The Board of Veterinary Medicine Meets
Discusses the Practice of Micro-chipping Animals
March 19, 2008
FT. LAUDERDALE- Today, the Board of Veterinary Medicine, a board consisting of seven members appointed by the Governor and supported by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, clarified that the procedure of micro-chipping animals is the practice of veterinary medicine. Micro-chipping refers to the insertion of an identifying device under the skin of an animal. The device can be electronically scanned to provide information if the animal is found after being lost.
The Board concurred that the practice of micro-chipping is a minor surgery classifying it as the practice of veterinary medicine. According to F.S.474.202(13), “Veterinary medicine” includes with respect to animals surgery, acupuncture, obstetrics, dentistry, physical therapy, radiology, theriogenology, and other branches or specialties of veterinary medicine.
The Board also clarified that micro-chipping must be done by or under the immediate supervision of a licensed veterinarian. According to F.S.474.202(5), “Immediate Supervision,” or words of similar purport, means a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine is on the premises whenever veterinary services are being provided.
Other procedures that require immediate supervision under veterinary rule 61G18-17.006 include the administration of vaccinations and tranquilizers.
The Board went on to state that entities, such as animal shelters and pet stores, which legally own the animals in their care, may administer to those animals without a veterinary license.
The Department offers a toll-free hotline for citizens who would like to report suspected unlicensed individuals who may be practicing micro-chipping which requires a state license. That number is 1-866-532-1440. All complaints are investigated to determine whether administrative action can be taken.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s mission is to license efficiently and regulate fairly. The Department licenses more than one million businesses and professionals ranging from real estate agents, veterinarians, and accountants to contractors and cosmetologists. For more information, or to verify a license, please visit www.MyFloridaLicense.com.