Effective January 1, 2022, California Assembly Bill 1535 and associated regulations significantly revised the rules governing the practice of veterinary medicine in California. The most important changes include:
#1 – Elimination of the California Board Examination. Veterinarians wishing to be licensed in California need only pass the North American veterinary license exam and a California take-home veterinary legal exam.
#2 – License and Permission Fees. AB 1535 revises and increases statutory limits on license and permit fees and lowers registered veterinary technician (RVT) fees.
#3 – Safeguards Relating to Corporate Veterinary Practices. The new law also includes safeguards to prevent interference in the practice of veterinary medicine. In addition, the California Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) may deny, suspend, or revoke an establishment registration if an unlicensed person practices, influences, or exercises control over the regulations of veterinary medicine. The law also specifically prohibits an unlicensed registrant from interfering with the professional judgment of a veterinarian or registered veterinary technician.
No. 4 – Changes in the registration of veterinary institutions. Limited liability companies are authorized to maintain a veterinary establishment registration. The application for registration must identify all owners, all officers and an agent for service of recipient, and the registrant must report any changes to this information within 30 days.
No. 5 – Changes in the veterinary medicine of the shelter. AB 1535 seeks to address concerns about minimum standard care in shelters. The bill includes provisions that authorize public animal control agencies, animal shelters and unregistered shelters to provide limited care. For example, animal shelters can now administer vaccinations to prevent the spread of communicable diseases and over-the-counter medicines to prevent parasites without the presence of a veterinarian.
#6- RVT Name Tag Requirement. AB 1535 requires RVTs, veterinary assistants and controlled substance license holders of veterinary assistants to wear name tags in at least 18 point type that contain their license or authorization numbers. This requirement is effective January 1, 2023 to give veterinary practices time to comply with the name tag requirement.
#7 – RVT Changes. Effective April 1, 2021, the California RVT regulations were also amended to expand the scope of RVTs and allow them to include dressings and splints under indirect supervision, compound drugs made from non-bulk substances under indirect supervision, and compound drugs made from bulk materials under direct supervision.
All new amendments to the Enabling Act of the VMB, Section 4800 et seq. of the Business and Professions Code in AB 1535 came into force on 1 January 2022, except as otherwise stated in this Article.