The Kansas Veterinary Practice Act governs the regulation and licensing of veterinarians in Kansas.
State Board of Veterinary Examiners
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 47-818, the state board of veterinary examiners is established to promote the public health, safety, and welfare in relation to the practice of veterinary medicine. The board consists of seven members, six of whom shall be licensed veterinarians and one member who shall not be a veterinarian. Upon the expiration of any member’s term, the governor shall appoint a successor to ensure the representation of the major facets of veterinary medical practice for a term of four years, which term shall commence on July 1 and shall expire on June 30.
K.S.A. § 47-818 provides that a veterinarian member of the board must be:
1) a legal resident of the state of Kansas;
2) is a graduate of a board-approved school of veterinary medicine;
3) is licensed to practice veterinary medicine in this state; and
4) has had three years of actual practice in veterinary medicine in the state of Kansas preceding the time of appointment.
K.S.A. § 47-818 provides that the non-veterinarian member of the board must :
1) Has been a legal resident of the state of Kansas for three or more years;
2) is not a family member, as defined in K.A.R. 19-40-4 and amendments thereto of a veterinarian;
3) has no financial interest in any veterinary practice or veterinary premises as an owner or employee, or as a family member of an owner or employee, of such practice or premises; and
4) has never engaged in the profession or business of educating or training veterinarians or students of veterinary medicine.
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 47-820, the board must remit all moneys received by or for it from fees, charges or penalties to the state treasurer in accordance with the provisions of K.S.A. 75-4215, and amendments thereto. Upon receipt of each such remittance, the state treasurer shall deposit the entire amount in the state treasury. Ten percent of each such deposit shall be credited to the state general fund and the balance shall be credited to the veterinary examiners fee fund. Costs relating to assessment and enforcement of civil fines shall be credited to the veterinary examiners fee fund from all moneys received that are civil fines and the balance shall be credited to the state general fund. All expenditures from such fund shall be made in accordance with appropriation acts upon warrants of the director of accounts and reports issued pursuant to vouchers approved by the executive director or by a person or persons designated by the executive director.
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 47-821, the board has power to:
1) Examine and determine the qualifications and fitness of applicants for a license to practice veterinary medicine in this state in accordance with K.S.A. 47-824 and 47-826, and amendments thereto.
2) Inspect and register any veterinary premises pursuant to K.S.A. 47-840, and amendments thereto, and take any disciplinary action against the holder of a registration of a premises issued pursuant to K.S.A. 47-840, and amendments thereto.
3) Inspect and audit the records and compliance with the standards of practice of any veterinarian and take any disciplinary action against the licensed veterinarian consistent with the provisions of this act and the rules and regulations adopted thereunder.
4) Issue, renew, deny, limit, condition, fine, reprimand, restrict, suspend or revoke licenses to practice veterinary medicine in this state or otherwise discipline licensed veterinarians consistent with the provisions of this act and the rules and regulations adopted thereunder.
5) Conduct an investigation upon an allegation by any person that any licensee or other veterinarian has violated any provision of the Kansas veterinary practice act or any rules and regulations adopted pursuant to such act. The board may appoint individuals and committees to assist in any investigation.
6) Establish and publish annually a schedule of fees authorized pursuant to and in accordance with the provisions of K.S.A. 47-822, and amendments thereto.
7) Employ full-time or part-time an executive director and such professional, clerical and special personnel as shall be necessary to carry out the provisions of this act. The board shall fix the compensation of such personnel who shall be in the unclassified service under the Kansas civil service act. Under the supervision of the board, the executive director shall perform such duties as may be required by law or authorized by the board.
8) Purchase or rent necessary office space, equipment and supplies.
9) Appoint from its own membership one or more members to act as representatives of the board at any meeting within or without the state where such representation is deemed desirable.
10) Initiate the bringing of proceedings in the courts for the enforcement of this act.
11) Adopt, amend or repeal rules and regulations for licensed veterinarians regarding the limits of activity for assistants and registered veterinary technicians who perform prescribed veterinary procedures under the direct or indirect supervision and responsibility of a licensed veterinarian.
12) Adopt, amend or repeal such rules and regulations, not inconsistent with law, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this act and enforce the provisions thereof.
13) Have a common seal.
14) Adopt, amend or repeal rules and regulations to fix minimum standards for continuing veterinary medical education, which standards shall be a condition precedent to the renewal of a license under this act.
15) Examine and determine the qualifications and fitness of applicants for registration and register veterinary technicians.
16) Issue, renew, deny, limit, condition, fine, reprimand, restrict, suspend or revoke veterinary technician registrations in this state consistent with the provisions of this act and the rules and regulations adopted thereunder.
17) Establish any committee necessary to implement any provision of this act including, but not limited to, a continuing education committee and a peer review committee. Such committees may be formed in conjunction with professional veterinary associations in the state. Members of such committees appointed by the board shall receive the same privileges and immunities and be charged with the same responsibilities of activity and confidentiality as board members.
18) Refer complaints to a duly formed peer review committee of a duly appointed professional association.
19) Establish, by rules and regulations, minimum standards for the practice of veterinary medicine.
20)Contract with a person or entity to perform the inspections or reinspections as required by K.S.A. 47-840, and amendments thereto.
21) For the purpose of investigations and proceedings conducted by the board, the board may issue subpoenas compelling the attendance and testimony of veterinarians or the production for examination or copying of documents or any other physical evidence if such evidence relates to veterinary competence, unprofessional conduct, the mental or physical ability of a licensee or registrant to safely practice veterinary medicine or the condition of a veterinary premises. Within five days after the service of the subpoena on any veterinarian requiring the production of any evidence in the veterinarian’s possession or under the veterinarian’s control, such veterinarian may petition the board to revoke, limit or modify the subpoena. The board shall revoke, limit or modify such subpoena if in its opinion the evidence required does not relate to practices which may be grounds for disciplinary action, is not relevant to the charge which is the subject matter of the proceeding or investigation, or does not describe with sufficient particularity the physical evidence which is required to be produced. The district court, upon application by the board or by the veterinarian subpoenaed, has jurisdiction to issue an order:
A) Requiring such veterinarian or veterinary technician to appear before the board or the board’s duly authorized agent to produce evidence relating to the matter under investigation; or
B) revoking, limiting or modifying the subpoena if in the court’s opinion the evidence demanded does not relate to practices which may be grounds for disciplinary action, is not relevant to the charge which is the subject matter of the hearing or investigation or does not describe with sufficient particularity the evidence which is required to be produced.
Licensing of Veterinarians
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 47-824, any person desiring a license to practice veterinary medicine in Kansas must make written application to the board on forms provided for that purpose. The board must issue a license to practice veterinary medicine to an applicant who:
1) Is a graduate of a school of veterinary medicine as defined in K.S.A. 47-816, and amendments thereto or meets all education requirements prescribed by the board pursuant to rules and regulations of the board;
2) has passed the examination or examinations prescribed by the board within time limits prescribed by the board pursuant to rules and regulations of the board;
3) has passed the Kansas veterinary legal practice examination;
4) is a person of good moral character;
5) has paid the license application fee and when applicable, the examination fee as established pursuant to this section; and
6) provides other information and proof as the board may establish by rules and regulations.
K.S.A. § 47-824 provides that if the applicant graduated from a school of veterinary medicine more than five years prior to the year in which the application is submitted, the application must show proof that:
1) The applicant has actively practiced veterinary medicine for at least 3,000 hours during the three years immediately preceding such application; or
2) the applicant has passed the examination or examinations prescribed by the board within the five years preceding such application.
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 47-817, a license is required to practice veterinary medicine in Kansas. However, the following persons are exempted:
a) An employee of the federal, state or local government performing such employee’s official duties.
b) A person from gratuitously giving aid, assistance or relief in veterinary emergency cases if such person does not represent themselves to be veterinarians or use any title or degree appertaining to the practice thereof.
c) A veterinarian regularly licensed in another state consulting with a licensed veterinarian in this state.
d) Fisheries biologists actively employed by the state of Kansas, the United States government, or any person in the production or management of commercial food or game fish while in the performance of such persons’ official duties.
e) Any feeder utilizing and mixing antibiotics or other disease or parasite preventing drugs as a part of such feeder’s feeding operations.
f) The owner of an animal and the owner’s regular employee caring for and treating the animal belonging to such owner, except where the ownership of the animal was transferred to avoid this act.
g) Before July 1, 2016, a member of the faculty of a school of veterinary medicine performing such member’s regular functions or a person lecturing, or giving instructions or demonstrations at a school of veterinary medicine or in connection with a continuing education course for veterinarians. On or after July 1, 2016:
h) Any person engaging in bona fide scientific research which reasonably requires experimentation involving animals or commercial production of biologics or animal medicines.
i) A nonstudent employee, independent contractor or any other associate of the veterinarian or a student in a school of veterinary medicine who has not completed at least three years of study and who performs prescribed veterinary procedures under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian or under the indirect supervision of a licensed veterinarian pursuant to rules and regulations of the board.
j) A student who has completed at least three years of study in a school of veterinary medicine and who performs prescribed veterinary procedures assigned by such student’s instructors or who works under direct or indirect supervision of a licensed veterinarian.
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 47-829, all licenses expire annually on June 30, except as provided in K.S.A. 2015 Supp. 47-855, and amendments thereto, of each year but may be renewed by registration with the board and payment of the license renewal fee established and published by the board, pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 47-822, and amendments thereto. On June 1 of each year, the executive director shall mail a notice to each licensed veterinarian that the veterinarian’s license will expire on June 30 and provide the veterinarian with a form for license renewal. The application must contain a statement to the effect that the applicant has not been convicted of a felony, has not been the subject of professional disciplinary action taken by any public agency in Kansas or any other state, territory or the District of Columbia, and has not violated any of the provisions of the Kansas veterinary practice act. If the applicant is unable to make that statement, the application shall contain a statement of the conviction, professional discipline or violation.
K.S.A. § 47-829 provides that all veterinarian licenses expire annually and must be renewed by making application to the board and payment of the license renewal fee. Any person who practices veterinary medicine after the expiration of such person’s license and willfully or by neglect fails to renew such license shall be practicing in violation of this act. Any license renewal application which is submitted beyond the annual renewal date shall be assessed a penalty fee not to exceed $100 as established by the board by rules and regulations. In the event that the application for renewal of any veterinarian license or institutional license has not been submitted within 60 days of the expiration date of such license, the board shall notify the veterinarian by certified mail, return receipt requested, that the license has expired and shall not be reinstated unless such veterinarian submits an application for and requalifies for a new license and pays the license application fee not to exceed $250 as established by the board by rules and regulations.
K.S.A. § 47-829 provides that the board may waive the payment of the license renewal fee of any person holding a Kansas veterinary license or institutional license during the period when such person is on active military duty with any branch of the armed services of the United States during a time of national emergency which shall not to exceed the longer of three years or the duration of a national emergency.
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 47-830, the board, in accordance with the provisions of the Kansas administrative procedure act, may refuse to issue a license, revoke, suspend, limit, condition, reprimand or restrict a license to practice veterinary medicine for any of the following reasons:
a) The employment of fraud, misrepresentation or deception in obtaining a license;
b) an adjudication of incapacity by a court of competent jurisdiction;
c) for having professional connection with or lending one’s name to any illegal practitioner of veterinary medicine and the various branches thereof;
d) false or misleading advertising;
e) conviction of a felony or entering into a plea agreement or a diversion agreement in lieu of further criminal proceedings on a complaint alleging a violation of a felony;
f) failure to provide a written response within the time prescribed by the board to a written request made by the board pursuant to an investigation by or on behalf of the board;
g) employing, contracting with or utilizing in any manner any person in the unlawful practice of veterinary medicine;
h) fraud or dishonest conduct in applying, treating or reporting diagnostic biological tests of public health significance or in issuing health certificates;
i) failure of the veterinarian who is responsible for the operation and management of a veterinary premises to keep the veterinary premises in compliance with minimum standards established by rules and regulations as to sanitary conditions and physical plant;
j) failure to report as required by law, or making false report of any contagious or infectious disease;
k) dishonesty or negligence in the inspection of foodstuffs;
l) cruelty or inhumane treatment to animals;
m) disciplinary or administrative action taken by any federal, state or local regulatory agency or any foreign country on grounds other than nonpayment of registration fees;
n) disclosure of any information in violation of K.S.A. 47-839, and amendments thereto;
o) unprofessional conduct as defined in rules and regulations adopted by the board includes, but is not limited to, the following:
1) Conviction of a charge of violating any federal statute or any statute of this state, regarding controlled substances as defined in K.S.A. 65-4101, and amendments thereto;
2) using unless lawfully prescribed, prescribing or administering to oneself or another person any of the controlled substances as defined in K.S.A. 65-4101, and amendments thereto or using, prescribing or administering any of the controlled substances as defined in K.S.A. 65-4101, and amendments thereto or alcoholic beverages or any other drugs, chemicals or substances to the extent, or in such a manner as to be dangerous or injurious to a person licensed under the Kansas veterinary practice act, to oneself or to any other person or to the public, or to the extent that such use impairs the ability of such person so licensed to conduct with safety the practice authorized by the license;
3) the conviction of more than one misdemeanor or any felony involving the use, consumption or self-administration of any of the substances referred to in this section or any combination thereof;
4) violation of or attempting to violate, directly or indirectly, any provision of the Kansas veterinary practice act or any rules and regulations adopted pursuant to such act; and
5) violation of an order of the board;
p) conviction of a crime substantially related to qualifications, functions or duties of veterinary medicine, surgery or dentistry;
q) fraud, deception, negligence or incompetence in the practice of veterinary medicine;
r) the use, prescription, administration, dispensation or sale of any veterinary prescription drug or the prescription of an extra-label use of any over-the-counter drug in the absence of a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship;
s) failing to furnish details or copies of a patient’s medical records or failing to provide reasonable access to or a copy of a patient’s radiographs to another treating veterinarian, hospital or clinic, upon the written request of and authorization from an owner or owner’s agent, or failing to provide the owner or owner’s agent with a summary of the medical record within a reasonable period of time and upon proper request by the owner or owner’s agent, or failing to comply with any other law relating to medical records; or
t) determination that the veterinarian is impaired, as defined in K.S.A. 47-846, and amendments thereto, by a representative of the impaired veterinarian committee, or as determined by the board after a hearing.
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 47-832, any person whose license is suspended or revoked pursuant to K.S.A. 47-830 and amendments thereto may, at the discretion of the board, be relicensed or reinstated at any time, by majority vote of the board on written application made to the board showing cause justifying relicensing or reinstatement and on such terms and conditions as specified by the board.
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 47-834, unlawful practice of veterinary medicine is the practice of veterinary medicine by a person without a license unless that person is exempt from such requirement. Unlawful operation or management of veterinary premises is the operation or management by a person of veterinary premises that is not registered. Unlawful practice of veterinary medicine is a class B nonperson misdemeanor. Unlawful operation or management of veterinary premises is a class B nonperson misdemeanor. Each act constitutes a distinct and separate offense.
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 47-834, the board may issue a cease and desist order upon board determination that a licensee, registrant or any veterinarian has violated any provision of this act, an order of the board or any rules and regulations of the board. If the board determines that a person is practicing veterinary medicine without a license on a companion animal or is operating or managing a veterinary premises that is not registered, in addition to any other penalties imposed by law, the board may take any or all of the following actions:
1) Issue a cease and desist order;
2) issue a citation and fine; and
3) bring an injunction action in its own name in a court of competent jurisdiction.
Registration of veterinary premises
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 47-840, each veterinary premises must be registered by the board. Each premise must be inspected and registered by the board prior to the opening of such premises. Any existing premises must be inspected and registered by the board within 30 days of any change of the licensed veterinarian who is responsible for the operation and management of the veterinary premises.
K.S.A. § 47-840 provides that the board shall deny any application for a registration of the premises when the inspection reveals that the premises does not meet the minimum standards established by board rules and regulations or other provisions of this act; in which event the applicant shall pay the inspection fee for each additional reinspection required to determine whether or not the premises has been brought into compliance with the minimum standards and other provisions of this act.
K.S.A. § 47-840 provides that the board, in accordance with the Kansas administrative procedure act, may refuse to register a veterinary premises, or revoke, suspend, limit or condition a registration, if an inspection reveals that the premises does not meet the minimum standards established by board rules and regulations or that the premises is being operated or managed by any person other than a licensed veterinarian whose license is in good standing with the board.
K.S.A. § 47-840 provides that all registrations shall expire annually and must be renewed by making application to the board and payment of the registration fee. Any renewal application which is submitted after the annual renewal date shall be assessed a penalty fee as established by board rules and regulations. In the event that application for renewal of registration has not been submitted within 60 days of its expiration date, and after notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, has been given to the registrant that the renewal application, the registration fee and the late renewal penalty fee are due, such registration of the premises shall automatically expire without a hearing and shall not be renewed unless a new registration application is submitted and the applicant pays the registration fee, the late renewal penalty fee and inspection fees. Any such premises which has its registration automatically expired under this subsection must be reinspected prior to the issuance of a new registration.
Each registrant must keep such registration conspicuously displayed in the premises for which it is issued.
Violation, civil citation and penalties
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 47-843 ,if, upon completion of an investigation, the executive director has probable cause to believe that a veterinarian violated the provisions of the Kansas veterinary practice act, in lieu of proceedings pursuant to K.S.A. 47-830 and amendments thereto, the executive director may issue a citation to the veterinarian, as provided in this section. The investigation shall include attempts to contact the veterinarian to discuss and resolve the alleged violation. Each citation shall be in writing and shall describe with particularity the nature of the violation, including a reference to the provision of the Kansas veterinary practice act alleged to have been violated. In addition, each citation may contain an order of abatement fixing a reasonable time for abatement of the violation, and may contain an assessment of a civil penalty not in excess of $2,000. The citation shall be served upon the veterinarian by any type of mailing requiring a return receipt. Before any citation may be issued, the executive director shall submit the alleged violation for review and investigation to at least two designees of the board who are veterinarians licensed in or employed by the state. Upon conclusion of the board designee’s review, the designees shall prepare a finding of fact and a recommendation. If the board’s designees conclude that probable cause exists that the veterinarian has violated any provisions of the Kansas veterinary practice act, a civil citation shall be issued to the veterinarian, according to policies adopted by the board through rules and regulations.
K.S.A. § 47-843 provides that the board must adopt rules and regulations covering the assessment of civil penalties which give due consideration to the appropriateness of the penalty with respect to the following factors:
1) The gravity of the violation;
2) the good faith of the person being charged; and
3) the history of previous violations.
Pursuant to K.S.A. § 47-844, if a veterinarian desires to contest administratively a civil citation or the proposed assessment of a civil penalty such veterinarian, within 30 days after service of the citation, shall notify the executive director in writing of such veterinarian’s request for an informal conference with the executive director or the executive director’s designee. The executive director or the executive director’s designee, within 60 days from the receipt of the request, shall hold an informal conference. At the conclusion of the informal conference, the executive director may affirm, modify or dismiss the citation or proposed assessment of a civil penalty, and the executive director shall state with particularity in writing the reasons for the action, and shall immediately transmit a copy thereof to the board, the veterinarian, and the person who submitted the complaint. If the veterinarian desires to contest administratively a decision made after the informal conference, such veterinarian shall inform the executive director in writing within 30 days after such person receives the decision resulting from the informal conference. If the veterinarian fails to notify the executive director in writing that such veterinarian intends to contest the citation or the proposed assessment of a civil penalty or the decision made after an informal conference within the time specified in this section, the citation or the proposed assessment of a civil penalty or the decision made after an informal conference shall be deemed a final order of the board and shall not be subject to further administrative review.
K.S.A. § 47-844 provides that if a veterinarian has notified the executive director within 30 days of the issuance of the assessment or citation that such veterinarian intends to contest the decision made after the informal conference, the board shall hold a hearing to be held in accordance with the Kansas administrative procedure act. After the hearing, the board shall issue a decision, based on findings of fact, affirming, modifying, or vacating the citation, or directing other appropriate relief which shall include, but need not be limited to, a notice that the failure of a veterinarian to comply with any provision of the board’s decision constitutes grounds for suspension, or denial of licensure, or both
K.S.A. § 47-844 provides that failure of the licensee to pay a fine within 30 days of the date of assessment, unless the citation is being appealed, may result in disciplinary action being taken by the board. When a citation is not contested and a fine is not paid, the full amount of the assessed fine shall be added to the fee for renewal of the license. A license shall not be renewed without payment of the renewal fee and fine.
[i] K.S.A. § 47-821.