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Alaska Laws on Regulation and Licensing of Veterinarians

Alaska laws on regulation and licensing of veterinarians can be found in Chapter98, Title 8 of Alaska statutes.  Pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 08.98.010, the Board of Veterinary Examiners is created, composed of five members appointed by the governor and approved by the legislature. Four members shall be licensed veterinarians who have been in active practice in the state for at least five years preceding appointment and one shall be a public member. A person may not serve on the board who is, or was during the two years immediately preceding appointment, a member of a faculty, board of trustees, or advisory board of a veterinary school.

Pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 08.98.050, the board shall

  1. establish examination requirements for eligible applicants for licensure to practice veterinary medicine;
  2. examine, or cause to be examined, eligible applicants for licensure or registration;
  3. approve the issuance of licenses and student permits to qualified applicants;
  4. establish standards for the practice of veterinary medicine by regulation;
  5. conduct disciplinary proceedings in accordance with this chapter;
  6. adopt regulations requiring proof of continued competency before a license is renewed;
  7. as requested by the department, monitor the standards and availability of veterinary services provided in the state and report its findings to the department;
  8. collect, or cause to be collected, data concerning the practice of veterinary technology by veterinary technicians in the state and submit the data to the department for maintenance;
  9. establish, by regulation, educational and training requirements for
    • the issuance of student permits; and
    • the delegation of duties by veterinarians licensed under this chapter to veterinary technicians.

The board may also establish examination and registration requirements for veterinary technicians and adopt regulations or do any act necessary to carry out its duties under this chapter.

Alaska Stat. § 08.98.070 provides that the department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development  must furnish the board with administrative services, including renting space for holding examinations, printing and mailing licenses and student permits, sending notices, before December 1 of each year, that licenses must be renewed, collecting fees and issuing receipts, keeping a current register of licensees, employing secretarial assistants, replying to routine requests for information, printing forms and informational bulletins, typing all matter to be reproduced, maintaining records and completed examinations, and keeping records of receipts and disbursements.

Pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 08.98.120, a person may not practice veterinary medicine, surgery, or dentistry unless the person is licensed as a veterinarian under this chapter or has a temporary permit issued under AS 08.98.186 , except that a person may perform functions authorized by:

  1. regulation of the board if the person is licensed as a veterinary technician; or
  2. a permit issued under AS 08.02.050 if the person is employed by an agency that has a permit issued under AS 08.02.050.

A person may not:

  1. present or attempt to use a license or permit that was issued under this chapter to another person, either directly or by impersonation;
  2. secure or attempt to secure a license or permit under this chapter through deceit, fraud, or intentional misrepresentation;
  3. use or attempt to use an expired or revoked license or permit knowing of the license’s or permit’s status; or
  4. falsely claim to be licensed or to hold a permit under this chapter.

Violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by both.

Pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 08.98.125, this chapter does not apply to the following:

  1. a veterinary medical officer in the military service in the discharge of official duties or as an employee in the federal or state government performing veterinary medical services within the scope of the person’s official duties;
  2. a veterinarian who is licensed in another state or country, or a person whose expertise a veterinarian licensed in this state believes would benefit an animal, and who provides only consultation to a veterinarian licensed in this state; in this paragraph, “consultation” means advice or assistance provided in person, telephonically, electronically, or by any other method of communication from a veterinarian or other person whose expertise, in the opinion of the veterinarian, would benefit the animal; and
  3. a veterinarian licensed and residing in another state who provides assistance, as requested by and under the supervision of a veterinarian licensed in this state, for the purpose of providing skills not otherwise available in this state in conducting research or other practice of veterinary medicine on captive or free-ranging wildlife; however, that assistance is limited to not more than three events in a calendar year for not more than a total of 60 days in the year and may not be on a regular or recurring basis, as defined by the board.

Alaska Stat. § 08.98.165 provides qualification for license.  An applicant is qualified to receive a license as a veterinarian who:

  1. is a graduate of an accredited veterinary school or who has successfully completed the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates certification process;
  2. has, within the 60 months preceding application for the license, passed a national examination for veterinarians approved by the board;
  3. has passed the written examination of the state on specific Alaska issues of veterinary practice;
  4. is in good standing, as defined by the board in regulations; and
  5. has paid required fees.

Pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 08.98.180, a person who meets the requirements of AS 08.98.165 (a)(1), (4), and (5) is entitled to be temporarily licensed after applying for examination if the person works under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. A license issued under this section is valid until the results of the examinations are published. A person may not receive more than one temporary license. An application for a temporary license must be signed by the supervising veterinarian and accompanied by the temporary license fee required under AS 08.98.190 .

Pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 08.98.186, a person licensed to practice veterinary medicine in another state who meets the requirements of AS 08.98.165 (a)(1), (4), and (5) may be granted a temporary permit to conduct the practice of a person licensed in the state who is absent from practice. An application shall be signed by the person who is or will be absent from practice and by the applicant. A temporary permit is valid for no longer than 60 days after issuance but may be renewed.

Pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 08.98.188, the board may approve the issuance of a student permit to a student enrolled in and in good standing at an accredited college of veterinary medicine who has completed three years of study and is participating in an externship program as part of the college’s educational curriculum.  A student permit is valid for not longer than one year and may not extend beyond the student’s graduation.  A holder of a student permit is subject to the following limitations:

  1. assistance in diagnosis and surgery must be under the immediate supervision of a veterinarian licensed in this state;
  2. assistance in treatment must be under the direct or indirect supervision of a veterinarian licensed in this state;
  3. not more than one student permit holder at a time may be under the direct supervision of a veterinarian licensed in this state; and
  4. a veterinary practice may not retain more than two student permit holders at a time.

A person whose license has lapsed is entitled to have the license reinstated without taking an examination unless the license has remained lapsed more than five years[i].

Pursuant to Alaska Stat. § 08.98.235, after a hearing, the board may impose a disciplinary sanction on a person licensed under this chapter when the board finds that the person:

  1. secured a license through deceit, fraud, or intentional misrepresentation;
  2. engaged in deceit, fraud, or intentional misrepresentation in the course of providing professional services or engaging in professional activities;
  3. advertised professional services in a false or misleading manner;
  4. has been convicted of a felony or other crime which affects the person’s ability to continue to practice competently and safely;
  5. intentionally or negligently engaged in or permitted the performance of animal care by the person’s supervisees which does not conform to minimum professional standards regardless of whether actual injury to the animal occurred;
  6. failed to comply with this chapter, with a regulation adopted under this chapter, or with an order of the board;
  7. continued to practice after becoming unfit due to
    • professional incompetence;
    • addiction or severe dependency on alcohol or other drugs which impairs the person’s ability to practice safely;
    • physical or mental disability;
  8. engaged in lewd or immoral conduct in connection with the delivery of professional service.

[i] Alaska Stat. § 08.98.200.

A person whose license has lapsed is entitled to have the license reinstated without taking an examination unless the license has remained lapsed more than five years.


Inside Alaska Laws on Regulation and Licensing of Veterinarians