Board Policy for Submitting Queries Related to Practice Act

The Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine issues formal, written opinions to its licensees concerning their practice of veterinary medicine as personally affected by the Louisiana Veterinary Practice Act (La. R.S. 37:1511 et seq.), the Rules as promulgated by the Board and found in the Louisiana Administrative Code (title 46 part LXXXV) and the Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics as published by the A VMA and adopted by the Board. These are declaratory statements as provided for by Rule-La. Adm. Code title 46, part LXXXV, section 1423. In addition, the Board may offer less formal advisory letters (Practice Act Queries) provided the request is made in writing and addressed to the Board and sufficient, relevant facts are given and a specific question posed. Under appropriate circumstances, the Board may address questions posed by the public at large or direct the questioner to the statutory and administrative resources available under its administrative jurisdiction, or to the appropriate regulatory authority(ies) having administrative jurisdiction over the issue posed.

Formal Declaratory Statements and Hearings

Declaratory Statements and Hearings are initiated under Section 1423 of the Board Rules. The request for a Declaratory Statement must be made in the form of a petition and must contain, at a minimum, the name and address of the petitioner, a specific reference to the particular statute, rule, or principle of Veterinary Medical Ethics to which the petitioner relates and a concise statement of the manner in which the petitioner is aggrieved by the statute, rule or principle by its potential application to him in which he is uncertain of its effect. The Board may, at its sole discretion, set the petition for hearing and require the petitioner to provide additional information or testify regarding any issue it deems necessary to provide the relief requested. The petition or any hearing deemed necessary by the Board shall be considered or set within a reasonable time taking into consideration the nature of the matter and other circumstances. A declaratory statement issued pursuant to petition shall be in writing and sent to the petitioner’s last address as furnished to the Board. Declaratory statements shall be published by the Board in its minutes and are binding upon the Board and the licensees affected thereby until revised, amended or repealed by the Board, which revision, amendment, or repeal shall also be published in the same manner as the declaratory statement.

Informal Practice Act Queries

The Board shall receive requests for advisory opinions filed with it by affected licensees, or in its discretion other persons affected by application of the Louisiana Practice Act, a Board Rule or a Principle of Veterinary Medical Ethics. Requests for advisory opinions, or practice act queries, shall be in writing, state the name, address, and type of license, if any, of the person requesting the advisory opinion, provide a description of the circumstances which require the opinion and state the interest in the question involved and give sufficient facts to enable the Board to respond. All requests for advisory opinions shall be placed on the Board’s general agenda as soon as practicable.

Consent Agenda Opinions

The Board’s executive director, with assistance of general counsel, shall research and prepare a consent agenda of requests for proposed advisory opinions consisting of those which are based on and consistent with prior opinions and decisions of the Board or its predecessors, or which involve issues addressed clearly by the Louisiana Veterinary Practice Act, Board Rules or Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics. The Board may review and revise any opinion prepared by the executive director or general counsel contained on the consent agenda.

Emergency Opinions

Where the executive director, with assistance of general counsel, if necessary, upon receipt of a request for an advisory opinion, determines that an emergency exists and that said opinion must be rendered prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board, the executive director, upon consultation with general counsel and the President of the Board, issue an advisory opinion in writing. Such opinion may be relied upon with impunity until such time as the Board adopts a contrary or qualifying opinion. Such opinion shall be placed on the Board’s agenda at the next meeting, if practicable, at which time the Board may confirm, modify, or reject said opinion.

The Board legal counsel or Executive shall notify the person requesting the advisory opinion written notice of the Board action within 30 days of such action. The Board may, at its discretion, entertain requests for reconsideration of an advisory opinion if received within 30 days of the notification of said opinion. The Board may require a statement of why the person requesting person is aggrieved by the opinion and a statement of the basis the opinion is deemed erroneous or requires modification.

The subject matter of an advisory opinion shall be published and referred to generally in the Board’s minutes, upon adoption, affirmation, or modification, as the case may be and relied on by the person requesting the opinion until the Board issues a contrary or modified opinion.