The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

October 11, 2012

State vet board rejects new clinic rule

The News Courier

— The Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners unanimously voted today to reject a proposed rule change that would have shut down the state's four low-cost spay and neuter clinics.

Following a hearing on the rule today, the board voted unanimous to reject the proposal that would have prevented veterinarians from working for nonveterinarians and nonveterinarians from owning veterinary equipment.

Opponents of the change said it would only add to the state’s burgeoning unwanted pet population. The state's four nonprofit clinics currently offer very low cost spay and neutering to anyone who seeks it. They had claimed that the board was trying to eliminate them to prevent competition with private vets.

Board members met in closed session for part of the hearing to discuss the proposed rules and the possibility of litigation.

Board attorney Alyce Addison asked the board to reject the proposed rule change. She said the point of the rule change was to protect veterinarians from having to perform too many surgeries in one day and other such demands.

Five state senators and the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association had asked the board to delay voting at today's hearing.