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South Dakota Laws on Regulation and Licensing of Veterinarians

The South Dakota laws on regulation and licensing are found in S.D. Codified Laws §§ 36-12-1 through 36-12-29.  Pursuant to S.D. Codified Laws § 1-41-10, the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, created by chapter 36-12, and its functions in the former Department of Commerce and Regulation are transferred to the Department of Agriculture.  The Secretary of the Department of Agriculture must perform the functions of the former Secretary of the Department of Commerce and Regulation, relating to the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

South Dakota State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

Pursuant to S.D. Codified Laws § 36-12-5.1, the Governor must appoint a State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners which shall include three veterinarians. Each veterinarian shall be a graduate from a college authorized by law to confer degrees of veterinary medicine with educational standards equal to those approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association, and each veterinarian shall be licensed and registered under this chapter and actively engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine in the state for a period of five years preceding the appointment. Appointments shall be made for the term of three years. No member of this board may serve more than three full terms. The appointment of a person to an unexpired term is not considered a full term.

Furthermore, the membership of the board of veterinary medical examiners must include one lay member who is a user of the services regulated by the board. The term lay member who is a user refers to a person who is not licensed by the board but where practical uses the service licensed, and the meaning shall be liberally construed to implement the purpose of this section. The lay member shall be appointed by the Governor and shall have the same term of office as other members of the board.

Licensing of Veterinarians

In South Dakota, any person who is over the age of eighteen years desiring to begin the practice of veterinary medicine or veterinary surgery in the State of South Dakota shall make application to the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners for license to do so. The application shall be made on a form furnished by the board and shall be accompanied by evidence that the applicant has graduated in and received a degree from an accredited or approved college of veterinary medicine, holds a current certificate issued by the American Veterinary Medical Association Education Commission for foreign veterinary graduates, or holds a certificate from the Program for Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence from the American Association of Veterinary State Boards, indicating that the applicant has demonstrated knowledge and skill equivalent to that possessed by a graduate of an accredited or approved college of veterinary medicine. Every person applying to the board for license to practice shall pay to the board a fee, not to exceed one hundred dollars, which shall become a part of the funds of the treasury of the board. The board must promulgate rules pursuant to chapter 1-26 to set the application for licensure fee and establish the educational training, reciprocity, discipline, and examination standards for the licensure for the practice of veterinary medicine and veterinary technicians. Application fees for veterinarians may not exceed one hundred dollars and application fees for veterinary technicians may not exceed twenty-five dollars.

Pursuant to S.D. Codified Laws § 36-12-19, each person licensed by the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners to practice veterinary medicine in this state shall procure from the secretary of the board on or before July first, on a biennial basis, a certificate of registration. Such certificate shall be issued by the secretary upon payment of a fee set by the board, by rule, promulgated pursuant to chapter 1-26, not to exceed the sum of two hundred dollars. No licensed person applying for a certificate of registration after July first may be issued a certificate without paying a late fee not to exceed one hundred dollars.

The South Dakota statutes further provide that the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners may, in compliance with chapter 1-26, either refuse to issue a license or refuse to issue a certificate of registration or suspend or revoke a license and certificate of registration upon any of the following grounds:

(1) Fraud or deception in procuring the license;

(2) The publication or use of any untruthful or improper statement, or representation, with a view of deceiving the public, or any client or customer in connection with the practice of veterinary medicine;

(3) Habitual intemperance in the use of intoxicating liquors, or habitual addiction to the use of morphine, cocaine, or other habit-forming drugs; or entry of a plea of guilty to, or nolo contendere to, or conviction of a violation of any federal or state law relating to controlled drugs or substances;

(4)  Immoral, unprofessional, or dishonorable conduct manifestly disqualifying the licensee from practicing veterinary medicine;

(5) Malpractice, including failure to furnish to the board, upon written application by it, any report or information relating thereto;

(6) The employment of an unlicensed person to perform work which under this chapter can lawfully be done only by persons licensed to practice veterinary medicine;

(7) Fraud or dishonest conduct in applying or reporting diagnostic biological tests or in issuing health certificates;

(8) Failure to keep one’s premises in a reasonably clean and sanitary condition and failure to use reasonably sanitary methods in the practice of veterinary medicine;

(9) The use, prescription, or sale of any veterinary prescription drug in the absence of a valid veterinary client-patient relationship;

(10)  Professional incompetence which constitutes a deviation from the statewide standard of competence, which is that minimum degree of skill and knowledge necessary for the performance of characteristic tasks of a veterinarian in at least a reasonably effective way.

Discipline of Veterinarians

S.D. Codified Laws § 36-12-24 provides that all proceedings relative to the revocation or suspension of license. All proceedings relative to the revocation or suspension of a license, or relative to reissuing a license which has been revoked shall only be held when a majority of the members of the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners are present at such hearings. Such proceedings shall be in compliance with chapter 1-26. Any person engaging in the practice of veterinary medicine for which a license and registration certificate is required without such license or registration certificate, or without a temporary permit to do so, is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

[i] S.D. Codified Laws § 36-12-3.

[ii] S.D. Codified Laws § 36-12-5.1.

[iii] S.D. Codified Laws § 36-12-12.

[iv] S.D. Codified Laws § 36-12-22.

[v] S.D. Codified Laws § 36-12-27.


Inside South Dakota Laws on Regulation and Licensing of Veterinarians