Controlled Substance Act Making it Illegal for Mobile Vets to Carry Euthanasia Solution

April 16, 2013 by · 8 Comments 

I do not usually become involved in the legal process but this one is important. The Controlled Substance Act is making it illegal for mobile veterinarians to carry controlled substances on their trucks, such as euthanasia solution. If your horse is suffering and the worst is that it needs to be euthanized, your vet will not be allowed to carry the drugs on the truck to provide humane euthanasia by injection.

What an oops!! It is unwitting consequence of the Controlled Substance Act that was completely overlooked. The DEA is already starting to enforce the law with veterinarians. SO a Bill # H.R.1528 is being sponsored “to amend the Controlled Substances Act to allow a veterinarian to transport and dispense controlled substances in the usual course of veterinary practice outside of the registered location.” This will legally allow veterinarians to carry controlled substances so that horses and other animals can be humanely euthanized when necessary at the farm.

To support this new bill please go to - Help Ensure that Veterinarians Can Provide Complete Care to Their Animal Patients

A Facebook friend, horse owner and lawyer, Laura McFarland-Taylor, changed her action alert to be more in line with a horse owner to read as such -

I am writing as not only a horse owner that regularly uses ambulatory veterinary services, but more importantly as a constituent, to urge you to cosponsor the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2013 (H.R. 1528). 

Veterinarians treat multiple species of animals in a variety of settings. Unfortunately, the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) makes it illegal for veterinarians to take and use controlled substances outside of the locations where they are registered, often their clinics or homes. This means that it is illegal for veterinarians to carry and use vital medications for pain management, anesthesia and euthanasia on farms, in house calls, in veterinary mobile clinics, or ambulatory response situations.

Veterinarians must be able to legally carry and use controlled substances for the health and welfare of the nation’s animals, to safeguard public safety and to protect the nation’s food supply.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which enforces the law, has informed organized veterinary medicine that without a statutory change, veterinarians are in violation of the CSA and cannot legally provide complete veterinary care. The DEA has already notified some veterinarians in California and Washington State that they are in violation of this law.

The practice of veterinary medicine requires veterinarians to be able to treat their animal patients in a variety of settings, like rural areas for the care of large animals where it is often not feasible, practical or possible for owners to bring livestock (i.e., cows, pigs, horses, sheep, and goats) into a veterinary hospital or clinic;

Veterinarians also offer house call services or mobile clinics or conduct research and disease control activities in the field away from the veterinarian’s principal place of business.

Veterinarians also respond to emergency situations where injured animals must be cared for onsite such as the transfer of dangerous wildlife (e.g. bears, cougars) or the rescue of trapped wildlife (e.g. deer trapped in a fence). 

I am asking you to support the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2013 (H.R. 1528)because veterinarians need to legally transport controlled substances to the locations of the animal patients, not only for the health and welfare of the nation’s animals, but for public safety.

Please feel free to contact Dr. Ashley Morgan, at the American Veterinary Medical Association should you need additional information. Dr. Morgan is available at 202-289-3210 or


Thank you for your support in this bill!

About Dr Daniel Beatty
An Infopreneur with a Veterinary Medicine degree.

  • this is such BS I shared this on every FB group I could find

  • This must be a problem in human medicine as well with mobile doctors or EMTs. EMTs treat based on doctors advice over the radio…

  • I don’t know about in other states, but, in California, there are people who are certified as Euthanasia Technicians. They are not vets nor vet technicians. I’m wondering why people such as these Euth Techs can order and possess the drugs to use as they see fit on healthy animals they have deemed unwanted, but, veterinarians seem to have restrictions placed on them to use in humane euthanasia for sick/injured horses. These euth techs work as self-proclaimed humane societies, which, only requires they call their workplace a humane society with no other requirements.

  • Thank you!

  • I would assume so.

  • From what I understand in Illinois a Euthanasia Tech has to work underneath a Veterinarian with a Controlled Substance license in order to obtain the euthanasia solution. Since selling of these drugs is governed by the federal government I do not see how it could be any different in other states. With that said, it is the state that dictates who is a practitioner and may apply for a DEA license.

    The current law does apply to them as well which would mean their business is in jeopardy as well. The law states that the controlled substance has to be used at the place that it is registered.

  • Thank you for your reply/input. There is a self proclaimed Humane Society called Horse Plus Humane Society (name only–no animal control officers thus no authority) in Bangor California that has four euth techs (the founders and I’m not sure of the other two)and they routinely pts healthy horses. There is no vet on staff. While I do not agree with this law for mobile veterinarians, I certainly do for people that have no medical credentials. Thank you for the article and information. I will look into it. BTW, there is nothing worse than imagining you have a horse down in pain and you cannot have them released from that pain because they cannot trailer.

  • Up here in Northern Cali, vets are far and few… and when you can have a mobile vet come to you to help is a viable resource. Now they are saying that they cant carry any of the drugs that would help your animal in a humane situation and make them better.. Rediculous