The head of the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association is applauding the approval by Congress of legislation called the Veterinarians Medicine Mobility Act. Association executive director Dr. Randy Wheeler says the measure allows veterinarians to carry controlled substances out of their clinics in order to treat animals without being subject to arrest.

Dr. Wheeler says, “This will just allow veterinarians to practice veterinary medicine to a better standard because we can use the appropriate medicine to treat an animal not only at our premise, at a clinic, but also out in the field.” He says some animals need that type of care, which could be in a literal field, on a routine basis.

Wheeler says the interpretation of a prior rule, the Controlled Substances Act, made it almost impossible for veterinarians to carry drugs outside their offices. Wheeler says the legislation not only helps veterinarians carry out routine duties, it’s beneficial for human and animal health.

“It’s all about animal well-being, animal welfare and food safety,” he says, “and part of this is involved with protection of the public.” Backers of the legislation say expecting ranchers to transport their livestock to veterinary clinics every time medication is needed is an example of overly-burdensome policy created by bureaucrats. The measure has passed Congress and been sent to President Obama and awaits his signature to become law.

(Reporting by Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton)