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General Laws

Section 55. Applications for registration as veterinarians, signed and sworn to by the applicant, shall be made upon blanks furnished by the board. Each applicant who shall furnish the board with satisfactory proof that he is eighteen years of age or over, of good moral character, and a graduate of an approved veterinary school, or who is a graduate of a non-approved veterinary school and obtains a waiver under the provisions of section fifty-five A, shall, upon payment of a fee to be determined annually by the commissioner of administration under the provisions of section three B of chapter seven, be examined and, if found qualified by the board, shall be registered as a veterinarian and shall receive a certificate thereof, signed by the chairman and secretary. In order to satisfy the proof of the graduation requirement of this section, the board may, in its discretion, accept a letter from the dean of an approved veterinary school which certifies that an applicant has met all of the requirements for graduation and that such applicant shall graduate from said approved veterinary school no later than 210 calendar days after the board’s examination. If for any reason the candidate does not graduate within 210 calendar days after the board’s examination, a license shall not be issued until proof of graduation is received. An applicant aggrieved by the refusal of the board to approve a school of veterinary medicine under this section shall be entitled to have the reasonableness of such refusal reviewed by a justice of the superior court, whose decision shall be final. An applicant failing to pass an examination satisfactory to the board may be deemed a “Conditional” applicant and may be reexamined only on that portion of the examination failed, upon payment of the established fee for each appearance, at such time and place as the board shall determine. The board may refuse to grant a license to any person who shall have been convicted of a felony, or who shall be addicted to any vice to such a degree as to render him unfit to practice veterinary medicine, and after due notice and hearing may revoke any certificate issued by it and cancel the registration of any veterinarian convicted of a crime in the practice of his profession, and may at any time after the expiration of one year thereafter reissue any certificate so revoked, and register anew any veterinarian whose registration was so cancelled.

Every registered veterinarian shall annually, before March first, pay to the board a license fee to be determined annually by the commissioner of administration under the provision of section three B of chapter seven, in default of which the board may revoke his license and his authority to practice veterinary medicine thereunder, after a hearing as provided by section eleven; but the payment of said fee at or before the time of hearing, with an additional sum to be determined under the aforementioned chapter seven provision, shall remove the default. A veterinarian seeking license renewal shall present evidence satisfactory to the board of the successful completion of such continuing education as the board shall require by regulation. A veterinarian duly registered and licensed to practice in this commonwealth, whose license has not been revoked, but who shall have temporarily retired from practice or removed from the commonwealth for a period not exceeding five years, and shall have notified the board of such retirement or removal, may register upon paying the lapsed annual license fee and filing with the board his affidavit as to the facts aforesaid. Applications for renewals of licenses hereunder shall be upon forms prescribed by the board, and shall, no less than thirty days prior to March first in each year, be mailed to each veterinarian registered with the board.

The board shall, upon the request of any college, university, or school of veterinary medicine in the commonwealth, inspect said college, university, or school and notify its trustees or other governing body in writing if it is approved by the board for the purposes of this section, or, if not, what steps it must take in order to gain the approval of the board.

Any college, university, or school of veterinary medicine desiring to be approved for the purposes of this section may file with the board a written request for the approval of such college, university, or school of veterinary medicine, and thereupon a public hearing, after due notice, shall be seasonably granted by the board and a written decision made by it within twenty days after the termination of such hearing and the applicant for such approval shall be notified of such decision. A written decision of the board refusing to approve any college, university, or school of veterinary medicine shall not become effective until thirty days after written notice of such decision is given to the college, university, or school of veterinary medicine seeking such approval. Any college, university, or school of veterinary medicine aggrieved by such refusal shall have the right to file a petition in the superior court for Suffolk county to revise or reverse the decision of the board. Notice of the entry of such petition shall be given to the secretary of the board and all proceedings connected therewith shall be according to rules regulating the trial of civil cases without juries. The court shall hear the case and finally determine whether or not such approval shall be granted or revised.

Upon the filing of such a petition within the aforesaid period of thirty days, said decision of the board shall not become effective until a final decree affirming said decision is entered upon the aforesaid petition.

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