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Today, the U.S. Senate passed the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act (H.R. 1528) originally introduced by U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Angus King (I-Maine)which would allow veterinarians to carry and dispense controlled substances to protect the health and welfare of the nation’s animals, ensure public safety, and safeguard the nation’s food supply. 

The 1970 Controlled Substances Act (CSA) stipulates that controlled substances must be stored and dispensed at the specific address veterinarians have on file with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The DEA enforces the CSA and has informed organized veterinary medicine that without a statutory change, veterinarians are in violation and cannot legally provide complete veterinary care.

The practice of veterinary medicine requires veterinarians to treat patients in a variety of settings; farm calls, mobile clinics, shelters, research and disease control activities, emergency response situations, and removal or transfer of dangerous wildlife.

The legislation is endorsed by the American Veterinary Medical Association and now awaits President Obama’s signature before becoming law.

The bipartisan legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.),  Kristen Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Richard Burr (R-N.C.).

The bill was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) – passed the House last week.