Includes in the definition of veterinary medicine, the treatment of dental conditions; exempts persons who can treat floating teeth of horses from licensing requirements.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to the practice of veterinary medicine
PURPOSE: This bill is designed to both reduce the potential for animal cruelty by prohibiting untrained persons from performing dental surgery on animals and to bring the NY Veterinary Practice Act into compliance with most of our neighboring states and those states with large racing and equine populations by including animal dentistry within the scope of practice of veterinary medicine. The manual floating of teeth is specifically excluded from the scope of practice of veterinary medicine.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 6701 of the education law is amended to include the treatment of dental conditions other than the manual floating of equine teeth as within the definition of the practice of veterinary medicine.
JUSTIFICATION: When the New York veterinary practice act was first enacted, there was general agreement that the practice of veterinary medicine included all of the veterinary specialties and for many years the practice operated under that assumption.
Recently, the State Racing and Wagering Board attempted to exclude unlicensed "veterinary dentists" from racetracks in the state. The State Education Department's Office of the Professions joined in the effort to prohibit this unlicensed practice. The decision in State Supreme Court in Chris Brown v. NYS Racing and Wagering Bd. was unfavorable and the state appealed the matter. The Appellate Division upheld the lower Court's decision on the grounds that the New York Practice Act, unlike many others, did not include specific reference to dentistry in its definition of veterinary medicine.
The court noted that the New York statute marks a "departure from parallel statutes of sister states in our region. We are guided by the maxim expression unius est exclusion alterius, that the failure of the Legislature to include a matter within a particular statute is an indication that its exclusion was intended." While the State Education Department urged the Court to accept its view that dentistry was within the scope of practice of veterinary medicine, the Court noted that this was a legislative matter for consideration and modification if it was to occur.
It is important to note that most of the states in this region including: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland and Rhode Island, along with other states with significant equine industries, including: Kentucky, Oklahoma, California, Texas, Montana, Minnesota, Washington and Ohio include dentistry within the scope of veterinary practice.
Currently, there is the potential for pain, discomfort, and in some cases cruelty, to animals treated by minimally trained or even untrained "lay animal dentists" along with evidence of the illegal dispensing of controlled substance pain killers by them. This legislation will free horses from this threat while also recognizing
the longstanding services provided by those who have manually floated equine teeth for many years.
This legislation would in no way hinder those dentists who manually float equine teeth, who may continue their practice of manually floating teeth free of regulation.
The New York Practice Act has not been significantly modified in many years, during which many of these states' statutes were enacted or amended. It is therefore appropriate that New York join with similar states in the treatment of animal dentistry by making clear that animal dentistry is within the scope of practice of veterinary medicine. This is especially fitting given the efforts of the Racing and Wagering Board and State Education Department to seek continuity in racing standards through regional and national compacts.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011,2012: S.4341/A.6480 Referred to Higher Education This bill is similar in intent to S.6461/A.9562 of 2010.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2742--A 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 23, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. YOUNG -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Higher Education -- recom- mitted to the Committee on Higher Education in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to the practice of veter- inary medicine THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 6701 of the education law, as amended by chapter 234 of the laws of 1996, is amended to read as follows: S 6701. Definition of practice of veterinary medicine. The practice of the profession of veterinary medicine is defined as diagnosing, treating, operating, or prescribing for any animal disease, pain, inju- ry, deformity or DENTAL OR physical condition, or the subcutaneous insertion of a microchip intended to be used to identify an animal. "Animal" includes every living creature except a human being. NOTWITH- STANDING THE FOREGOING PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION, NO PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO INCLUDE THE MANUAL FLOATING OF EQUINE TEETH AS BEING WITHIN THE PRACTICE OF VETERINARY MEDICINE. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06951-02-4