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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 488 (January 27, 2024).

49 Pa. Code § 31.1. Definitions.


§ 31.1. Definitions.

 The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   AAVSB—The American Association of Veterinary State Boards or its successor organization.

   Act—The Veterinary Medicine Practice Act (63 P.S. § §  485.1—485.33).

   Advertising—Newspaper and periodical announcements and listings, professional cards, office and other signs, letterheads, telephone and other directory listings, and other forms of communication designed to inform the public about the availability, nature or prices of products or services.

   Animal abuse—To do, order or aid another to do any act likely to cause unnecessary pain, injury, debility, disease or lameness, or unnecessary fright, stress, panic or hysteria in an animal.

   Approved school—A school accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association, including provisionally, probationally and fully accredited programs.

   Board—The State Board of Veterinary Medicine.

   Certified veterinary technician—A veterinary technician certified by the Board.

   Client—A person who engages the professional services of a veterinarian for the care and treatment or the prevention, cure or alleviation of disease or injury, of an animal.

   Consultation—A deliberation between two or more licensed veterinarians or a licensed veterinarian and other licensed professional concerning the diagnosis of an animal’s condition, the care to be provided and the proper management of the case.

   Direct veterinary supervision—A veterinarian has given either oral or written instructions to the certified veterinary technician, veterinary assistant, or other licensed professional as set forth in Principle 6(b) of §  31.21 (relating to Rules of Professional Conduct for Veterinarians), and the veterinarian is on the premises and is easily and quickly available to assist the certified veterinary technician, veterinary assistant or other licensed professional.

   Endorsement or testimonial—A statement of recommendation made through a form of mass communication or correspondence by a veterinarian to the general public which is commercially rather than educationally motivated and is intended to influence attitudes regarding the purchase of a veterinary drug, device, product or procedure.

   Immediate veterinary supervision—A veterinarian is in visual and audible range to assist the veterinary assistant.

   Indirect veterinary supervision—A veterinarian is not on the premises but is acquainted with the keeping and care of the animal by virtue of an examination of the animal or medically appropriate and timely visits to the premises where the animal is kept, and has given written or oral instructions to the certified veterinary technician for treatment of the animal patient.

   Merchandising—Buying and selling of professional veterinary products without a veterinarian/client relationship.

   Neglect—To abandon an animal or deprive, either personally or through one’s employees or agents, an animal over which one has a duty of care, whether belonging to himself or otherwise, of necessary sustenance, drink, shelter or veterinary care appropriate to the animal’s condition or access to sanitary shelter and support for an animal’s basic physical and emotional needs.

   Professional veterinary product—One which requires professional veterinary knowledge in the administration of or in the giving of instructions for safe and proper use of the product, including prescription drugs, biologicals, pharmaceuticals and prescription diets.

   Solicitation—Advertising intentionally directed to specific individuals.

   VTNE—The Veterinary Technician National Examination or its successor examination—An examination owned and administered by the AAVSB used to evaluate the competency of entry-level veterinary technicians.

   VTS—Veterinary technician specialist—A certified veterinary technician who holds current certification from a specialty organization recognized by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA).

   Veterinarian—A licensed doctor of veterinary medicine as defined in section 3 of the act (63 P.S. §  485.3).

   Veterinary assistant—An employee of a veterinarian who does not hold certification as a veterinary technician and whom the veterinarian deems competent to perform the tasks set forth in §  31.31(b) (relating to scope of practice) under direct veterinary supervision or immediate veterinary supervision.


   The provisions of this §  31.1 amended under sections 3(10)(viii), 5, 11, 13, 21(12) and 32(6) of the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act (63 P.S. § §  485.3(10)(viii), 485.5, 485.11, 485.13, 485.21(12) and 485.32(6)).


   The provisions of this §  31.1 adopted February 1, 1965; amended January 20, 1989, effective January 21, 1989, 19 Pa.B. 237; amended March 18, 1994, effective March 19, 1994, 24 Pa.B. 1481; amended December 22, 1995, effective December 23, 1995, 25 Pa.B. 5959; amended December 17, 2004, effective December 18, 2004, 34 Pa.B. 6650; amended July 20, 2007, effective July 21, 2007,37 Pa.B. 3365; amended April 17, 2009, effective April 18, 2009, 39 Pa.B. 1985; amended December 27, 2019, effective December 28, 2019, 49 Pa.B. 7586. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (363500) to (363501).

Cross References

   This section cited in 49 Pa. Code §  31.38 (relating to code of ethics for certified veterinary technicians).

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