California Veterinary Medical Board Forms Subcommittee To Address Racetrack Practitioners’ Concerns

Dr. Jeff Blea has returned to his position as the equine medical director for the California Horse Racing Board after a controversial eight-month suspension enforced by the California Veterinary Medical Board (CVMB), but controversy remains between the CVMB and backstretch veterinary practitioners across the state. Among the primary concerns are the use of compounded medications, record keeping, and the veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

Scott Chaney, executive director of the CHRB, told the American Veterinary Medical Association: “It’s basically a philosophical issue that has pointed out the limitations of the California veterinary practice act as it relates to practicing on large animals, particularly racehorses.”

According to the AVMA, some progress has been made toward resolving the controversy. The CVMB formed an Equine Practice Subcommittee in July which has been reviewing letters of concern from the CVMA and CHRB, the pending accusations against racetrack practitioners, and the AAEP Clinical Guidelines for Veterinarians Practicing in a Pari-Mutuel Environment.

Per the AVMA, the subcommittee will meet with University of California-Davis and the American Association of Veterinary State Boards as well as researching the impacts of HISA on the California veterinary practice act and record-keeping requirements by other veterinary state boards.

“We’re trying to bridge all gaps,” Scott Chaney, executive director of the CHRB, told the AVMA. “Neither board agrees it’s a good regulatory look when practicing vets are confused on what is required and necessary.

“We’re both state departments, and we’ll work with the veterinary board to bridge the disconnect. At the end of day, we have the same goal, which is animal welfare.”

Read more at the AVMA.

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