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Minnesota Laws on Regulation and Licensing of Veterinarians

Under Minnesota law, provisions relating to regulation of physicians are provided under ALM GL ch. 112, § 54 through ALM GL ch. 112, § 60.

Minnesota State Board of Veterinary Medicine consists of two public members and five licensed veterinarians appointed by the governor.  Each appointee shall be a resident of the state of Minnesota, and the veterinarian members of the board shall have practiced veterinary medicine in this state for at least five years prior to their appointment[i].

Licensing of Veterinarians

The applicant must be of 18 years of age, is of good moral character, and has one of the following qualifications:

  • a diploma conferring the degree of doctor of veterinary medicine, or an equivalent degree, from an accredited or approved college of veterinary medicine;
  • an ECFVG or PAVE certificate; or
  • a certificate from the dean of an accredited or approved college of veterinary medicine stating that the applicant is a student in good standing expecting to be graduated at the completion of the current academic year of the college in which the applicant is enrolled[ii].

The application shall be filed with the board at least 60 days before the date of the examination and must be accompanied with the requisite fees in the form of a check or money order payable to the board.  The board may charge a fee of $25 per license verification to a licensee for verification of licensure status provided to other veterinary licensing boards.  The fee for continuing education review is $50 per submission[iii].  The fee is not returnable in the event permission to take the examination is denied for good cause.  In addition, the application shall contain a copy of a diploma from an accredited or approved college of veterinary medicine or a certificate from the dean or secretary of such college showing the time spent in the school and the date when the applicant was duly and regularly graduated or will duly and regularly graduate or verification of ECFVG or PAVE certification.  The applicant must also produce affidavits of at least two veterinarians and three adults who are not related to the applicant.  If the applicant has served in the armed forces, s/he shall produce a copy of discharge papers.  The board may permit individuals not qualified for a Minnesota license by reason of graduation from a nonaccredited or approved college of veterinary medicine to take the national examinations in veterinary medicine when it is necessary as a prerequisite to obtaining the ECFVG certification[iv].

The board shall issue a license upon fulfillment of the requirements by an applicant. The license shall be subscribed by the president and secretary of the Board of Veterinary Medicine and have affixed to it by the director the seal of the board[v].
Licensed persons are required to conspicuously display their license in their principal place of business and have to periodically renew such licenses[vi].

An expired license, which is suspended by the board pursuant to Minn. Stat. §  156.07, may be reinstated at any time within five years after its suspension on filing an application accompanied by the  renewal fee, plus all back fees, late fees, and reinstatement fees.  In addition, satisfactory evidence of meeting yearly continuing education requirements must be furnished to the board[vii].  A person who fails to renew a license within five years after its suspension may have to obtain a new license[viii].
a non resident applicant may be admitted to practice without examination on fulfillment of certain conditions including:

  • actively engaged in practicing veterinary medicine  for at least three of the five years next preceding the application, or
  • having been engaged in full time teaching of veterinary medicine in an approved or accredited college for at least three of the five years next preceding the application, or any combination thereof[ix].

However, the board may impose any other examinations it considers proper[x].
The board may issue without examination a temporary permit to practice veterinary medicine in this state to a person who has submitted an application approved by the board for license pending examination, and holds a doctor of veterinary medicine degree or an equivalent degree from an approved or accredited college of veterinary medicine or an ECFVG or PAVE certification[xi].  The temporary permit will expire the day after publication of results of the first examination given after the permit is issued.  A temporary permit may not be issued to any applicant who has previously failed the national examination and is currently not licensed in any licensing jurisdiction of the U.S. or Canada.  Any person whose license has been revoked or suspended or who is currently subject to a disciplinary order in any licensing jurisdiction of the U.S. or Canada is not eligible for a temporary permit[xii].

On the other hand, a temporary license may be granted to a graduate of a nonaccredited or approved college of veterinary medicine.  In order to be eligible, such student must have satisfactorily completed the fourth year of clinical study and has successfully passed the national examination in veterinary medicine and the Minnesota Veterinary Jurisprudence Examination, and is enrolled in the ECFVG program[xiii].  The candidate must practice under the supervision of a Minnesota licensed veterinarian.  The temporary license is valid until the candidate obtains ECFVG certification or for a maximum of two years from the date of issue[xiv].

Discipline of Veterinarians

The board may limit, suspend, or revoke the license of any person to practice veterinary medicine for any of the following causes:

  • the employment of fraud, misrepresentation or deception in obtaining such license;
  • conviction for a felony or gross misdemeanor;
  • being unable to practice with reasonable skill and safety by reason of illness, use of alcohol, drugs, chemicals, or any other materials, or as a result of any mental or physical condition;
  • existence of a professional connection with or the lending of one’s name to any illegal practitioner of veterinary medicine;
  • having been the subject of revocation, suspension, or surrender of a veterinary license in resolution of a complaint or other adverse action related to licensure in another jurisdiction or country;
  • violating a state or federal narcotics or controlled substance law irrespective of any proceedings under section 152.18 or federal law;
  • fraudulently conducting or reporting results of physical examinations or biological tests used to detect and prevent the dissemination of animal diseases, transportation of diseased animals, or distribution of contaminated, infected, or inedible animal products, or failing to report, as required by law, any contagious or infectious disease;
  • engaging in false, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading advertising;
  • conviction on a charge of cruelty to animals;
  • failure, after written notification by the board, to keep one’s premises and all equipment therein in a clean and sanitary condition, according to reasonable standards adopted by the board;
  • fraud, deception, or incompetence in the practice of veterinary medicine, including any departure from or failure to conform to the minimum standards of acceptable and prevailing practice without actual injury having to be established;
  • engaging in unprofessional conduct as defined in rules adopted by the board or engaging in conduct which violates any statute or rule promulgated by the board or any board order;
  • being adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction, within or without this state, as a person who is incapacitated, mentally incompetent or mentally ill, chemically dependent, mentally ill and dangerous to the public, or a psychopathic personality;
  • revealing a privileged communication from or relating to a client except when otherwise required or permitted by law;
  • obtaining money, property, or services from a client through the use of undue influence, harassment, duress, deception, or fraud or through the improper use of the regulated individual’s position as a professional;
  • practicing outside the scope of practice authorized by the board’s practice act; or
  • making a false statement or misrepresentation to the board[xv].

Apart from denying an application for a license or the actions of revocation, suspension of license, the board can impose conditions and limitations on license or censure or reprimand the regulated person publicly or privately.  Alternatively, the board can impose an administrative penalty not exceeding $10,000 for each separate violation[xvi].

[i] Minn. Stat. § 156.01.

[ii] Minn. Stat. § 156.02.

[iii] Minn. Stat. § 156.015.

[iv] Id.

[v] Minn. Stat. § 156.05.

[vi] Minn. Stat. § 156.07.

[vii] Minn. Stat. § 156.071.

[viii] Id.

[ix] Minn. Stat. § 156.072.

[x] Id.

[xi] Minn. Stat. § 156.073.

[xii] Id.

[xiii] Minn. Stat. § 156.074.

[xiv] Id.

[xv] Minn. Stat. § 156.081.

[xvi] Minn. Stat. § 156.127.

Inside Minnesota Laws on Regulation and Licensing of Veterinarians