The American Veterinary Medical Association is urging support for the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act.

“This commonsense legislation will allow veterinarians the ability to provide complete care to their animal patients beyond their clinics,” the AVMA reports. “Sponsored by Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Angus King (I-Maine), S. 1171 would amend the Controlled Substances Act to permit veterinarians to carry controlled substances outside of their primary places of registration and across state lines to treat their patients. This means that licensed and registered veterinarians who treat patients on the farm, in the wild, at a client’s home or in other mobile settings will be allowed to bring and use controlled substances to provide pain management, anesthesia or euthanasia.”

Mobile veterinary care is growing in popularity, and this is impacting the veterinary technician profession. Veterinary technician positions can be found in a variety of places, including in a traditional veterinary clinic or in a mobile clinic.

“With the bill passed in one chamber of Congress, we now look to the U.S. House to take up this important legislation,” the AVMA adds. “Please contact your representatives today and ask them to cosponsor and vote for the companion bill in the House—H.R. 1528, the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act.”

The AVMA reports that the veterinary industry is keeping a close eye on many other bills that could strengthen protection for animals across the country.

“Individual bills have the best chance of becoming law if they are attached to the massive Farm Bill, which Congress is under pressure to approve by Sept. 30,” said Whitney Miller, an assistant director in the Governmental Relations Division. “Failure to approve the Farm Bill, which Dr. Miller said contains “tons of programs very important to agriculture,” would mean an extension of the 2008 Farm Bill, leaving the smaller pieces to fend for themselves.”

Five pieces of legislation that veterinary officials are pushing for passage of include:

• The Animal Fighting Spectator Prohibition Act, which would ban people from attending events such as cockfighting and dogfighting.

• The Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, which would amend the Horse Protection Act to strengthen penalties and improve enforcement regarding the use of action devices and performance packages. The equipment is designed to inflict pain in Tennessee Walking Horses, spotted saddle horses and racking horses to produce a high-stepping, unnatural gait.

• The Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, which would allow veterinarians to transport and dispense controlled substances away from their registered offices. The legislation would fix what one sponsor, U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader, has called a “confusing interpretation of existing law” that technically criminalizes the everyday actions of mobile and ambulatory practitioners. Schrader teamed up on the legislation with a fellow veterinarian, U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho.

• The Animal and Public Health Protection Act, which would authorize $15 million in funding to the National Animal Health Laboratory Network.

• The Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act, which helps repay the student loans of veterinarians who agree to practice in shortage areas.

Animal rights advocates have also praised a bipartisan bill that was passed last year that will give the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) more authority to enforce regulations and penalize those involved in the inhumane soring of horses.

“Whether riding, racing, hunting or training, horses have been a part of Virginia’s culture for 400 years,” Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) said in a press release. “However, owners and breeders from across the Commonwealth agree that the deliberate act of inflicting pain on horses has no place in modern equestrian competition. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and I are proud to introduce the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act, which will give USDA the tools it needs to crack down on horse soring and end this cruel practice once and for all.”

Veterinary assistants can find themselves working with a variety of animals, depending on what type of veterinary facility they are employed at. But some veterinary assistants will work mainly with horses, which are some of the most popular animals in the United States.

Working as a veterinary assistant can be challenging and it’s definitely not a career for everyone. But if you love animals, people and having to think on your feet, then this could be the right career for you. Employers are looking for thousands of veterinary assistants and are turning towards schools like Milwaukee Career College.