"I believe that less than 1 percent of all veterinarians are not good practitioners," Rosenberg says. "I don't think the good
veterinarians have anything to worry about."
Veterinarians most closely involved with the legislation say they are confident an agreement will be made within the 21-week
legislative session, however if there is no agreement, the engine bill, an umbrella-bill will include veterinarians and all
licensed professions mandating the same level of public disclosure.
"We want an all-inclusive bill, not a piece-meal assembly leaving professionals to guess when their profession will become
public disclosure," Shrum says. "We don't mind becoming more open, but we want every profession within the state to be the
In 2005, a similar bill passed mandating a heightened level of public disclosure for medical doctors.
"It is unreasonable to think that veterinarians should receive more protection than doctors or lawyers in South Carolina?,"
Rosenberg says. "Passage of the pending amendment drafted by Sen. Larry Grooms would provide similar public disclosure for
veterinarians as is already in place for doctors and lawyers."
"We do have a major concern about an open hearing," Shrum adds. "The veterinarian's name could be tarnished by false accusations
— a disgruntled client who is upset with what they were charged or believes the veterinarians did them wrong in some way is
not valid under the conditions of the state board."
The SCAV says they remain confident the bill will pass in the Senate this session. If the wording is altered, the House will
review the bill and likely agree to terms, Dantzler adds.
"I know I won't be holding it up for any small reason."
Other parts of the bill
"The practice act change includes many other aspects aside from the confidentiality clause. Passage of the bill would allow
a veterinary technician to serve on the board, for example," Dantzler says.
The new version gives definitions to terms such as direct supervision, among others.
The board, upon reasonable grounds, may require a licensee or applicant to submit a mental or physical examination by physicians
designated by the board.
A veterinarian holding a current and valid license and who has been practicing for a period not less than 60 days in another
state post-graduation could practice with indirect supervision.
A licensed veterinarian is permitted to retain an animal in his or her possession until charges are paid-in-full by the owner
of the animal.
The SCAV meeting
The topic was addressed thoroughly at SCAV's recent meeting.
"This is a difficult issue for us," Grooms says. "Should this be open to the public or not? But we are moving in a forward
direction. I hope to have it out of the Senate within the first two weeks."
But at presstime, the bill had yet to reach the Senate floor.
"It is critical to find the right vehicle," Shrum says. "The umbrella approach is the route to go."
Verdin briefly addressed SCAV members, thanking them for their cooperation with the renewal of the practice act.
"How confidentiality will be worked is still my main concern at this point," Verdin says. "There is a possibility the practice
act will fall under the proposed engine bill with the biggest difference being the penalty phase."
Good for DVMs?
Overall, the practice act changes will protect veterinarians against professions wanting to practice on animals such as massage
therapists, sources say. If a veterinarian refers a client to a massage therapist, the veterinarian assumes responsibility.
The act is designed to protect consumers against bad veterinarians and protect veterinarians from liability from non-veterinarians
performing veterinary duties, Shrum says.