
96 dehorning of herd animals, unless title is transferred or
97 employment provided for the purpose of circumventing this law.
98 This exemption does not apply to any person licensed as a
99 veterinarian in another state or foreign jurisdiction and
100 practicing temporarily in this state. However, except as
101 provided in s. 828.30, only a veterinarian may immunize or treat
102 an animal for diseases that are communicable to humans and that
103 are of public health significance.
105 For the purposes of chapters 465 and 893, persons exempt
106 pursuant to subsection (1), subsection (2), or subsection (4)
107 are deemed to be duly licensed practitioners authorized by the
108 laws of this state to prescribe drugs or medicinal supplies.
109 Section 4. Paragraph (y) of subsection (1) of section
110 474.214, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
111 474.214 Disciplinary proceedings.—
112 (1) The following acts shall constitute grounds for which
113 the disciplinary actions in subsection (2) may be taken:
114 (y) Using the privilege of ordering, prescribing, or making
115 available medicinal drugs or drugs as defined in chapter 465, or
116 controlled substances as defined in chapter 893, for use other
117 than for the specific treatment of animal patients for which
118 there is a documented veterinarian/client/patient relationship.
Pursuant thereto, The veterinarian shall:
120 1. Have sufficient knowledge of the animal to initiate at
121 least a general or preliminary diagnosis of the medical
122 condition of the animal, which means that the veterinarian is
123 personally acquainted with the keeping and caring of the animal
124 and has recently seen the animal or has made medically
125 appropriate and timely visits to the premises where the animal
126 is kept.
127 2. Be available or provide for followup care and treatment
128 in case of adverse reactions or failure of the regimen of
130 3. Maintain records which document patient visits,
131 diagnosis, treatment, and other relevant information required
132 under this chapter.
133 Section 5. Subsections (1) and (3) of section 828.30,
134 Florida Statutes, are amended to read:
135 828.30 Rabies vaccination of dogs, cats, and ferrets.—
136 (1)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b), all dogs, cats,
137 and ferrets 4 months of age or older must be vaccinated by a
138 licensed veterinarian against rabies with a vaccine that is
139 licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture for use
140 in those species.
141 (b) An employee, an agent, or a contractor of an animal
142 control authority acting under the indirect supervision of a
143 veterinarian may vaccinate impounded animals that will be
144 transferred, rescued, fostered, adopted, or reclaimed by the
145 owner. As used in this subsection, the term “indirect
146 supervision,” means that the supervising veterinarian is
147 available for consultation by telecommunications but is not
148 required to be on the premises during such consultation. The
149 supervising veterinarian assumes responsibility for the
150 veterinary care given to the animal by any person working under
151 or at his or her direction and supervision.
152 (c) The owner of every dog, cat, and ferret shall have the
153 animal revaccinated 12 months after the initial vaccination.
154 Thereafter, the interval between vaccinations shall conform to
155 the vaccine manufacturer’s directions. The cost of vaccination
156 must be borne by the animal’s owner. Evidence of circulating
157 rabies virus neutralizing antibodies may shall not be used as a
158 substitute for current vaccination in managing rabies exposure
159 or determining the need for booster vaccinations.
160 (3) Upon vaccination against rabies, the licensed
161 veterinarian shall provide the animal’s owner and the animal
162 control authority with a rabies vaccination certificate. Each
163 animal control authority and veterinarian shall use the “Rabies
164 Vaccination Certificate” of the National Association of State
165 Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) or an equivalent form
166 approved by the local government that contains all the
167 information required by the NASPHV Rabies Vaccination
168 Certificate. The veterinarian who administers the rabies
169 vaccination, or who supervises an employee, an agent, or a
170 contractor of an animal control authority administering the
171 rabies vaccination, vaccine to an animal as required under this
172 section may affix his or her signature stamp in lieu of an
173 actual signature.
174 Section 6. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.