Wow, It's always something. There is a Senate Bill - SB 697, that will change the way we are ALLOWED to care for our own animals. Jennifer and I are travelling to Sacramento to meet with Senators to discuss this bill. If this bill had been in effect when I got Honey Bandit, you can be sure he would have died. When Dabubbles was attacked by the mountain lion, he also would not have survived if my hands were tied and I was not allowed to care for him and provide the help he needed to survive. People understand that without our veterinarians, we would be in serious trouble. But for the California Vet Board to pull a fast one and submit this bill without anyone knowing about it is wrong. It is simply a ploy to create a monopoly on ANY AND ALL animal care. The following provides facts and information. For anyone out there who wants to keep providing their pets with proper care, including getting their teeth cleaned without risking their lives needlessly by putting them under anesthesia, please pay attention to this. The vet board would have free reign to "fine" individuals at will if they "heard" something was going on. This is serious. We are losing so many of our rights as Americans. We simply cannot lose anymore of the rights we have to take care of our animals and have affordable care available. Ya'll have seen where Honey Bandit started from. If I couldn't have provided the intensive care at my home, WITH my veterinarian's guidance, it would have been over $1000 per night, and he most likely would have died anyway, as there would not have been someone sitting by his side 24 hours a day. Please make sure this bill doesn't go through. Think of all the hundreds of thousands of pets who get their teeth cleaned without anesthesia every year. Most people cannot afford "routine" teeth cleaning bills of $500 to $1400 just so the vet can do blood work and put the pet to sleep to clean the teeth. If that is the only alternative, most people will be forced to wait until their is a serious problem. As it stands now, there is an extremely affordable plan where your pet's teeth can be cleaned safely for $21 on a monthly maintenance plan. Vaccinations, flea control, grooming, preg checks for cattle, it will all be taken away and you will be forced to pay a vet to do those menial things. Welcome to Pet Owners RightsDear Fellow Pet Lovers,
The Veterinary Medical Board is at it again! They are trying to create a monopoly by making “anesthesia-free teeth cleaning”, currently provided by non-veterinarians, the practice of veterinary medicine. Canine Care has provided this service for more than 32 years. Thousands of other people also offer this service. You have the right to choose, the more affordable method of “anesthesia-free teeth cleaning” by non-veterinarians.
The Veterinary Medical Board is working on 2 issues simultaneously. They are changing their “Dental Operation” regulation to EXCLUDE scalers, crippling non-vets from performing their long standing trade, if the vet board succeeds. They are also working on a bill (SB 697) to give them authority over all “unlicensed persons”. That means EVERYONE in the state that is NOT a veterinarian.Pretty powerful! The bill also allows them to re-prioritize their duties. We believe this is an attempt to control EVERYTHING having to do with an animal, forcing everyone to use an expensive veterinarian for EVERYTHING.
They currently have a cite and fine regulation that is extremely powerful. Why do they need more power? Please don’t allow them to take harmless scalers away from non-veterinarians and please don’t give them more authority over EVERY California citizen.
You can help by writing letters and making phone calls.
Fact SheetSB 697 is unnecessary The Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) currently has a cite and fine regulation to deal with unlicensed activity and the other issues that the bill deals with. Their cite and fine regulation adequately punishes individuals for the type of crime committed. For greater crimes, there are already laws that address those crimes.
Below are a few cases of the unlicensed practice of veterinary medicine successfully prosecuted.
The real reason for SB 697 is to facilitate the veterinarian industry’s desire to monopolize the long standing practice of “Anesthesia-Free Teeth Cleaning” for dogs and cats by non-veterinarians. http://www.cvma.net/images/cvmapdf/Survey_Results.pdf
The above link to the survey clearly illustrates their motivation. Anesthesia-Free Teeth Cleaning is their primary concern. They already have ENOUGH power to prosecute “unlicensed persons” with their cite and fine regulation.
Cite and Fine The Veterinary Medical Board is already known for MAILING out fines to individuals that they THINK are practicing veterinary medicine without a license. This is done WITHOUT an investigation into the facts. The wording of these fine letters is “The Veterinary Medical Board received information…” and they expect a payment. See below link to see the hoops you must go through.
Since July 1, 2010 thruough Jan 2011, the VMB has issued 17 citations. Only five were for “unlicensed practice” SB 697 is UNNECESSARY. See page 3, citation program.
And the VMB wants more power?!
It appears that the VMB’s desire to “prioritize” its investigative and prosecutorial resources towards unlicensed activity, they are attempting to refocus their efforts to this end. They are attempting to create more authority over non-veterinarians which is UNNECESSARY. City Attorneys and DA’s have consistently prosecuted “unlicensed” individuals practicing veterinary medicine. Their true motivation is to address non-veterinarians who provide services that fall outside the definition of veterinary medicine, such as teeth cleaning.
The Veterinary Medical Board is making sweeping changes to regulation 2037 (dental operation defined). Over 20 years ago the VMB attempted to make teeth cleaning by non-vets illegal with this regulation. The overseeing Department of Consumer Affairs opposed the VMB. Every government agency consulted on the issue opposed the VMB attempts. So the regulation was written in a vague manner, but still allowed teeth cleaning by non-vets. The VMB has tried to make it appear that teeth cleaning by non-vets is illegal, but that is not the reality. Their current efforts make the regulation illegal. The VMB is violating a law that governs them. Government Code Section 11347.5
On March 16th, 2011 The Veterinary Medical Board’s committee called the (Multidisciplinary Advisory Committee) held a so called public meeting. Only one member of the public showed up and was accused of being a spy and was asked “How did you find out about this meeting?” The VMB has been unconscionable and reprehensible in its secretive activities. They make it crystal clear that they are protecting the profession and NOT the public. Notably the former Executive Officer Gary Hill got a job from the Veterinary Association CVMA right after he retired from the VMB. Currently Diane Hagel who was formerly the VMB’s attorney is now a paid public member! She represented the VMB for years, how can she set that aside and honestly represent the public’s interests?
HISTORY There are many pet services that over lap into the definition of veterinarian medicine. Two basic requirements to be considered veterinarian medicine are:
1. The procedure cures or prevents a disease.
2. The individual is diagnosing a disease.
The pet grooming industry has historically over lapped in numerous areas. Overall pet grooming cures and prevents disease.
The pet product industry frequently “diagnoses” a disease when recommending a product.
Anesthesia-Free Teeth Cleaning is a long standing practice performed by non-veterinarians. This turf battle didn’t erupt until the late 1980’s when veterinarians discovered how lucrative this procedure could be, currently charging $300 to $600. Pet groomers and show dog handlers had been cleaning teeth for decades prior to this, for a VERY reasonable fee. Pet owners have enjoyed, for decades, the alternative to the veterinary version of teeth cleaning with the use of anesthesia (commonly known as chemical restraint, which in human medicine would be considered unacceptable).
In B & P Code section 4826 the only wording relating to veterinary dentistry is “dental operation”. The VMB has attempted to expand the meaning of “dental operation” to include the mere cleaning of animal’s teeth through their regulation 2037. Knowing that non-veterinarians were using scalers this wording is noticeably absent from the regulation. This is why they are now trying to exclude scalers in the regulation in an effort to keep non-veterinarians use from using them.
Office of Administrative Law rules the Vet Board is exceeding its athourity The Office of Administrative Law wrote a lengthy Regulatory Determination about the VMB policy statement regarding animal teeth cleaning. The conclusion is that Reg 2037 violates Government Code Section 11347.5. Because reg.2037 attempts to expand the meaning of “dental operation”. 1989 OAL Determination 12 (Docket No. 88-015) attached. Click here to see this document.
The VMB admits they have a loophole regarding animal teeth cleaning in their 1997 and 2003 Sunset Reviews.Click here to see 2003 document and click here to see 1997 document. Superior Court rules that non-veterinary teeth cleaning with a scaler is legal! The Superior Court County of San Joaquin made a ruling stating “The court is not prohibiting manual scaling devices as long as those devices are not used between the gum and tooth areas.” The VMB refuses to acknowledge this Superior Court DECISION. Instead they rely on a dicta (unnecessary) OPINION of an administrative law judge. Click here to see this document.
Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs opposes Veterinary Boards actions During the Regulatory process, Michael Kelley Director of the Department of Consumer Affairs wrote 2 letters to the VMB. The first was his initial decision to disapprove the regulation stating, “I believe that the adoption of this regulation is not in the best interests of the public of California”…. “I believe that the adoption of this regulation will operate to preclude the public from obtaining a legitimate service at an affordable cost.” The second letter was a 5 page letter of formal opposition stating that there is no need for the regulation because… “there is a notable absence of any evidence from disinterested members of the public evidencing actual harm as a result of these practices.” Click here to see veto document and click here to see other document.
Veterinary Associations attempt to BRIBE the legislature! In 1990 Assemblyman Bruce Bronzan introduced AB 3482. To illustrate the veterinary industry’s desperation to monopolize animal teeth cleaning, they attempted to BRIBE the legislature just 4 days prior to the first Assembly Committee Hearing. (click here to see letter from Bruce Bronzon to CVMA-PAC, CA Veterinary Medical Association Political Action Committee). AB 3482 passed unanimously, both the Assembly and Senate Committee Hearings. On the floor there were only 7 votes opposed to the bill. Unfortunately the Governor vetoed the bill.
FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION Ruling Recently the FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION concluded: “The proposed rule would modify existing Texas regulations to effectively prohibit non-veterinarians from providing specific and commonly-available forms of horse floating, absent veterinarian supervision”. If enacted, the rule appears likely to significantly restrict competition without providing any countervailing benefit, thereby harming consumers. Accordingly, the Staff of the Federal Trade Commission encourages the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners to reject the proposed rule unless credible evidence supports it. Horse floating is the filing to smooth the sharp points on horses’ teeth.Click here to see this document.
UC Davis doesn’t even teach teeth cleaning! Another issue for veterinarians is how can a profession regulate a field that they don’t even teach its students? It appears to still be the same problem. This link is for all of the classes offered at UC Davis. None deal with veterinary dentistry. http://registrar.ucdavis.edu/CSRD/Spring2011/indexs2011.html
UC Davis did build a Dentistry Building in 1994 for Licensed Veterinarians to study under a residency program.
Dangers of anesthesia Pet owners should be allowed to determine what level of risk is acceptable for them and their pets. Veterinary Board Consultant Christine Hotz, DVM writes “ Many of the complaints against veterinarians received by the VMB cross my desk at some point in the complaint review process. An all too-common theme I see is that of an angry or grieving pet owner who believes his or her pet died as a result of negligence during the anesthetic period.” http://www.vmb.ca.gov/about_us/cc_anest.shtml
Below are some anesthesia studies showing from 1 in 233 pets will die from anesthesia to 1 in 1800 will die. Many suffer some sort of complication from anesthesia.
Anesthesia Deaths Statistics http://www.dogchannel.com/dog-health/dogs-and-anesthesia.aspx
The risk of death: the confidential enquiry into perioperative small animal fatalities. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18466167?dopt=abstract
Microchip Issue A similar issue arose with the VMB many years ago about the microchip. It is a chip about the size of a grain of rice inserted under the animals flesh with a needle large enough to allow the transportation of the chip. Ouch! This INVASIVE procedure is NOT considered veterinary medicine. http://www.vmb.ca.gov/laws_regs/pol97_1.shtml
Loss of thousands of jobs Yet another important consideration on this issue are the hundreds of jobs that will be lost if Anesthesia-Free Teeth Cleaning by non-veterinarians is successfully eliminated by the VMB and the CVMA.
The VMB and CVMA are attempting to put more teeth (pun intended!) into legislation that is designed to curb so called “unlicensed” activities in California. City Attorneys and District Attorneys have consistently refused to prosecute these so called “unlicensed” activities, such as animal teeth cleaning, because the statute is too vague to include these activities and they have failed to prove any harm to animals.
Canine Care, in business for over 32 years, has had 2 cases with the VMB, and they prevailed in both cases. The number of anesthesia deaths during this same period is overwhelming. The VMB and CVMA have consistently failed to show the NEED for this service to be stopped. Most veterinarians that make negative comments about the procedure have NEVER personally witnessed it. Those veterinarians that have seen the procedure either refer their customers to this special service or provide our service through their hospital, despite the objection of their uninformed peers.
Canine Care has offered to take phone calls to help us out. Thank you Canine Care!
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