Mass. General Laws c.112 § 58

Practicing veterinary medicine; definition

This is an unofficial version of a Massachusetts General Law. For more information on this topic, please see Law about Veterinary Practice

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Amended by St.2020, c.263, effective December 29, 2020.

Amended by St.2022, c.23, § 4, February 15, 2022, effective May 16, 2022.


Section 58

Any person shall be regarded as practicing veterinary medicine within the meaning of this section who either directly or indirectly, diagnoses, makes a prognosis, treats, administers, prescribes, operates on, manipulates or applies any drug, biologic, or chemical or any apparatus or appliance for any disease, pain, deformity, defect, injury, wound or physical condition of any animal for the prevention of or to test the presence of any disease, or who cuts any tissue, muscle, organ or structure of any animal for the above described purposes or purpose or for the purpose of altering the natural condition of any animal or for any other purpose, cause or reason whatsoever or who holds himself out as being able, available or legally authorized so to do.

The term ''practicing veterinary medicine'' does not include:

  1. The calling into the commonwealth for consultation of duly licensed or registered veterinarians of any other state with respect to any case under treatment by a veterinarian registered under the provisions of section five. Any specialist in the health or zoological field may be called in for consultation in these special fields by a veterinarian licensed in the commonwealth and may collect a reasonable fee for such consultation.
  2. The experimentation and research of a registered physician, dentist, osteopath, pharmacist or veterinarian.
  3. The lawful experimentation and research activities conducted at any hospital, laboratory, or educational institution approved by the board, or conducted under the general supervision and control of a registered veterinarian, physician, dentist, or osteopath.
  4. The gratuitous giving of aid or relief to an animal in an accident or emergency, provided the person giving the aid or relief does not represent himself as a registered veterinarian.
  5. The nursing care to animals in the establishment or facilities of a registered veterinarian under his general supervision, direction and control, by the employees of the veterinarian or the assisting of a veterinarian during the course of any procedure or treatment.
  6. The advising with respect to or performance of acts by a person which the board by rule has prescribed as accepted livestock management practices.
  7. The performing of veterinary or surgical works or the giving of advice to his neighbors by a person, provided that he does not hold himself out as a registered veterinarian or receive pecuniary consideration.
  8. The drawing of blood by animal health inspectors of the division of animal health of the Massachusetts department of food and agriculture or of the animal and plant health inspection service of the United States department of agriculture in connection with the programs to control and eradicate brucellosis in animals; provided, that said animal health inspectors are supervised by the chief veterinary health officer of said division of animal health of the Massachusetts department of food and agriculture and trained by said chief or the area veterinarian in charge of veterinary services of said animal and plant inspection service.
  9. The provision of care to an injured police dog by an EMS provider under section 9A of chapter 111C.

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Last updated: February 15, 2022

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