Court rules DVM vehicles are open to inspection at racetracks

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Nov 17, 2010
By dvm360.com staff
Frankfort, Ky. -- When the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC) searched a veterinarian’s vehicle and found possibly prohibited drugs in the past, veterinary license suspensions and other penalties were hard to make stick. That’s not the case anymore, though.

On Nov. 3, Tad Thomas, assistant deputy attorney general for Kentucky, ruled that “all property of KHRC licencees on association ground that is not within living or sleeping quarters is subject to reasonable administrative searches.” The ruling comes after a request from KHRC Commissioner Burr Travis in January 2010.

“It is imperative that agents of KHRC not only can search the vehicles of all licensees, barns, tack rooms, offices, or other locations, but can also search and seize drugs, syringes, diagnostic and therapeutic instruments without limitation which are relevant to a KHRC investigation,” Travis told the court in his request for a ruling. “The vehicles of veterinarians are clearly their ‘places of business.’”

Individual licensed by KHRC also must sign a consent clause, allowing the search of all properties in their possession, according to the ruling. KHRC will not be required to obtain warrants for any searches on association grounds, with the exception of private dwelling areas, the court adds.