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West Virginia Laws on Regulation and Licensing of Veterinarians

The West Virginia laws on regulation and licensing of veterinarians are found in W. Va. Code §§ 30-10-1 through 30-10A-9.  Pursuant to W. Va. Code § 30-10-4, the members of the West Virginia Board of Veterinary in office on July 1, 2010,will, unless sooner removed, continue to serve until their respective terms expire and until their successors have been appointed and qualified.

Powers of the West Virginia State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

The board has all the powers and duties set forth in this article, by rule, in article one [§§ 30-1-1 et seq.] of this chapter and elsewhere in law, including:

(1) Hold meetings, conduct hearings and administer examinations;

(2) Establish requirements for a license, permit, certificate and registration;

(3) Establish procedures for submitting, approving and rejecting applications for a license, permit, certificate and registration;

(4) Determine the qualifications of any applicant for a license, permit, certificate and registration;

(5) Establish the fees charged under the provisions of this article;

(6) Issue, renew, deny, suspend, revoke or reinstate a license, permit, certificate and registration;

(7) Prepare, conduct, administer and grade written, oral or written and oral examinations for a license, certificate and registration;

(8) Determine the passing grade for the examinations;

(9) Contract with third parties to administer the examinations required under the provisions of this article;

(10) Maintain records of the examinations the board or a third party administers, including the number of persons taking the examination and the pass and fail rate;

(11) Maintain an office, and hire, discharge, establish the job requirements and fix the compensation of employees and contract with persons necessary to enforce the provisions of this article;

(12) Investigate alleged violations of the provisions of this article, legislative rules, orders and final decisions of the board;

(13) Conduct disciplinary hearings of persons regulated by the board;

(14) Determine disciplinary action and issue orders;

(15) Institute appropriate legal action for the enforcement of the provisions of this article;

(16) Maintain an accurate registry of names and addresses of all persons regulated by the board;

(17) Keep accurate and complete records of its proceedings, and certify the same as may be necessary and appropriate;

(18) Establish, by legislative rule, the continuing education requirements for licensees, permitees, certificate holders and registrants;

(19) Propose rules in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this article;

(20) Sue and be sued in its official name as an agency of this state;

(21) Confer with the Attorney General or his or her assistant in connection with legal matters and questions; and

(22) Take all other actions necessary and proper to effectuate the purposes of this article.

Licensing of Veterinarians

Pursuant to W. Va. Code § 30-10-8, to be eligible for a license to practice veterinary medicine under the provisions of this article, the applicant must:

(1) Be of good moral character;

(2) (A) Be a graduate of an accredited school approved by the board; or

(B) Be a graduate of a foreign veterinary school and hold a certificate of competence issued by a foreign veterinary graduate educational organization as approved by the board;

(3) Have passed the examinations required by the board;

(4) Be at least eighteen years of age;

(5) Be a citizen of the United States or be eligible for employment in the United States;

(6) Not have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;

(7) Not have been convicted of a felony under the laws of any jurisdiction within five years preceding the date of application for licensure which conviction remains unreversed; and

(8) Not have been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony under the laws of any jurisdiction at any time if the offense for which the applicant was convicted related to the practice of veterinary medicine or animal abuse or neglect.

The statute further provides that a person seeking a license under the provisions of this article may submit an application on a form prescribed by the board and pay all applicable fees.  An applicant from another jurisdiction must comply with all the requirements of this article.  A license to practice veterinary medicine issued by the board prior to July 1, 2010, will for all purposes be considered a license issued under this article and may be renewed under this article.  An application for a license to practice veterinary medicine submitted to the board prior to July 1, 2010, will be considered in conformity with the licensing provisions of this article and the rules promulgated thereunder in effect at the time of the submission of the application.  A person licensed to practice veterinary medicine may do the following:

(a) Prescribe or administer any drug, medicine, treatment, method or practice for an animal.

(b) Perform any operation or manipulation on or apply any apparatus or appliance to an animal.

(c) Give instruction or demonstration for the cure, amelioration, correction or reduction or modification of an animal condition, disease, deformity, defect, wound or injury.

(d) Diagnose or prognosticate an animal condition, disease, deformity, defect, wound or injury for hire, fee, reward or compensation that is directly or indirectly promised, offered, expected, received or accepted.

(e) Prescribe or administer any legally authorized drug, medicine, treatment, method or practice, perform any operation or manipulation, or apply any apparatus or appliance for the cure, amelioration, correction or modification of an animal condition, disease, deformity, defect, wound or injury for hire, fee, compensation or reward that is directly or indirectly promised, offered, expected, received or accepted.

W. Va. Code § 30-10-10 provides that to be eligible for a registration to practice veterinary technology under the provisions of this article, the applicant must:

(1) Be of good moral character;

(2) Have a degree in veterinary technology from an accredited school, approved by the board;

(3) Have passed the examinations required by the board;

(4) Be at least eighteen years of age;

(5) Be a citizen of the United States or be eligible for employment in the United States;

(6) Not have been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;

(7) Not have been convicted of a felony under the laws of any jurisdiction within five years preceding the date of application for registration which conviction remains unreversed; and

(8) Not have been convicted of a misdemeanor or a felony under the laws of any jurisdiction at any time if the offense for which the applicant was convicted related to the practice of veterinary technology or animal abuse or neglect.

A person seeking registration may submit an application on a form prescribed by the board and pay all applicable fees.  A person registered to practice veterinary technology issued by the board prior to July 1, 2010, will for all purposes be considered registered under this article and may renew pursuant to the provisions of this article.

Euthanasia of Animals

Furthermore, to be eligible to be a certified animal euthanasia technician a person must:

(1) Apply at least thirty days prior to the date the next written examinations are scheduled, using a form prescribed by the board;

(2) Have a high school diploma or GED,

(3) Pay application and examination fees;

(4) Complete the certified animal euthanasia technician’s program established by the board;

(5) Pass the written and practical skills examinations;

(6) Pass the prescribed background check; and

(7) Complete all the other requirements established by the board.

Moreover, a certified animal euthanasia technician may practice animal euthanasia at a legally operated animal control facility.  A person certified as an animal euthanasia technician by the board prior to July 1, 2010, must for all purposes be considered certified under this article and may renew pursuant to the provisions of this article[iii].

Moreover, the board can create a certified animal euthanasia technician’s program.  The board may design this program to teach applicants for certification record keeping and the legal, safety and practical information needed to become a certified animal euthanasia technician.  The board can administer written examinations to an applicant for certification.  The written examinations will test the applicant’s knowledge of the following:

(A) Animal restraint;

(B) Drug enforcement agency regulations;

(C) Record keeping requirements for controlled substances;

(D) Handling, inventory, security and proper storage of euthanasia drugs, solutions and syringes;

(E) The certification process;

(F) Legal requirements;

(G) Stress management;

(H) Approved animal euthanasia drug usage;

(I) Jurisprudence; and

(J) Other subject areas specified by the board in a legislative rule.

However, the applicant must pass the written examinations with a minimum correct score, as determined by the board, in order to be eligible to take the practical skills examination provided in subsection (c) of this section. In addition to the written examinations provided under subsection (b) of this section, the board shall administer a practical skills examination to an applicant who has successfully passed the written examinations. The board shall conduct the practical skills examination in a manner that tests an applicant’s ability to properly restrain an animal, measure a correct dosage of euthanasia solution, locate an injection site and perform an injection. In order to pass the practical skills examination, an applicant shall exhibit to the board that he or she can locate an injection site and perform an injection and also perform euthanasia correctly and humanely.

An applicant who successfully passes the written examinations and the practical skills examination required by this section shall sign a form authorizing the board to make inquiries through the United States Department of Justice, or any other legal jurisdiction or entity, for the purpose of determining the character and reputation of the applicant and other matters relating to the certification of the applicant.

A certified animal euthanasia technician may euthanize animals assigned to the care of an animal control facility.  A certified animal euthanasia technician can practice euthanasia within the limitations imposed by this article and rules promulgated by the board under this article.  However, a certified animal euthanasia technician may not practice or offer to practice his or her profession outside the direct authority of the animal control facility which employs him or her or otherwise contracts for his or her services.  A certified animal euthanasia technician is not qualified and may not indicate that he or she is qualified to act in any capacity relative to animals beyond his or her specified and regulated authority to euthanize animals at the instruction of the animal control facility by which he or she is employed.  Annually, before January 15, a certified animal euthanasia technician may report to the board the number of animals euthanized at his or her facility during the previous calendar year[v].

Pursuant to W. Va. Code § 30-10-18, the board can prescribe the form for a license, permit, registration and certificate and may issue a duplicate upon payment of a fee. Any person regulated by this article shall conspicuously display his or her license, permit, registration or certification at his or her principal business location.

Discipline of Veterinarians

Pursuant to W. Va. Code § 30-10-19, the board may upon its own motion and shall upon the written complaint of any person cause an investigation to be made to determine whether grounds exist for disciplinary action under this article. Upon initiation or receipt of the complaint, the board shall provide a copy of the complaint to the licensee, permittee, registrant or certificate holder. After reviewing any information obtained through an investigation, the board shall determine if probable cause exists that the licensee, permittee, registrant or certificate holder has violated any provision of this article. Upon a finding that probable cause exists that the licensee, permittee, registrant or certificate holder has violated this article, the board may enter into a consent decree or hold a hearing for the suspension or revocation of the license, permit, registration or certificate or the imposition of sanctions against the licensee, permittee, registrant or certificate holder. The hearing shall be held in accordance with the provisions of this article.

Any member of the board or the executive director of the board may issue subpoenas and subpoenas duces tecum to obtain testimony and documents to aid in the investigation of allegations against any person regulated by this article.  Any member of the board or its executive director may sign a consent decree or other legal document on behalf of the board. The board may, after notice and opportunity for hearing, deny, refuse to renew, suspend or revoke the license, permit, registration or certificate of, impose probationary conditions upon or take disciplinary action against, any licensee, permittee, registrant or certificate holder for any of the following reasons:

  • Obtaining a license, permit, registration or certificate by fraud, misrepresentation or concealment of material facts;
  • Being convicted of a felony or other crime involving moral turpitude;
  • Being guilty of unprofessional conduct;
  • Intentional violation of this article or lawful order;
  • Having had a license or other authorization to practice revoked or suspended, other disciplinary action taken, or an application for licensure or other authorization refused, revoked or suspended by the proper authorities of another jurisdiction, irrespective of intervening appeals and stays; or
  • Engaging in any act which has endangered or is likely to endanger the health, welfare or safety of the public.

The disciplinary action may include:

(1) Reprimand;

(2) Probation;

(3) Administrative fine, not to exceed $1,000 a day per violation;

(4) Mandatory attendance at continuing education seminars or other training;

(5) Practicing under supervision or other restriction;

(6) Requiring the licensee, permittee, registrant or certificate holder to report to the board for periodic interviews for a specified period of time; or

(7) Other corrective action considered by the board to be necessary to protect the public, including advising other parties whose legitimate interests may be at risk.

However, when, as a result of an investigation under this article or otherwise, the board has reason to believe that a person has knowingly violated this article, the board may bring its information to the attention of an appropriate law-enforcement official who may cause criminal proceedings to be brought.  Any person violating a provision of this article is guilty of a misdemeanor.  Moreover, upon conviction thereof, the person will be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,000 or confined in jail not more than six months, or both fined and confined[vi].

[i] W. Va. Code § 30-10-5.

[ii]W. Va. Code § 30-10-9.

[iii] W. Va. Code § 30-10-12.

[iv] W. Va. Code § 30-10-13.

[v] W. Va. Code § 30-10-14.

[vi] W. Va. Code § 30-10-22.


Inside West Virginia Laws on Regulation and Licensing of Veterinarians