Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 2. HEALING ARTS [500 - 4999.129]

  ( Division 2 enacted by Stats. 1937, Ch. 399. )

CHAPTER 11. Veterinary Medicine [4800 - 4917]

  ( Chapter 11 repealed and added by Stats. 1937, Ch. 933. )

ARTICLE 3. Issuance of Licenses [4846 - 4857]
  ( Article 3 added by Stats. 1937, Ch. 933. )

4846.
  

Applications for a license shall be upon a form furnished by the board and, in addition, shall be accompanied by a diploma or other verification of graduation from a veterinary college recognized by the board.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 642 (Sec. 17). Effective January 1, 1998.)

4846.1.
  

If the veterinary college from which an applicant is graduated is not recognized by the board, the board shall have the authority to determine the qualifications of such graduates and to review the quality of the educational experience attained by them in an unrecognized veterinary college. The board shall have the authority to adopt rules and regulations to implement this provision.

(Added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 265.)

4846.2.
  

If the board finds in evaluating the graduate described in Section 4846.1 that such applicant is deficient in qualification or in the quality of his educational experience the board may require such applicant to fulfill such other remedial or other requirements as the board, by regulation, may prescribe.

(Added by Stats. 1975, Ch. 265.)

4846.4.
  

(a) Each individual licensed by the board shall biennially apply for renewal of his or her license or registration on or before the last day of the applicant’s birthday month. The application shall be made on a form provided by the board.

(b) The application shall 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 California or any other state or territory, and has not violated any of the provisions of this chapter. If the applicant is unable to make that statement, the application shall contain a statement of the conviction, professional discipline, or violation.

(c) The board may, as part of the renewal process, make necessary inquiries of the applicant and conduct an investigation in order to determine if cause for disciplinary action exists.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1007, Sec. 2.)

4846.5.
  

(a) Except as provided in this section, the board shall issue renewal licenses only to those applicants that have completed a minimum of 36 hours of continuing education in the preceding two years.

(b) (1) Notwithstanding any other law, continuing education hours shall be earned by attending courses relevant to veterinary medicine and sponsored or cosponsored by any of the following:

(A) American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited veterinary medical colleges.

(B) Accredited colleges or universities offering programs relevant to veterinary medicine.

(C) The American Veterinary Medical Association.

(D) American Veterinary Medical Association recognized specialty or affiliated allied groups.

(E) American Veterinary Medical Association’s affiliated state veterinary medical associations.

(F) Nonprofit annual conferences established in conjunction with state veterinary medical associations.

(G) Educational organizations affiliated with the American Veterinary Medical Association or its state affiliated veterinary medical associations.

(H) Local veterinary medical associations affiliated with the California Veterinary Medical Association.

(I) Federal, state, or local government agencies.

(J) Providers accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) or approved by the American Medical Association (AMA), providers recognized by the American Dental Association Continuing Education Recognition Program (ADA CERP), and AMA or ADA affiliated state, local, and specialty organizations.

(2) Continuing education credits shall be granted to those veterinarians taking self-study courses, which may include, but are not limited to, reading journals, viewing video recordings, or listening to audio recordings. The taking of these courses shall be limited to no more than six hours biennially.

(3) The board may approve other continuing veterinary medical education providers not specified in paragraph (1).

(A) The board has the authority to recognize national continuing education approval bodies for the purpose of approving continuing education providers not specified in paragraph (1).

(B) Applicants seeking continuing education provider approval shall have the option of applying to the board or to a board-recognized national approval body.

(4) For good cause, the board may adopt an order specifying, on a prospective basis, that a provider of continuing veterinary medical education authorized pursuant to paragraph (1) or (3) is no longer an acceptable provider.

(5) Continuing education hours earned by attending courses sponsored or cosponsored by those entities listed in paragraph (1) between January 1, 2000, and January 1, 2001, shall be credited toward a veterinarian’s continuing education requirement under this section.

(c) Every person renewing his or her license issued pursuant to Section 4846.4, or any person applying for relicensure or for reinstatement of his or her license to active status, shall submit proof of compliance with this section to the board certifying that he or she is in compliance with this section. Any false statement submitted pursuant to this section shall be a violation subject to Section 4831.

(d) This section shall not apply to a veterinarian’s first license renewal. This section shall apply only to second and subsequent license renewals granted on or after January 1, 2002.

(e) The board shall have the right to audit the records of all applicants to verify the completion of the continuing education requirement. Applicants shall maintain records of completion of required continuing education coursework for a period of four years and shall make these records available to the board for auditing purposes upon request. If the board, during this audit, questions whether any course reported by the veterinarian satisfies the continuing education requirement, the veterinarian shall provide information to the board concerning the content of the course; the name of its sponsor and cosponsor, if any; and specify the specific curricula that was of benefit to the veterinarian.

(f) A veterinarian desiring an inactive license or to restore an inactive license under Section 701 shall submit an application on a form provided by the board. In order to restore an inactive license to active status, the veterinarian shall have completed a minimum of 36 hours of continuing education within the last two years preceding application. The inactive license status of a veterinarian shall not deprive the board of its authority to institute or continue a disciplinary action against a licensee.

(g) Knowing misrepresentation of compliance with this article by a veterinarian constitutes unprofessional conduct and grounds for disciplinary action or for the issuance of a citation and the imposition of a civil penalty pursuant to Section 4883.

(h) The board, in its discretion, may exempt from the continuing education requirement any veterinarian who for reasons of health, military service, or undue hardship cannot meet those requirements. Applications for waivers shall be submitted on a form provided by the board.

(i) The administration of this section may be funded through professional license and continuing education provider fees. The fees related to the administration of this section shall not exceed the costs of administering the corresponding provisions of this section.

(j) For those continuing education providers not listed in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b), the board or its recognized national approval agent shall establish criteria by which a provider of continuing education shall be approved. The board shall initially review and approve these criteria and may review the criteria as needed. The board or its recognized agent shall monitor, maintain, and manage related records and data. The board may impose an application fee, not to exceed two hundred dollars ($200) biennially, for continuing education providers not listed in paragraph (1) of subdivision (b).

(k) (1) Beginning January 1, 2018, a licensed veterinarian who renews his or her license shall complete a minimum of one credit hour of continuing education on the judicious use of medically important antimicrobial drugs every four years as part of his or her continuing education requirements.

(2) For purposes of this subdivision, “medically important antimicrobial drug” means an antimicrobial drug listed in Appendix A of the federal Food and Drug Administration’s Guidance for Industry #152, including critically important, highly important, and important antimicrobial drugs, as that appendix may be amended.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 484, Sec. 48. (SB 1193) Effective January 1, 2017.)

4847.
  

The board shall number consecutively all applications received, note upon each the disposition made of it, and preserve the same for reference.

(Amended by Stats. 1971, Ch. 716.)

4848.
  

(a) (1) The board shall, by means of examination, ascertain the professional qualifications of all applicants for licenses to practice veterinary medicine in this state and shall issue a license to every person whom it finds to be qualified. No license shall be issued to anyone who has not demonstrated his or her competency by examination.

(2) The examination shall consist of each of the following:

(A) A licensing examination that is administered on a national basis.

(B) A California state board examination.

(C) An examination concerning those statutes and regulations of the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act administered by the board. The examination shall be administered by mail and provided to applicants within 10 to 20 days of eligibility determination. The board shall have 10 to 20 days from the date of receipt to process the examination and provide candidates with the results of the examination. The applicant shall certify that he or she personally completed the examination. Any false statement is a violation subject to Section 4831. University of California and Western University of Health Sciences veterinary medical students who have successfully completed a board-approved course on veterinary law and ethics covering the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act shall be exempt from this provision.

(3) The examinations may be given at the same time or at different times as determined by the board. For examination purposes, the board may make contractual arrangements on a sole source basis with organizations furnishing examination material as it may deem desirable and shall be exempt from Section 10115 of the Public Contract Code.

(4) The licensing examination may be waived by the board in any case in which it determines that the applicant has taken and passed an examination for licensure in another state substantially equivalent in scope and subject matter to the licensing examination last given in California before the determination is made, and has achieved a score on the out-of-state examination at least equal to the score required to pass the licensing examination administered in California.

(5) Nothing in this chapter shall preclude the board from permitting a person who has completed a portion of his or her educational program, as determined by the board, in a veterinary college recognized by the board under Section 4846 to take any examination or any part thereof prior to satisfying the requirements for application for a license established by Section 4846.

(b) For purposes of reciprocity, the board shall waive the examination requirements of subdivision (a), and issue a license to an applicant to practice veterinary medicine if the applicant meets all of the following requirements and would not be denied issuance of a license by any other provision of this code:

(1) The applicant holds a current valid license in good standing in another state, Canadian province, or United States territory and, within three years immediately preceding filing an application for licensure in this state, has practiced clinical veterinary medicine for a minimum of two years and completed a minimum of 2,944 hours of clinical practice. Experience obtained while participating in an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) accredited institution’s internship, residency, or specialty board training program shall be valid for meeting the minimum experience requirement.

The term “in good standing” means that an applicant under this section:

(A) Is not currently under investigation nor has been charged with an offense for any act substantially related to the practice of veterinary medicine by any public agency, nor entered into any consent agreement or been subject to an administrative decision that contains conditions placed by an agency upon an applicant’s professional conduct or practice, including any voluntary surrender of license, nor been the subject of an adverse judgment resulting from the practice of veterinary medicine that the board determines constitutes evidence of a pattern of incompetence or negligence.

(B) Has no physical or mental impairment related to drugs or alcohol, and has not been found mentally incompetent by a physician so that the applicant is unable to undertake the practice of veterinary medicine in a manner consistent with the safety of a patient or the public.

(2) At the time of original licensure, the applicant passed the national licensing requirement in veterinary science with a passing score or scores on the examination or examinations equal to or greater than the passing score required to pass the national licensing examination or examinations administered in this state.

(3) The applicant has either graduated from a veterinary college recognized by the board under Section 4846 or possesses a certificate issued by the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates (ECFVG) or the Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence (PAVE).

(4) The applicant passes an examination concerning the statutes and regulations of the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act, administered by the board, pursuant to subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a).

(5) The applicant completes an approved educational curriculum on regionally specific and important diseases and conditions. The board, in consultation with the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA), shall approve educational curricula that cover appropriate regionally specific and important diseases and conditions that are common in California. The curricula shall focus on small and large animal diseases consistent with the current proportion of small and large animal veterinarians practicing in the state. The approved curriculum shall not exceed 30 hours of educational time. The approved curriculum may be offered by multiple providers so that it is widely accessible to candidates licensed under this subdivision.

(c) The board shall issue a temporary license valid for one year to an applicant to practice veterinary medicine under the supervision of another California-licensed veterinarian in good standing if the applicant satisfies all of the following requirements:

(1) The applicant meets the requirements of paragraphs (1) to (4), inclusive, of subdivision (b).

(2) The applicant would not be denied issuance of a license under any other provision of this chapter.

(3) The applicant agrees to complete the approved educational curriculum described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) on regionally specific and important diseases and conditions during the period of temporary licensure.

(d) Upon completion of the curriculum described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b), a temporary licensee shall submit an application for full licensure accompanied by verification of completion of that curriculum and all applicable fees.

(e) The board, in its discretion, may extend the expiration date of a temporary license issued pursuant to subdivision (c) for not more than one year for reasons of health, military service, or undue hardship. An application for an extension shall be submitted on a form provided by the board.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 80, Sec. 7. (AB 107) Effective January 1, 2010.)

4848.1.
  

(a) A veterinarian engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine, as defined in Section 4826, employed by the University of California and engaged in the performance of duties in connection with the School of Veterinary Medicine or employed by the Western University of Health Sciences and engaged in the performance of duties in connection with the College of Veterinary Medicine shall be issued a university license pursuant to this section or hold a license to practice veterinary medicine in this state.

(b) An individual may apply for and be issued a university license if all of the following are satisfied:

(1) He or she is currently employed by the University of California or Western University of Health Sciences, as defined in subdivision (a).

(2) He or she passes an examination concerning the statutes and regulations of the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act, administered by the board, pursuant to subparagraph (C) of paragraph (2) of subdivision (a) of Section 4848.

(3) He or she successfully completes the approved educational curriculum described in paragraph (5) of subdivision (b) of Section 4848 on regionally specific and important diseases and conditions.

(4) He or she completes and submits the application specified by the board and pays the application fee, pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 4905, and the initial license fee, pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 4905.

(c) A university license:

(1) Shall be numbered as described in Section 4847.

(2) Shall automatically cease to be valid upon termination or cessation of employment by the University of California or by the Western University of Health Sciences.

(3) Shall be subject to the license renewal provisions in Section 4846.4 and the payment of the renewal fee pursuant to subdivision (i) of Section 4905.

(4) Shall be subject to denial, revocation, or suspension pursuant to Sections 480, 4875, and 4883.

(5) Authorizes the holder to practice veterinary medicine only at an educational institution described in subdivision (a) and any locations formally affiliated with those institutions.

(d) An individual who holds a university license is exempt from satisfying the license renewal requirements of Section 4846.5.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 484, Sec. 49. (SB 1193) Effective January 1, 2017.)

4848.3.
  

(a) The board shall issue a temporary license valid for one year to an applicant accepted into a qualifying internship or residency program that meets all of the following requirements:

(1) Program participants have either graduated from a veterinary college recognized by the board under Section 4846 or possess a certificate issued by the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates or the Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalency, and hold a current valid license in good standing in another state, Canadian province, or United States territory.

(2) Program participants are under the direct supervision of a board-certified California-licensed veterinarian in good standing.

(3) Two or more board-certified specialists are on the staff of the veterinary practice.

(4) The program undergoes annual evaluation and is approved by one or more existing organizations officially recognized for that purpose by the board.

(b) The temporary license issued pursuant to this section shall only be valid for activities performed in the course of, and incidental to, a qualifying internship or residency program.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 80, Sec. 8. (AB 107) Effective January 1, 2010.)

4849.
  

The state board examination shall be given at least twice each year. It shall include all the subjects that are ordinarily included in the curricula of veterinary colleges in good standing and may include any other subjects that the board may by rule authorize and direct.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 80, Sec. 9. (AB 107) Effective January 1, 2010.)

4850.
  

Every person holding a license under this chapter shall conspicuously display the license in his or her principal place of business.

(Amended by Stats. 2005, Ch. 621, Sec. 80. Effective January 1, 2006.)

4852.
  

Every person holding a license issued under this chapter who changes his or her mailing address shall notify the board of his or her new mailing address within 30 days of the change. The board shall not renew the license of any person who fails to comply with this section unless the person pays the penalty fee prescribed in Section 4905. An applicant for the renewal of a license shall specify in his or her application whether he or she has changed his or her mailing address and the board may accept that statement as evidence of the fact.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 642, Sec. 20. Effective January 1, 1998.)

4853.
  

(a) All premises where veterinary medicine, veterinary dentistry, veterinary surgery, and the various branches thereof is being practiced shall be registered with the board. The certificate of registration shall be on a form prescribed in accordance with Section 164.

(b) “Premises” for the purpose of this chapter shall include a building, kennel, mobile unit, or vehicle. Mobile units and vehicles shall be exempted from independent registration with the board when they are operated from a building or facility which is the licensee manager’s principal place of business and the building is registered with the board, and the registration identifies and declares the use of the mobile unit or vehicle.

(c) Every application for registration of veterinary premises shall set forth in the application the name of the responsible licensee manager who is to act for and on behalf of the licensed premises. Substitution of the responsible licensee manager may be accomplished by application to the board if the following conditions are met:

(1) The person substituted qualifies by presenting satisfactory evidence that he or she possesses a valid, unexpired, and unrevoked license as provided by this chapter and that the license is not currently under suspension.

(2) No circumvention of the law is contemplated by the substitution.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 642, Sec. 21. Effective January 1, 1998.)

4853.1.
  

(a) Each application to register a premise pursuant to Section 4853 shall be made on a form provided by the board. An application for renewal of that registration shall be made annually.

(b) The application shall 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 California or any other state or territory, and has not violated any of the provisions of this chapter. If the applicant is unable to make that statement, the application shall contain a statement of the conviction, professional discipline, or violation.

(c) The board may, as part of the renewal process, make necessary inquiries of the applicant and conduct an investigation in order to determine if cause for disciplinary action exists.

(Added by Stats. 1988, Ch. 1007, Sec. 3.)

4853.5.
  

When it has been adjudicated in an administrative hearing that the licensee manager has failed to keep the premises and all equipment therein in a clean and sanitary condition as provided for in subdivision (h) of Section 4883, or is in violation of any of the provisions of Section 4854, the board may withhold, suspend, or revoke the registration of veterinary premises, or assess a fine of not less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500) per day until such violation has been rectified, or by both such suspension and fine. The total amount of any fine assessed pursuant to this section shall not exceed five thousand dollars ($5,000).

(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 471, Sec. 8.)

4853.6.
  

The board shall withhold, suspend or revoke registration of veterinary premises:

(a) When the licensee manager set forth in the application in accordance with Section 4853 ceases to become responsible for management of the registered premises and no substitution of the responsible licensee manager has been made by application as provided for in Section 4853.

(b) When the licensee manager has, under proceedings conducted in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, the license to practice veterinary medicine, surgery, and dentistry revoked or suspended.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1314.)

4853.7.
  

A premise registration that is not renewed within five years after its expiration may not be renewed and shall not be restored, reissued, or reinstated thereafter. However, an application for a new premise registration may be submitted and obtained if both of the following conditions are met:

(a) No fact, circumstance, or condition exists that, if the premise registration was issued, would justify its revocation or suspension.

(b) All of the fees that would be required for the initial premise registration are paid at the time of application.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 484, Sec. 50. (SB 1193) Effective January 1, 2017.)

4854.
  

All premises where veterinary medicine, veterinary dentistry, or veterinary surgery is being practiced, and all instruments, apparatus and apparel used in connection with those practices, shall be kept clean and sanitary at all times, and shall conform to those minimum standards established by the board.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1314.)

4854.5.
  

(a) Every off-campus educational program site shall display in a conspicuous place a consumer notification specifying that the veterinary facilities are also being used for diagnosis and treatment of animals by graduate students enrolled in a veterinary medicine program.

(b) Notwithstanding Section 4831, or any other provision of law, a violation of subdivision (a) shall not be a crime.

(Added by Stats. 2002, Ch. 131, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2003.)

4855.
  

A veterinarian subject to the provisions of this chapter shall, as required by regulation of the board, keep a written record of all animals receiving veterinary services, and provide a summary of that record to the owner of animals receiving veterinary services, when requested. The minimum amount of information which shall be included in written records and summaries shall be established by the board. The minimum duration of time for which a licensed premise shall retain the written record or a complete copy of the written record shall be determined by the board.

(Added by Stats. 1978, Ch. 1314.)

4856.
  

(a) All records required by law to be kept by a veterinarian subject to this chapter, including, but not limited to, records pertaining to diagnosis and treatment of animals and records pertaining to drugs or devices for use on animals, shall be open to inspection by the board, or its authorized representatives, during an inspection as part of a regular inspection program by the board, or during an investigation initiated in response to a complaint that a licensee has violated any law or regulation that constitutes grounds for disciplinary action by the board. A copy of all those records shall be provided to the board immediately upon request.

(b) Equipment and drugs on the premises, or any other place, where veterinary medicine, veterinary dentistry, veterinary surgery, or the various branches thereof is being practiced, or otherwise in the possession of a veterinarian for purposes of that practice, shall be open to inspection by the board, or its authorized representatives, during an inspection as part of a regular inspection program by the board, or during an investigation initiated in response to a complaint that a licensee has violated any law or regulation that constitutes grounds for disciplinary action by the board.

(Amended by Stats. 1997, Ch. 642, Sec. 22. Effective January 1, 1998.)

4857.
  

(a) A veterinarian licensed under the provisions of this chapter shall not disclose any information concerning an animal receiving veterinary services, the client responsible for the animal receiving veterinary services, or the veterinary care provided to an animal, except under any one of the following circumstances:

(1) Upon written or witnessed oral authorization by knowing and informed consent of the client responsible for the animal receiving services or an authorized agent of the client.

(2) Upon authorization received by electronic transmission when originated by the client responsible for the animal receiving services or an authorized agent of the client.

(3) In response to a valid court order or subpoena.

(4) As may be required to ensure compliance with any federal, state, county, or city law or regulation, including, but not limited to, the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code).

(5) Nothing in this section is intended to prevent the sharing of veterinary medical information between veterinarians or facilities for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of the animal who is the subject of the medical records.

(6) As otherwise provided in this section.

(b) This section shall not apply to the extent that the client responsible for an animal or an authorized agent of the client responsible for the animal has filed or caused to be filed a civil or criminal complaint that places the veterinarian’s care and treatment of the animal or the nature and extent of the injuries to the animal at issue, or when the veterinarian is acting to comply with federal, state, county, or city laws or regulations.

(c) A veterinarian shall be subject to the criminal penalties set forth in Section 4831 or any other provision of this code for a violation of this section. In addition, any veterinarian who negligently releases confidential information shall be liable in a civil action for any damages caused by the release of that information.

(d) Nothing in this section is intended to prevent the sharing of veterinary medical information between veterinarians and peace officers, humane society officers, or animal control officers who are acting to protect the welfare of animals.

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 308, Sec. 61. (SB 819) Effective January 1, 2010.)

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