In Idaho, the Idaho Veterinary Practice Act governs the laws on regulation and licensing of veterinarians. Pursuant to Idaho Code § 54-2104, a license or a valid temporary permit is required to practice veterinary medicine in Idaho. However, the following are the exemptions.
a) A veterinarian employed by the federal, state or local government from performing his official duties specifically required under any lawful act or statute, except that this exemption shall not apply to such persons not actively engaged in performing or fulfilling their official duties and responsibilities.
b) A person who is a regular student currently enrolled and in good standing in an accredited or approved school of veterinary medicine, veterinary science department or an educational institution accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency recognized by the Idaho state board of education or the United States department of education from performing duties or actions assigned by his instructors, or from working under the direct supervision of an actively licensed veterinarian during a school vacation period. The unsupervised or unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine by a student, even though on the premises of an accredited or approved school of veterinary medicine, veterinary science department, an educational institution accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency recognized by the Idaho state board of education or the United States department of education or at a veterinary medical facility, is prohibited.
c) A person who is a regular student currently enrolled and in good standing in a nonaccredited or nonapproved educational institution, that holds a valid certificate of registration issued by the Idaho state board of education, from performing duties or actions assigned by his instructors. This exemption does not include surgery or the administration of controlled substances or legend/prescription drugs, unless specifically allowed by state or federal law, rule or regulation. The unsupervised or unauthorized personal practice of veterinary medicine by a student on the premises of a nonaccredited or nonapproved educational institution is prohibited.
d) Idaho extension personnel from performing their official duties.
e) A veterinarian holding a current, active license, in good standing, in another state, from consulting with a licensed veterinarian in this state.
f) Any merchant or manufacturer from selling nonprescription and noncontrolled medicines, biologics, feed, medicated feed, appliances or other products for the prevention or treatment of animal and poultry diseases. Such merchants or manufacturers shall not, either directly or indirectly, attempt to diagnose a symptom or disease in order to advise treatment, use of drugs, medicines, appliances or products.
g) A farmer, rancher or feedlot operator, including custom ranch or feedlot operators, and their regular employees, from caring for and treating animals within their possession or control, when such animals have been consigned by their legal owner and except where the ownership or possession of the animal was transferred or the employment changed to circumvent this chapter.
h) The owner of an animal or his regular employees from caring for and treating the animals belonging to such owner, or livestock owners or regular employees pregnancy testing their own or employer’s cattle or the exchange of services for which no monetary compensation is paid between owners or their regular employees, except where the ownership or possession of the animal was transferred or the employment changed to circumvent this chapter, and provided that only an actively licensed veterinarian may immunize or treat an animal for diseases which require the use of a vaccine that is restricted by state or federal law, rules or regulations, or as otherwise provided by board rule. Notwithstanding the provisions of this paragraph, a veterinarian/client/patient relationship, as defined by rules, must exist when controlled substances or legend/prescription drugs are administered, distributed, dispensed or prescribed.
i) A member of a faculty of an accredited or approved school of veterinary medicine, a veterinary science department, or an educational institution accredited by a national or regional accrediting agency recognized by the Idaho state board of education or the United States department of education, from performing his regular functions. The unsupervised or unauthorized personal practice of veterinary medicine, by a faculty member on the premises of any of the above institutions, is prohibited.
j) Any person from selling or applying any pesticide, insecticide, or herbicide.
k) A person lecturing or giving instructions or demonstrations at an accredited or approved school of veterinary medicine, veterinary science department or an educational institution accredited or approved by a national or regional accrediting agency recognized by the Idaho state board of education or the United States department of education, or in connection with an approved continuing education course or seminar.
l ) A member of a faculty of a nonaccredited or nonapproved educational institution, who holds a valid certificate of registration issued by the Idaho state board of education, from performing his regular functions. This exemption does not include surgery or the administration of controlled substances or legend/prescription drugs, unless specifically allowed by state or federal law, rule or regulation. The unsupervised or unauthorized personal practice of veterinary medicine by a faculty member on the premises of a nonaccredited or nonapproved educational institution is prohibited.
m) Individuals employed as instructors or researchers by, or enrolled as students in, any bona fide medical research institution from conducting experiments and scientific research on animals:
(i) In the development of pharmaceuticals, biologicals, serums for treating human or animal ailments; or
(ii) In the development of methods of treatment or techniques for the diagnosis or treatment of human or animal ailments; or
(iii) When engaged in the study and development of methods and techniques directly or indirectly applicable to the practice of veterinary medicine, so long as such research is conducted in compliance with applicable state and federal laws, rules and regulations.
n) Any person from performing artificial insemination of domestic animals as governed by chapter 8, title 25, Idaho Code.
o) Any person from horseshoeing or hoof trimming bovine, equine and farm animals.
p) An allied health professional actively licensed and in good standing in any state from participating in a medical procedure involving an animal, provided that such participation is in his licensed field of medicine and under the indirect supervision of an actively licensed veterinarian.
q) Any person from the gratuitous treatment of animals in an emergency as a neighborly act.
r) Any state or federal livestock inspector from performing his official duties specifically required under any lawful act or statute, and provided that this exemption shall not apply to such persons not actively engaged in performing or fulfilling their official duties and responsibilities.
s) A certified euthanasia agency from operating as a CEA as defined by law and rules.
t) A certified euthanasia technician from performing those duties as defined by law and rules.
u) Any person from utilizing cotton swabs, gauze, dental floss, dentifrice or toothbrushes to clean an animal’s teeth.
v) A certified veterinary technician from practicing veterinary technology under appropriate supervision, as defined by the rules of the board.
w) An assistant or veterinary technician from performing acts pertaining to the practice of veterinary medicine under appropriate supervision, as defined by the rules of the board.
x) The personal representative, executor or sole surviving heir of a licensed veterinarian from continuing to operate the veterinary medical practice of the deceased for a period of not more than three (3) years following death. This exception only applies where during such three (3) year period:
(i) Good faith efforts are being made to sell the veterinary medical practice; and
(ii) All the decisions pertaining to the diagnosis, care and treatment of the patients are made by an actively licensed veterinarian.
Board of veterinary medicine
Pursuant to Idaho Code § 54-2105, a board of veterinary medicine, which shall consist of six members to be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the governor, is hereby created in the department of self-governing agencies. Five members shall be veterinarians and one member shall be a public member. Each of the five veterinary members shall serve a term of four years as a veterinary board member and a fifth year as a liaison officer, or until his successor is appointed. The public member shall serve for a term of three years or until his successor is appointed.
Whenever the occasion arises for an appointment of a veterinary member under this section, the governor may consider recommendations for appointment to the board from the state veterinary medical association, one of the regional veterinary medical associations, and from any individual residing in this state. Vacancies due to death, resignation or removal shall be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term in the same manner as regular appointments. No person shall serve two consecutive terms, except in the case of a person appointed for less than a full term. Each of the five veterinarians shall be qualified to serve as a member of the board if a graduate of an accredited or approved school of veterinary medicine or, if a graduate of a nonaccredited or nonapproved school, a letter from the educational commission for foreign veterinary graduates (ECFVG) certifying completion of the ECFVG program or a copy of their ECFVG certificate, or verification of successful completion of any educational equivalency program established for the purpose of evaluating an individual’s educational knowledge and clinical skills as they relate to the practice of veterinary medicine, as approved and outlined by the rules of the board. In addition to verification of graduation from an accredited or nonaccredited school of veterinary medicine, each of the five veterinary members shall be a resident of this state, and have been licensed to practice veterinary medicine in this state for the five years immediately preceding the time of appointment. The public member shall be at least twenty-one years of age and a resident of this state for five years immediately preceding appointment. No person may serve on the board who is, or was, during the two years preceding appointment. Any member of the board may be removed by the governor at his or her discretion.
Pursuant to Idaho Code § 54-2105, the board shall meet at least once each year at the time and place fixed by rule of the board. Other necessary meetings may be called by the president of the board by giving notice as may be required by state statute or rule. The board member serving the fourth year of appointment shall be the president of the board and shall serve as chairman at the board meetings. The veterinary board member serving the fifth year of appointment shall be the liaison officer of the board and shall render advice, review and mediate complaints, and perform other tasks assigned by the board. All revenues received under this chapter shall be paid to the state board of veterinary medicine account created in section 54-2121, Idaho Code, and shall be subject to and administered in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
Pursuant to Idaho Code § 54-2105, the responsibility for enforcement of the provisions of this chapter is hereby vested in the board. The board shall have all of the duties, powers and authority specifically granted by or necessary for the enforcement of this chapter and the rules made pursuant thereto, as well as such other duties, powers and authority as it may be granted from time to time by applicable law. The powers vested in the board shall include, but are not limited to:
a) Establish qualifications and prescribe the application format for issuance or renewal of a license to practice as a veterinarian and certification to practice as a veterinary technician, euthanasia agency or euthanasia technician, review each application for compliance with the licensure and certification requirements, issue, renew or deny licenses and certifications. Upon a showing of good cause by a licensee or certificate holder to the board, the board may grant an extension of time for submission of the required application or renewal documentation, including the required number of continuing education hours, as set forth by this chapter or the rules of the board.
b) Examine and determine the qualifications and fitness of applicants for a license to practice veterinary medicine, or certification to practice veterinary technology or as a euthanasia technician or operate as a certified euthanasia agency in the state.
c) Issue, renew, reinstate, deny, suspend, sanction, reprimand, restrict, limit, place on probation, require voluntary surrender of, or revoke any licenses, certifications or temporary permits or certifications to practice veterinary medicine, veterinary technology or euthanize animals in the state, and may fine and impose other forms of discipline, and enter into consent agreements and negotiated settlements with licensed veterinarians, certified veterinary technicians, certified euthanasia technicians and certified euthanasia agencies consistent with the provisions of this chapter and the rules adopted hereunder. Whenever it appears that grounds for discipline exist under this chapter and the board finds that there is an immediate danger to the public health, safety or welfare, the board is authorized to commence emergency proceedings for revocation or other action. Such proceedings shall be promptly instituted and processed under the applicable provisions of chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code.
d) Establish a schedule of fees for licensing, certifying and registering veterinarians, veterinary technicians, euthanasia agencies and euthanasia technicians, as well as for the review, approval and administration of national licensing and certification examinations.
e) In addition to the fees specifically provided for herein, the board may assess additional reasonable fees for services rendered to carry out its duties and responsibilities as required or authorized by this chapter or rules adopted hereunder. Such services rendered shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(i) Issuance of duplicate licenses or certificates;
(ii) Mailing lists or reports of data maintained by the board;
(iii) Copies of any documents;
(iv) Verification of license or certification status;
(v) Examination review, approval and administration; and
(vi) Examination materials.
f) Upon its own motion or upon any complaint, to initiate and conduct investigations on all matters relating to the practice of veterinary medicine or veterinary technology or the euthanizing of animals. Complaints not filed within one (1) year after the alleged unlawful conduct occurs will not be investigated. If the alleged unlawful conduct is of a continuing nature, the date of the occurrence of such conduct shall be deemed to be any date subsequent to the commencement of the unlawful conduct up to and including the date on which the complaint is filed so long as the alleged unlawful conduct continues.
g) Initiate and conduct disciplinary hearings or proceedings on its own or through its designated hearing officer, provided such hearings and proceedings shall be held in conformance with the provisions of chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code, and in connection thereto, to administer oaths, receive evidence, make the necessary determinations, and enter orders consistent with the findings. The board may require the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of papers, records, or other documentary evidence and may commission depositions. The board may designate one (1) or more of its members or a person appointed by the state board of veterinary medicine to serve as its hearing officer.
h) Employ an executive director who shall be responsible for the performance of the administrative functions of the board and such other duties as the board may direct. The board may also employ or contract with other individuals to provide professional, clerical or other services deemed necessary by the board to effectuate the provisions of this chapter and the rules of the board, and purchase or rent necessary office space, equipment and supplies. The compensation of the executive director and other personnel shall be determined by the board and the executive director shall be exempt from the provisions of chapter 53, title 67, Idaho Code.
i) Appoint from its own membership one (1) or more members to act as representatives of the board at any meeting within or outside the state where such representation is deemed desirable.
j) Bring proceedings in the courts for the enforcement of this chapter or any rules made pursuant thereto.
k) For purposes of enforcement of the provisions of this chapter and any rules duly promulgated hereunder, including the levying of civil penalties, assessment and collection of fines, and recovery of costs and paralegal, hearing officer and attorney’s fees incurred by the board in investigation and prosecution of complaints, the board shall maintain jurisdiction over individuals, irrespective of their license or certification status (i.e., active, inactive, expired, lapsed, surrendered or disciplined) relative to acts, omissions, complaints and investigations which occurred during the licensure or certification period. Jurisdiction of the board shall also extend to all individuals engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine, veterinary technology or practicing as a certified euthanasia agency or certified euthanasia technician in this state as defined in section 54-2103, Idaho Code. It is the intent of this subsection that the board’s jurisdiction should extend to all licensed or unlicensed or certified or uncertified individuals and that licensees and certification holders cannot divest the board of jurisdiction by changing, surrendering or relinquishing licensure or certification status.
l) Establish a committee on humane euthanasia for the purposes of training, examining, licensing and certifying euthanasia agencies and euthanasia technicians and assess application, training workshop and certification fees. The fees so assessed are continuously appropriated to the board to support the activities of the committee.
m) Adopt, amend or repeal all sections of this chapter and rules necessary for its government and all rules necessary to carry into effect the provisions of this chapter pursuant to the Idaho administrative procedure act, chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code, including the establishment and publication of standards of professional conduct for the practice of veterinary medicine.
n) Conduct probationary or other practice and facility inspections necessary for enforcement of this chapter or the rules duly promulgated hereunder or any order, negotiated settlement or probationary agreement of the board and issue administrative citations to alleged violators.
Licensing of Veterinarians
Pursuant to Idaho Code § 54-2107, any person desiring a license to practice veterinary medicine in this state shall make written application to the board and shall bear the burden of substantiating to the board the license application requirements. To apply for a veterinary license, the applicant shall complete the “application for licensure to practice veterinary medicine and surgery” available from the board office. A completed application shall contain the applicant’s notarized signature and shall include:
1) A copy of a birth certificate or current passport proving that the applicant is twenty-one years of age or more.
2) Notarized affidavits issued during the year preceding licensure from two (2) veterinarians currently licensed and in good standing in any state attesting to the fact that the applicant is of good moral character.
3) A certified copy of a veterinary school diploma or transcript from an accredited or approved school of veterinary medicine or a letter from an accredited or approved school of veterinary medicine verifying satisfactory graduation by the applicant or, if a graduate of a nonaccredited or nonapproved school, a letter from the educational commission for foreign veterinary graduates (ECFVG) certifying completion of the ECFVG program or a copy of the ECFVG certificate or by completion of any educational equivalency program established for the purpose of evaluating an individual’s educational knowledge and clinical skills as they relate to the practice of veterinary medicine, and as approved and outlined by the rules of the board.
4) Passing scores on the national examinations developed by the national board examination committee, its designee or any other examination committee or organization approved by the board, including, but not limited to: the national board examination (NBE) and the clinical competency test (CCT), or the north American veterinary licensing examination (NAVLE), which may be taken in any state.
5) After November 1, 2000, applicants who have taken their national examinations prior to this date and have not taken and passed the clinical competency test (CCT) may, in lieu of a passing score on the CCT, provide the following documentation from the licensing board in the state in which they are currently actively practicing or from the veterinary information verifying agency of the American association of veterinary state boards:
(a) Verification of seven (7) years of continuous, active practice in the same state or states where they have practiced for the past seven (7) years immediately preceding application for licensure in this state, and provided that the requirements for licensure in the state or states are similar to those in Idaho; and
(b) Verification of no disciplinary action taken against the applicant’s license to practice veterinary medicine during the same seven (7) year period immediately preceding application for a veterinary license in this state.
(c) The practice of applicants licensed under this provision will be limited to the same fields of veterinary medicine as they have practiced in another state or states during the seven (7) year period immediately preceding application for a veterinary license in this state.
6) A passing score of at least ninety percent (90%) correct on the Idaho jurisprudence examination.
7) Written verification of license in good standing from the licensing organization in any state or states in which the applicant has held a license or as provided by the veterinary information verifying agency of the American association of veterinary state boards.
8) The license application fee and first year’s license fee in the amount established in the rules adopted by the board.
9) Any additional information that the board may request.
10) Application materials will be valid and maintained at the board office for a period of one (1) year.
The board will review applications and issue licenses in January and June of each year. Applicants shall have their completed applications at the board office by the first day of January or June, except as specified in other sections of this chapter or by board rule. If an applicant is found not qualified, the board shall immediately notify the applicant in writing of such finding and the grounds therefor. An applicant denied licensure may request a hearing pursuant to the procedures set forth in chapter 52, title 67, Idaho Code. Any applicant who is denied licensure shall be allowed the return of the license fee portion of the application fee.
Pursuant to Idaho Code § 54-2110, the board may, upon payment of the fee prescribed under section 54-2107, Idaho Code, license without the clinical competency test (CCT) any person who is a diplomate with current certification from a specialty board approved by the American veterinary medical association. The applicant shall fulfill all requirements for licensure with the exception of a passing score on the clinical competency test (CCT) and shall provide verification of a current certification from a specialty board approved by the American veterinary medical association. The veterinary practice of any person who is licensed pursuant to this subsection is limited to referrals in the specialty in which the person is board certified.
Pursuant to Idaho Code § 54-2111, the board may, at its discretion, issue a temporary permit to an applicant who has passed the NBE and Idaho jurisprudence exam but who has not yet taken the CCT, or to a new graduate, or a currently practicing veterinarian licensed in another state or states, who has fulfilled the requirements for licensure in this state or to a graduate of a nonaccredited or nonapproved school of veterinary medicine that has fulfilled the requirements of section 54-2107, Idaho Code, and the rules of the board. Temporary permits shall be valid until the next license application review by the board or for no more than one (1) year, during which time the applicants issued a temporary permit without having taken the CCT or fulfilling the requirements of section 54-2107(5), Idaho Code, shall take and pass the CCT. Under no circumstances shall a second temporary permit be issued to the same person, except in the case of a temporary permit issued to a graduate of a nonaccredited or nonapproved school of veterinary medicine, which may be renewed for up to three (3) years. If, at the end of the three (3) year period, the applicant has completed the requirements of the approved educational equivalence program, but has not received official notification, the expiration date for the temporary permit may be extended until official notification is received. A temporary permit shall not be issued to any applicant whose license has been revoked in any state for a reason other than nonpayment of license renewal fees. An applicant granted a temporary permit shall provide verification that during the twelve (12) months immediately preceding issuance of the temporary permit he has been in active veterinary practice in another state or shall work under the professional supervision of an actively licensed veterinarian. Pursuant to United States department of agriculture veterinary services memorandum number 572.1, an applicant working under a supervised temporary permit will not be allowed to become federally accredited in Idaho until the first year’s license has been granted.
Pursuant to Idaho Code § 54-2112, all licenses and certifications shall expire annually on July 1 unless renewed in a timely manner by submission of the annual renewal form prescribed by the board, proof of completion of the appropriate hours of continuing education, by meeting other requirements as defined in the rules adopted by the board and payment of the renewal fee established and published by the board. An expired license or certification may be reinstated by paying the established late fee and renewal fee, and by fulfilling the other requirements. An expired license or certification not reinstated prior to August 1 will lapse. Individuals whose licenses or certifications have lapsed must make application to the board as if for a new license or certification.
Idaho Code § 54-2112 provides that once a license or certification has expired or lapsed, the person or agency may not practice veterinary medicine or veterinary technology or function as a certified euthanasia technician or agency until the license or certification has been reinstated or until the person or agency has applied for and received a new license or certification.
Idaho Code § 54-2112 provides that any veterinarian licensed in Idaho or veterinary technician certified in Idaho who advises the board, in writing, that he wishes to remain licensed or certified in this state, but does not intend to actively practice veterinary medicine or veterinary technology in the state of Idaho and therefore does not intend to meet the licensing or certification requirements for an active license or certification, shall be transferred from active to inactive status and shall be required to pay inactive status fees as prescribed in the rules of the board. Any person may transfer from inactive to active status by making written application for reinstatement to active status, paying all required fees and by meeting other requirements for reinstatement as defined in the rules of the board.
Pursuant to Idaho Code § 54-2114, anyone not authorized to practice veterinary medicine under this chapter in which an active veterinary license in this state is a prerequisite to practice, who does practice or offers to practice or holds himself out as being able to practice veterinary medicine, or who practices veterinary medicine as an exempt person during the time when his license is expired, suspended, revoked or annulled, shall be practicing in violation of this chapter and is subject to the provisions of section 54-2118, Idaho Code.
Idaho Code § 54-2114 provides that any icensed veterinarian that aids or abets an unlicensed or uncertified person to practice veterinary medicine or employs or holds such unlicensed person out as being able to practice veterinary medicine, shall be subject to the provisions of sections 54-2115 and 54-2118, Idaho Code.
Idaho Code § 54-2114 provides that anyone authorized to practice veterinary medicine under this chapter in which an active veterinary license in this state is a prerequisite to practice, who offers services in the field of veterinary medicine to an individual in this state, through telephonic, electronic or other means, regardless of the location or profession of this individual, shall be practicing in violation of this chapter and be subject to the provisions of section 54-2118, Idaho Code.
Pursuant to Idaho Code § 54-2117, any person whose license is suspended or revoked may, at the discretion of the board, be relicensed or reinstated at any time with or without an examination, by majority vote of the board on written application made to the board showing cause justifying relicensing or reinstatement. In reinstating a license which has been suspended or revoked, the board may impose terms and conditions to be followed by the licensee after the license has been reinstated. The authority of the board to impose terms and conditions includes, but is not limited to, the following:
1) Requiring the licensee to obtain additional professional training and to pass an examination upon completion of the training.
2) Requiring the licensee to pass an oral, written, practical or clinical examination, or any combination thereof to determine present fitness to engage in the practice of veterinary medicine.
3) Restricting or limiting the extent, scope, or type of practice of the licensee.
4) Requiring the licensee to obtain professional counseling and undergo and maintain treatment and testing for alcohol or drug related problems.
Violations, Remedies and Penalties
Pursuant to Idaho Code § 54-2118, in addition to the disciplinary actions set forth in section 54-2115, Idaho Code, any person violating the provisions of this chapter, or violating a rule promulgated by the board to implement the provisions of this chapter may be fined by the board or its duly authorized agent not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000) for each offense and shall be liable for investigatory expenses and reasonable paralegal and attorney’s fees. Each act on each day of violation constitutes a separate offense. Any person against whom the board has assessed a civil penalty may, within 28 days of the final agency action making the assessment, appeal the assessment to the district court of the county in which the board took action.
Idaho Code § 54-2118 provides that any person who practices veterinary medicine, any person practicing as a certified veterinary technician, a certified euthanasia technician or any agency operating as a certified euthanasia agency without a currently valid, active license, certification, temporary permit or temporary certification is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction or withheld judgment shall be fined not less than $ 100, nor more than $ 10,000, or incarcerated for no more than 180 days, or both fined and incarcerated. Each act of such unlawful practice constitutes a distinct and separate offense.
Idaho Code § 54-2118 provides that the board, the attorney general’s office, any district court or county attorney, or any citizen may bring an action to enjoin any person from practicing veterinary medicine or practicing as a certified veterinary technician, certified euthanasia technician, or any agency operating as a certified euthanasia agency without a currently valid, active license, certification, temporary permit, or temporary certification. If the court finds that the person is violating the provisions of this chapter, it will enter an injunction restraining that individual from such unlawful acts.
Creation of State Board of Veterinary Medicine Account
Pursuant to Idaho Code § 54-2121, all moneys, including civil penalties collected under the provisions of this chapter shall be deposited in the state treasury to the credit of a separate account to be known as the “state board of veterinary medicine account,” and all moneys as are now in or may hereafter come into the account are hereby appropriated to the board for carrying out the purposes and objectives of this chapter, and to pay all costs and expenses incurred in connection with the provisions of this chapter. All moneys in the occupational licenses account belonging to the state board of veterinary medicine as of July 1, 1983, are hereby transferred and appropriated to the state board of veterinary medicine account hereby created. Moneys shall be paid out of the account upon warrants drawn by the state controller upon presentation of proper vouchers approved by the board.
[i] Idaho Code § 54-2104.
[ii] Idaho Code § 54-2107.
[iii] Idaho Code § 54-2111.
[iv] Idaho Code § 54-2117.