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Wyoming Laws on Regulation and Licensing of Veterinarians

In Wyoming, the laws on regulation and licensing of veterinarians are found in Wyo. Stat. §§ 33-30-101 through 33-30-222.  Pursuant to the statutes, no person in Wyoming or in any county or city can be appointed or elected to any public position requiring veterinary skill or knowledge, who has not, prior to his or her appointment or election become a duly licensed veterinarian[i].

Pursuant to Wyo. Stat. § 33-30-204, a Wyoming board of veterinary medicine will be appointed by the governor, by and with the consent of the senate.  The board will consist of five (5) members who will hold office for a term of six (6) years.  The governor may remove any board member from office as provided in W.S. 9-1-202.  The board will meet at least once each year at the time and place fixed by rule of the board.  Furthermore, the board can adopt a seal which shall be affixed to all licenses issued by the board and to other papers requiring the same.  All board records will be open to public inspection during regular office hours of the secretary-treasurer; except, information received by the board through inspection and investigations involving the question of licensure will be confidential and will not be disclosed except as may be judicially required.

Powers of the Wyoming State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners

Furthermore, Wyo. Stat. § 33-30-204 provides that the board is empowered to:

  • Examine and determine the qualifications and fitness of applicants for a license to practice veterinary medicine in the state;
  • Issue, renew, deny, suspend, or revoke licenses and temporary permits to practice veterinary medicine in the state or otherwise discipline licensed veterinarians consistent with the provisions of the act and the rules and regulations adopted thereunder, provided that any denial, suspension or revocation of a license shall be preceded by notice and an opportunity for a hearing;
  • Regulate artificial insemination of animals by establishing standards of practice by consultation with approved schools of artificial insemination and issue permits to persons found qualified by the board;
  • Establish and publish annually a schedule of fees for licensing and registration of veterinarians and the issuance of permits;
  • Conduct investigations for the purpose of discovering violations of this act;
  • Hold hearings on all matters properly brought before the board;;
  • Employ full-time or part-time professional, clerical or special personnel necessary to effectuate the provisions of this act and purchase or rent necessary office space, equipment and supplies;
  • Employ personnel and incur expenses as may be necessary for the promotion of education and standards of veterinary medicine through institutes, conferences, educational programs or any other means as may result in improved services;
  • Accept any federal, state, county, city or private funds, grants or appropriations which shall be used to award scholarships, fellowships or assistantships to qualified persons to study veterinary medicine in an approved school. The funds shall be deposited in the state treasury and credited to a separate account. The funds shall be paid out upon request of the board as provided by law. The above mentioned awards shall be granted under rules adopted by the board;
  • Appoint from its own membership one (1) or more members to act as representatives of the board at any meeting within or without the state where such representation is deemed desirable;
  • Bring proceedings in the courts for the enforcement of this act or any regulations made pursuant thereto;
  • Adopt, amend, or repeal all rules necessary for its government and all regulations necessary to carry into effect the provision of this act including the establishment and publication of standards of professional conduct for the practice of veterinary medicine;
  • Regulate the transplanting of embryos in animals by establishing standards of practice and issue permits to persons found qualified by the board;
  • Make recommendations regarding members of the animal euthanasia technicians certification board to the governor pursuant to W.S. 33-30-217(a).

The powers enumerated are granted for the purpose of enabling the board to supervise effectively the practice of veterinary medicine and are to be construed liberally to accomplish this objective. In the exercise of its powers, the board shall be governed by the provisions of the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act.[ii].

Licensing of Veterinarians

In Wyoming, any person desiring a license to practice veterinary medicine in this state shall make written application to the board. The application shall show that the applicant is an adult, subscribes to and will uphold the principles incorporated in the constitution of the United States, a graduate of a college of veterinary medicine, a person of good moral character, physical and mental health, and shall provide such other information and proof as the board may require by rule. The application shall be accompanied by a fee in the amount established and published by the board. If the board determines that the applicant possesses the proper qualifications, it shall admit the applicant to the next examination, or if the applicant is eligible for a license without examination under W.S. 33-30-208, the board may forthwith grant him a license. If an applicant is found not qualified to take the examination or does not qualify for a license without examination, the board shall immediately notify the applicant in writing of such finding and the grounds therefor. A licensee whose license is revoked or an applicant found unqualified shall be afforded an opportunity for a hearing to be conducted in accordance with the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act. Any applicant who is found not qualified shall be allowed the return of his application fee.

Discipline of Veterinarians

Pursuant to the Wyoming law, all licenses shall expire annually on December 31 of each year and shall be renewed by registration with the board and payment of the registration renewal fee established and published by the board. On December 1 of each year, the board shall mail a notice to each licensed veterinarian that his license will expire on December 31 and provide him with a form for reregistration. The board shall issue annual certificates of registration to all persons registering under this act. Any person who shall practice veterinary medicine after the expiration of his license and wilfully or by neglect fail to renew such license shall be practicing in violation of this act. The board may, by rule establish a grace period for license renewal not to exceed sixty (60) days and establish a late fee for license renewal which shall not exceed the annual renewal fee. At the discretion of the board, any person not practicing in the state may renew an expired license within five (5) years of the date of its expiration by making written application for renewal and paying the current renewal fee plus a late fee and all delinquent renewal fees. After five (5) years have elapsed since the date of the expiration, a license may not be renewed, but the holder must make application for a new license.

Furthermore, the board may by rule waive the payment of the registration renewal fee of a licensed veterinarian during the period when s/he is on active duty with any branch of the armed services of the United States, not to exceed the longer of three (3) years or the duration of a national emergency.  The board will issue a duplicate license to replace one that has been lost or otherwise rendered unusable upon payment of a fee set by rule of the board[iv].

Pursuant to Wyo. Stat. § 33-30-212, upon written complaint sworn to by any person, the board may after a fair hearing and by a concurrence of all members, deny, revoke or suspend for a certain time the license of, or reprimand, any applicant or licensed veterinarian who upon proof to the satisfaction of the board:

  • Has employed fraud, misrepresentation, or deception in obtaining a license;
  • Has been adjudicated insane;
  • Has habitually used drugs or intoxicants;
  • Has been convicted of a felony, involving moral turpitude, or has entered a plea of nolo contendere upon being charged with commission of such a felony;
  • Has been convicted of a violation of any federal or state law relating to narcotic drugs;
  • Has used advertising or solicitation deemed unprofessional by the board;
  • Has been guilty of gross malpractice or gross neglect in the practice of veterinary medicine which has endangered the health or life of any person or animal;
  • Has had professional association with or employed any person practicing veterinary medicine unlawfully;
  • Has committed acts of fraud or dishonesty; especially in the application or reporting of any test for disease in animals;
  • Has failed to report, if required by law, or made false report of, any contagious or infectious disease;
  • Has been guilty of gross negligence in the inspection of foodstuffs or the issuance of health certificate, inspection certificate or vaccination certificate or other form used in the practice of veterinary medicine contributing to the dissemination of animal disease, transportation of diseased animals, or the sale of products of animal origin not fit for human consumption;
  • Has had a license to practice veterinary medicine by another state, territory, or district of the United States revoked or suspended on grounds other than nonpayment of registration fee;
  • Has been guilty of unprofessional conduct as defined in regulations adopted by the board;
  • Has been guilty of willful or repeated violation of any provision of this act;
  • Has willfully failed to display a license to practice veterinary medicine in the state of Wyoming;
  • Has failed to keep the equipment and premises of the business establishment in a clean and sanitary condition as established by rules of the board;
  • Has refused to permit the board to inspect the business premises of the licensee during regular business hours;
  • Has been convicted of a charge of cruelty to animals;
  • Has failed to answer to the board, when so requested in writing, in regard to information relating to any of the violations listed under this section.

Moreover, upon receipt from the department of family services of a certified copy of an order from a court to withhold, suspend or otherwise restrict a license issued by the board, the board shall notify the party named in the court order of the withholding, suspension or restriction of the license in accordance with the terms of the court order. No appeal under the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act shall be allowed for a license withheld, suspended or restricted under this subsection.

The Wyoming statutes further state that any person whose license is suspended or revoked may, at the discretion of the board, be relicensed or reinstated at any time without an examination by majority vote of the board on written application made to the board showing cause justifying relicensing or reinstatement. Furthermore, any person who will practice veterinary medicine without a currently valid license or temporary permit is guilty of a misdemeanor.  Upon conviction for a first offense, such person will be fined not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or imprisoned for no more than six (6) months, or both fined and imprisoned; provided that each act of such unlawful practice constitute a distinct and separate offense.

The board or any citizen of Wyoming State may bring an action to enjoin any person from practicing veterinary medicine without a currently valid license or temporary permit.  If the court finds that the person is violating or is threatening to violate the act [ §§ 33-30-201 through 33-30-215], it will enter an injunction restraining him from such unlawful acts[vi].

Euthanasia of Animals

Pursuant to Wyo. Stat. § 33-30-217, the Wyoming Animal Euthanasia Technician Certification Board consist of five (5) members appointed by the governor.  The animal euthanasia technician certification board can make recommendations to the governor after receiving the recommendation of the Wyoming state board of veterinary medicine.  The statutes provide that the initial membership of the board may include at least one (1) licensed veterinarian, one (1) actively employed animal control officer, one (1) law enforcement official whose duties include supervision of animal control and one (1) citizen from the public at large.  Thereafter, members of the board can be certified euthanasia technicians, veterinarians licensed in Wyoming or certified peace officers.  Furthermore, the board can:

  • Grant, suspend or revoke the certification of any animal euthanasia technician.  The board may examine the credentials of applicants for certification and current certificate holders and may grant, suspend or revoke certification on the basis of the credentials or upon other cause as specified by the rules of the board.  In addition, the board may require oral interviews and practical demonstrations;
  • Examine and approve available animal euthanasia training and testing programs for use by applicants for certification.  In the absence of available animal euthanasia training and testing programs, the board can develop a program for use by animal euthanasia technicians in Wyoming.  A program approved or developed pursuant to this will include:

(A) Methods of humanely euthanizing injured, sick, homeless, or unwanted animals;

(B) Security precautions;

(C) Record keeping; and

(D) Other skills as determined necessary by the board.

  • Promulgate rules and regulations in accordance with the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act necessary for the implementation of this act, including the establishment of fees provided for by this act and rules relating to professional conduct which establish ethical and professional standards of practice;
  • Conduct investigations and hearings pursuant to the Wyoming Administrative Procedure Act[vii].

However, pursuant to Wyo. Stat. § 33-30-221, any person employed or sponsored by a law enforcement agency who euthanizes an animal by injection of euthanizing drugs without being certified according to the provisions of this act is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more that seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, or both.

[i] Wyo. Stat. § 33-30-102.

[ii] Wyo. Stat. § 33-30-204.

[iii] Wyo. Stat. § 33-30-206.

[iv] Wyo. Stat. § 33-30-211.

[v] Wyo. Stat. § 33-30-213.

[vi] Wyo. Stat. § 33-30-214.

[vii] Wyo. Stat. § 33-30-218.

Inside Wyoming Laws on Regulation and Licensing of Veterinarians