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Connecticut Laws on Regulation and Licensing of Veterinarians

Connecticut laws on regulation and licensing of veterinarians can be found in Chapter 384, Title 20 of Connecticut statutes.  Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-196, a Connecticut Board of Veterinary Medicine is established consisting of five members appointed by the Governor.  Three members of said board are practitioners of veterinary medicine residing in Connecticut in good professional standing and two are public members.  No member of said board shall be an elected or appointed officer of the Connecticut Veterinary Medical Association or have been such an officer during the year immediately preceding his  or her appointment, or serve for more than two consecutive terms.  The Commissioner of Public Health with the advice and assistance of said board may issue regulations to insure proper veterinary care and the protection of public health.

Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-196b, the Connecticut Board of Veterinary Medicine hears and decides matters concerning suspension or revocation of licensure, adjudicates complaints filed against practitioners (3) imposes sanctions where appropriate.

Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-197,  a license is required to practice veterinary medicine, surgery or dentistry.  An applicant must have 1) graduated with the degree of doctor of veterinary medicine, or its equivalent, from a school of veterinary medicine, surgery or dentistry which, at the time such person graduated, was accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, or (2) if graduated from a school located outside of the United States, its territories or Canada, graduated from a program acceptable to the American Veterinary Medical Association as required to receive certification by the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates.  No person who was graduated from a school of veterinary medicine, surgery or dentistry that is not accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association and that is located outside the United States, its territories or Canada shall be granted a license unless such person has also received certification from the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates or Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence.

Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-198, the department may, under such regulations as the Commissioner of Public Health may adopt, in accordance with chapter 54, with the advice and assistance of the board, deny eligibility for licensure to a graduate of a school that has been found to have provided fraudulent or inaccurate documentation regarding either the school’s educational program or the academic credentials of graduates of the school’s program or to have failed to meet educational standards prescribed in such regulations.

Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-200, the Department of Public Health may issue a license by endorsement to any veterinarian of good professional character who is currently licensed and practicing in some other state or territory, having requirements for admission determined by the department to be at least equal to the requirements of this state, upon the payment of a fee of five hundred sixty-five dollars to said department. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 20-198, the department may, upon payment of a fee of five hundred sixty-five dollars, issue a license without examination to a currently practicing, competent veterinarian in another state or territory who (1) holds a current valid license in good professional standing issued after examination by another state or territory that maintains licensing standards which, except for examination, are commensurate with this state’s standards, and (2) has worked continuously as a licensed veterinarian in an academic or clinical setting in another state or territory for a period of not less than five years immediately preceding the application for licensure without examination.  No license shall be issued under this section to any applicant against whom professional disciplinary action is pending or who is the subject of an unresolved complaint. The department shall inform the board annually of the number of applications it receives for licensure under this section.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-200 provides that the Department of Public Health may issue a temporary permit to an applicant for licensure without examination upon receipt of a completed application form, accompanied by the fee for licensure without examination, a copy of a current license from another state of the United States, the District of Columbia or a commonwealth or territory subject to the laws of the United States, and a notarized affidavit attesting that the license is valid and belongs to the person requesting notarization. Such temporary permit shall be valid for a period not to exceed one hundred twenty calendar days and shall not be renewable. The department shall not issue a temporary permit under this section to any applicant against whom professional disciplinary action is pending, or who is the subject of an unresolved complaint.

Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-201, the department must, annually in accordance with the provisions of section 19a-88, issue to each licensed veterinarian in the state, presenting an application for renewal of his license accompanied by the professional services fee for class I, as defined in section 33-182l, a receipt stating the fact of such payment, which receipt shall be a license to follow such practice for one year.

Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-201a, for registration periods beginning on and after July 1, 2011, a licensee applying for license renewal shall earn a minimum of twenty-four contact hours of continuing education within the preceding twenty-four-month period. Such continuing education shall (1) be in an area of the licensee’s practice; and (2) reflect the professional needs of the licensee in order to meet the veterinary health care needs of the public.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-201a provides that each licensee applying for license renewal must sign a statement attesting that he or she has satisfied the continuing education on a form prescribed by the department.  However, a licensee applying for the first time for license renewal is exempt from the continuing education requirements.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-201a provides that a licensee who is not engaged in active professional practice in any form during a registration period is exempt from the continuing education requirements, provided the licensee submits to the department, prior to the expiration of the registration period, a notarized application for exemption on a form prescribed by the department and such other documentation as may be required by the department.  The application for exemption must contain a statement that the licensee may not engage in professional practice until the licensee has met the continuing education requirements.

Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-202, after notice and opportunity for hearing as provided in the regulations established by the Commissioner of Public Health, said board may take any of the actions set forth in section 19a-17 for any of the following causes: (1) The presentation to the board of any diploma, license or certificate illegally or fraudulently obtained; (2) proof that the holder of such license or certificate has become unfit or incompetent or has been guilty of cruelty, unskillfulness or negligence towards animals and birds. In determining whether the holder of such license has acted with negligence, the board may consider standards of care and guidelines published by the American Veterinary Medical Association including, but not limited to, guidelines for the use, distribution and prescribing of prescription drugs; (3) conviction of the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter by any court of criminal jurisdiction, provided no license or registration shall be revoked or suspended because of such conviction if an appeal to a higher court has been filed until such appeal has been determined by the higher court and the conviction sustained; (4) the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter or the refusal to comply with any of said provisions; (5) the publication or circulation of any statement of a character tending to deceive or mislead the public; (6) the supplying of drugs, biologics, instruments or any substances or devices by which unqualified persons may practice veterinary medicine, surgery and dentistry, except that such drugs, biologics, instruments, substances or devices may be supplied to a farmer for his own animals or birds; (7) fraudulent issue or use of any health certificate, vaccination certificate, test chart or other blank form used in the practice of veterinary medicine relating to the dissemination of animal disease, transportation of diseased animals or the sale of inedible products of animal origin for human consumption; (8) knowingly having professional association with, or knowingly employing any person who is unlawfully practicing veterinary medicine; (9) failure to keep veterinary premises and equipment in a clean and sanitary condition; (10) physical or mental illness, emotional disorder or loss of motor skill, including but not limited to, deterioration through the aging process; (11) abuse or excessive use of drugs, including alcohol, narcotics or chemicals; or (12) failure to comply with the continuing education requirements prescribed in section 20-201a. A violation of any of the provisions of this chapter by any unlicensed employee in the practice of veterinary medicine, with the knowledge of his employer, shall be deemed a violation thereof by his employer. The Commissioner of Public Health may order a license holder to submit to a reasonable physical or mental examination if his physical or mental capacity to practice safely is the subject of an investigation. Said commissioner may petition the superior court for the judicial district of Hartford to enforce such order or any action taken pursuant to section 19a-17.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-203 provides that any person aggrieved by a final decision of said board taken under section 19a-17 may appeal therefrom as provided in section 4-183. Such appeal shall be privileged.

Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-204a, the department must investigate each allegation of any act or omission by a veterinarian specified in section 20-202.  The investigation shall be concluded not later than 12 months from the date the allegation is submitted to the department.  If the department makes a finding of no probable cause to take action or fails to make a finding within the 12 month period, the allegation and the entire record of the investigation may remain confidential and no person must disclose knowledge of such investigation to a third party unless the veterinarian requests that it be open.  If the department makes a finding that there is probable cause to take action, the allegation and the entire record of such investigation shall be deemed a public record.

Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-205, the provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any person in governmental employ while acting in the scope of his or her employment, or to any person who furnishes medical or surgical assistance without compensation in an emergency, or to any veterinarian, licensed in another state, who is employed as a direct consultant for not more than ten days during any calendar year with any practitioner licensed in conformity with the provisions of section 20-197. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any hospital, educational institution or laboratory or any state or federal institution, or any employee of, student in or person associated with any such hospital, educational institution or laboratory or state or federal institution, while engaged in research or studies involving the use of medical, surgical or dental procedures, or to the owner of any animal or livestock or his or her employee while administering to such animal or livestock.

Pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-205a, any veterinarian may dispose of any animal abandoned in his establishment, provided he shall give notice of his intention to do so to the owner at his last-known address by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and shall allow a period of fifteen days to elapse after the receipt is returned before disposing of such animal; but, if the owner cannot be located at such address, the veterinarian shall give such notice by publication in a newspaper having a circulation in the town in which such owner was last known to reside, and shall allow a period of fifteen days to elapse after such publication before disposing of such animal.

Conn. Gen. Stat. § 20-206 provides that a person who practices veterinary medicine, surgery or dentistry in violation of the provisions of this chapter is subject to disciplinary actions.  Any person not licensed as provided in this chapter who represents himself as a veterinarian or, having had his license suspended or revoked continues to represent himself as a veterinarian or carries on veterinary medicine, surgery or dentistry as defined in section 20-197, shall be fined not more than three hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than six months or both. Failure to renew a license in a timely manner shall not constitute a violation.


Inside Connecticut Laws on Regulation and Licensing of Veterinarians