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Hawaii Laws on Regulation and Licensing of Veterinarians

Hawaii laws on regulation and licensing of veterinarians can be found in Chapter 471, Title 25, Division 2 of Hawaii revised statutes.  Pursuant to HRS § 471-2, in Hawaii, a person requires a valid unrevoked license from the board of veterinary examiners to practice veterinary medicine.  However, the following persons are exempted from the requirement of license:

1) Any person from gratuitously treating animals in case of emergency;
2) The owner of any animal or animals and the owner’s full-time, regular employees from caring for and treating any animals belonging to the owner;
3) Any student enrolled in any veterinary school or college or any employee of a veterinarian from working under the direct supervision of a veterinarian;
4) Any person from practicing veterinary medicine in the employ of the United States government while engaged in the performance of the person’s official duties;
5) Any person licensed to practice veterinary medicine in any state, or any certified scientist or professional in animal care, from practicing in this State when in actual consultation with or under the sponsorship of veterinarians of this State; provided that the person licensed from another state, or the certified scientist or professional in animal care, shall not open an office, or appoint a place to meet patients, or receive calls within the limits of the State;
6) Any farmer from giving to another farmer the assistance customarily given in the ordinary practice of animal husbandry; or
7) Any applicant who meets the licensing requirements of practicing veterinary medicine under a veterinarian by permit; provided the applicant applies for and takes the first examination scheduled by the board. A permit shall not be renewed.

Board of Veterinary Examiners

Pursuant to HRS § 471-3, a board of veterinary examiners, consisting of seven members, four of whom shall be residents of the city and county of Honolulu and three of whom shall be residents of counties other than the city and county of Honolulu, shall be appointed, and may be removed, by the governor. HRS § 471-3 provides that five of the members of the board shall be veterinarians who have been licensed to practice for at least five years and shall be actively engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine or, if not active at the time of appointment, shall have been previously so engaged for ten years and two shall be public members.

HRS § 471-7 provides that the board of veterinary examiners or any member thereof, or any person designated by the board for the purpose, may investigate any violation or suspected violation of this chapter. Each member of the board may administer oaths in connection with any such investigation.

Licensing of Veterinarians

Pursuant to HRS § 471-8, no person shall be licensed to practice veterinary medicine unless the person has passed an examination of the qualifications and fitness to engage in the practice of veterinary medicine given by the board of veterinary examiners. Before any applicant shall be eligible for examination under this chapter the applicant, at least sixty days before the date set for examination, shall file an application in the form as shall be prescribed by the board, pay to the department of commerce and consumer affairs application and examination fees, and furnish proof satisfactory to the board that the applicant:

1) Is 18 or more years of age; and
2) Is a graduate of a veterinary college meeting all the standards established by the American Veterinary Medical Association, or, in lieu thereof, has actively practiced for ten out of twelve years immediately preceding the date of application in a state having standards for licensing comparable to those in this State.

HRS § 471-8 provides that examinations must be given by the board twice each year except when there are no applications pending. They shall be composed of written questions, a part of which shall consist of those aspects of veterinary medicine common to the State on toxic substances, parasite diseases, unique soil conditions, and quarantine standards. The same questions shall be given to each person being examined during a particular examination. The subject matter of the examinations shall embrace the subjects and demonstrations of practical ability normally covered in the curricula of American veterinary colleges. The form of the examination shall be determined by the board. Applicants shall certify on the application that they have read, understood, and agree to comply with the laws and rules that the board determines are required for licensure.

Pursuant to HRS § 471-9, the board of veterinary examiners issues a license upon payment of a license fee to engage in the practice of veterinary medicine to all persons meeting the requirements of this chapter.  All licenses issued by the board expire on June 30 of each even-numbered year next following the date of issuance.   Every veterinarian pays a biennial renewal fee in each even-numbered year.  The payment of the renewal fee entitles the veterinarian to renewal of the license.  Any holder of an expired license may be reinstated as a veterinarian upon payment of the renewal fee and a penalty fee.  License must not expire while the holder thereof is serving on active duty in the armed forces of the United States during any emergency declared by the President or Congress and six months after the termination thereof.

Pursuant to HRS § 471-10, the board may refuse to grant, renew, reinstate or restore a license for any cause which would be ground for revocation of a license under the law.  The board may also revoke or suspend the license of any veterinarian or fine the licensee, or both, for any cause authorized by law, including but not limited to the following:

1) Professional misconduct, gross negligence, or manifest incapacity;
2) Violation of this chapter or the rules adopted pursuant thereto or any other law which applies to the licensee as a practicing veterinarian;
3) Making any false representations or promises through advertising or otherwise;

4) Habitual intemperance in the use of alcoholic beverages or addiction to the use of narcotic or dangerous substances;
5) Mental incompetence;
6) Any fraudulent, dishonest, or deceitful act in connection with the practice of veterinary medicine;
7) Making a false statement in any document submitted or required to be filed by this chapter;
8) Revocation, suspension, or other disciplinary action by another state of a license or certificate for reasons as provided in this section;
9) Conviction, whether by nolo contendere or otherwise, or a penal offense substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a veterinarian, notwithstanding any statutory provision to the contrary;
10) Violation of chapter 329, the uniform controlled substance act, or any rule adopted thereto; or
11) Failure to report any disciplinary action taken against a licensee in another jurisdiction within thirty days after the disciplinary action becomes final.

Pursuant to HRS § 471-10, in addition to any other actions authorized by law, the board may revoke or suspend the license of any veterinarian or fine the licensee, or both, for any cause authorized by law, including but not limited to the following:

1) Professional misconduct, gross negligence, or manifest incapacity;
2) Violation of this chapter or the rules adopted pursuant thereto or any other law which applies to the licensee as a practicing veterinarian;
3) Making any false representations or promises through advertising or otherwise;
4) Habitual intemperance in the use of alcoholic beverages or addiction to the use of narcotic or dangerous substances;
5) Mental incompetence;
6) Any fraudulent, dishonest, or deceitful act in connection with the practice of veterinary medicine;
7) Making a false statement in any document submitted or required to be filed by this chapter;
8. Revocation, suspension, or other disciplinary action by another state of a license or certificate for reasons as provided in this section;
9) Conviction of or plea of nolo contendere to a penal offense substantially related to the qualifications, functions, or duties of a veterinarian, notwithstanding any statutory provision to the contrary;
10) Violation of chapter 329, the uniform controlled substances act, or any rule adopted pursuant thereto;
11) Failure to report any disciplinary action taken against a licensee in another jurisdiction within thirty days after the disciplinary action becomes final; or
12) Conduct or practice contrary to the recognized principles of medical ethics of the veterinary profession as adopted by the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Pursuant to HRS § 471-11, in every case where it is proposed to refuse to grant, renew, reinstate, or restore a license or to revoke or suspend the exercise of a license for any of the causes enumerated in section 471-10, the person concerned must be given notice and opportunity for hearing.

In all proceedings before it, the board of veterinary examiners and each member thereof shall have the same powers respecting administering oaths, compelling the attendance of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence, and examining witnesses, as are possessed by circuit courts. In case of disobedience by any person of any order of the board, or any member thereof, or of any subpoena issued by it, or the member, or the refusal of any witness to testify to any matter regarding which the witness may lawfully be questioned, any circuit judge, on application by the board, or any member thereof, shall compel obedience as in the case of disobedience of the requirements of a subpoena issued by a circuit court, or a refusal to testify therein.

Violations

Pursuant to HRS § 471-13, any person who violates or fails to comply with any provision of this chapter shall be fined not more than $5,000 for each violation. Each day that the person is in violation of section 471-2 shall be a separate violation.

Pursuant to HRS § 471-14, the board of veterinary examiners may adopt, amend, or repeal such rules and regulations as it deems proper to protect general public.

Pursuant to HRS § 471-15, any person convicted of violating section 471-2 shall have committed a misdemeanor and be subject to a fine not to exceed $500 or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.  Additionally, all tools, implements, appliances, medicine, and drugs used in the practice of veterinary medicine by any person convicted of practicing veterinary medicine without a license shall be declared forfeited to the State by the court and turned over to the board for disposition as it may choose to make.

Pursuant to HRS § 471-16, the remedies or penalties provided by this chapter are cumulative to each other and to the remedies or penalties available under all other laws of this State.

[i] HRS § 471-2.


Inside Hawaii Laws on Regulation and Licensing of Veterinarians