SECTION 1. Findings. The general court finds that:
(1) veterinary technicians are essential members of veterinary teams; and
(2) veterinary technicians protect consumers, the public health, and health and safety in
veterinary offices and in other areas of animal medical care and welfare; and
(3) an increase in pet ownership has increased the need and demand for veterinary care
while advances in veterinary medicine have elevated the level of care and existing best practices;
(4) it is in the best interest of the commonwealth to promote the advancement of
veterinary technicians, their management and professionalism, while making use of existing
accredited private and public training already available in the commonwealth.
SECTION 2. Chapter 13 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 26 the
Section 26A. Subsidiary Board for Veterinary Technology.
Section 1. As used in sections one to six, inclusive, the following words shall have the
“Subsidiary board”, the subsidiary board for veterinary technology.
“Veterinary technology”, the performance of services within the field of veterinary
medicine by a person who, for compensation or personal profit, is employed by or under the
supervision of a licensed veterinarian to perform such duties as are required in carrying out
medical orders as prescribed by a licensed veterinarian requiring an understanding of veterinary
“Veterinary technician”, a graduate of an American Veterinary Medical Associationaccredited program in veterinary technology or veterinary nursing who has achieved a passing
score on an approved licensing exam as determined by the board of registration in veterinary
medicine and has successfully applied for a license in the commonwealth.
“Veterinary assistant”, an individual working as part of a veterinary healthcare team who
is not licensed as a veterinary technician.
Section 2. There shall be a subsidiary board for veterinary technology within and subject
to the control of the board of registration in veterinary medicine.
(a) The subsidiary board shall be comprised of five members appointed by the governor.
One member shall be a veterinarian member of the board of registration in veterinary medicine.
Three members shall be veterinary technicians selected from a list of nominees provided to the
governor by the Massachusetts Veterinary Technician Association. One member shall be
appointed as the public member of the subsidiary board.
(b) The subsidiary board is subject to the board of registration in veterinary medicine, and
the subsidiary board’s recommendations and decisions are subject to approval by the full board
of registration in veterinary medicine.
(c) Each member of the subsidiary board shall be a legal resident of the commonwealth.
(d) Each veterinary technician member of the subsidiary board shall be licensed to
practice veterinary technology in the commonwealth.
(e) Until the effective date of regulations establishing the criteria for licensed veterinary
technicians, the veterinary technicians appointed to the subsidiary board shall be Massachusetts
Veterinary Technician Association Certified Veterinary Technicians.
(f) Member of the subsidiary board shall be appointed for two-year terms, except that the
initial veterinarian appointee and one of the initial veterinary technician appointees shall be
appointed for three-year terms.
(g) During the initial two years, rules and procedures for veterinary technician licensure
will be established by the subsidiary board subject to approval by the board of registration of
veterinary medicine. After those rules are established, each veterinary technician member shall
be a Massachusetts licensed veterinary technician.
(h) The subsidiary board shall draft and propose criteria and regulations by which
veterinary technicians shall be licensed and registered in the commonwealth, subject to approval
by the board of registration in veterinary medicine.
(i) The subsidiary board shall delineate the duties which supervising, licensed
veterinarians may assign to licensed veterinary technicians, and to non-licensed veterinary
assistants, consistent with good veterinary medical practice in the best interests of consumers.
(j) The subsidiary board shall, subject to the approval of the board of registration of
veterinary medicine, change or alter the duties and rights granted to licensed veterinary
technicians and veterinary assistants as deemed necessary or appropriate by the subsidiary board
to reflect changes in the practice of veterinary technology over time.
(k) The subsidiary board shall also provide education regarding differences in the duties
and actions allowed for by licensed veterinary technicians and unlicensed veterinary assistants.
Section 3. (a) The subsidiary board shall draft regulations to govern the practice of
veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants., including criteria for licensure of veterinary
technicians and for the maintenance, suspension, or revocation of licenses.
(b) The regulations established by the subsidiary board shall not apply to veterinary
technicians employed by a research institution as defined in section 136A of chapter 140.
(c) Veterinary students and veterinary technician students working under the supervision
of a licensed veterinarian or a licensed veterinary technician may engage in activities necessary
to learn and practice supervised techniques on patients. The subsidiary board may recommend
additional categories of individuals who may engage in activities necessary to learn and practice
supervised techniques on patients.
Section 4. The rules created by the subsidiary board and approved by the board of
registration in veterinary medicine shall not apply to individual veterinary technicians or
veterinary assistants who are working
(a) a research institution as defined in Section 136Aof Chapter 140., and
(b) special cases, including veterinary technicians or veterinary assistants working with zoos and
aquaria, diagnostic facilities, licensed wildlife rehabilitation facilities and other such special
cases as the subsidiary board shall identify.
Section 5. (a) The subsidiary board shall propose the criteria by which a veterinary
technician is deemed a licensed veterinary technician or a non-licensed assistant. Any rules that
allow individuals currently working as non-credentialed technicians to become licensed without
a formal degree in veterinary technology shall have an end date to be determined by the
subsidiary board subject to approval by the board of registration in veterinary medicine. Any
such rule will include consideration of experience, education, and examination.
(b) The subsidiary board shall propose continuing education requirements for licensed
(c) The subsidiary board may recommend the suspension or revocation of a veterinary
technician’s license for failure to abide by the general laws or regulations promulgated by the
board of registration in veterinary medicine.
Section 6. Only those individuals who are licensed may utilize the title of veterinary
technician. Regardless of job description and duties, anyone who does not hold a valid license to
practice veterinary technology in the commonwealth, yet who functions in a similar capacity of
supporting the overall care of veterinary patients, shall be referred to as a veterinary assistant.
Any individual or veterinary practice who is found to be inappropriately using the title veterinary
technician may be subject to fines as established by the board of registration in veterinary
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