Emergency Suspension of In-State Licensure for Veterinarians
WHEREAS, pursuant to the Louisiana Homeland Security and Emergency Assistance and Disaster Act, R.S. 29:721, et seq., a state of emergency was declared through Proclamation No. 48 KBB 2005;
WHEREAS, pursuant to the Louisiana Health Emergency Powers Act, R.S. 29:760, et seq., a state of public health emergency was declared through Executive Order No. 26 KBB 2005;
WHEREAS, Hurricane Katrina struck the state of Louisiana causing severe flooding and damage to the southeastern part of the state which has threatened the safety, health, and security of the citizens of the state of Louisiana, along with livestock and other animals, private property and public facilities;
WHEREAS, shortly thereafter, levees broke in the parish of Orleans, exacerbating the flooding and posing further threats to the safety, health, and security of the citizens of Louisiana, livestock, private property and public facilities;
WHEREAS, scores of animals have been rescued and many animals have suffered or will suffer injury, illness and/or death and are in need of veterinary services;
WHEREAS, many citizens, as well as those involved in the rescue effort, may have additional suffering caused by disease and/or illness associated with the animals in need of veterinary services;
WHEREAS, the number of veterinarians currently available to the state to respond to this emergency is insufficient and there is a need to immediately supplement their number in order to serve animals affected by this disaster, more particularly at the animal rescue shelters;
WHEREAS, R.S. 29:724 and 766 authorize the governor, during a declared state of emergency, to suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing procedures for conducting state business, or the orders, rules, or regulations of any state agency, if strict compliance with the provisions of any statute, order, rule, or regulation would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with this emergency; and
WHEREAS, the Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine and the state veterinarian have requested that the Louisiana state licensure laws, rules, and regulations for veterinarians relative to the requirement of possessing a Louisiana license to practice veterinary medicine be suspended for those veterinarians from other states offering veterinary services to those animals needing such services as a result of this disaster provided that said out-of-state veterinarian possesses a current veterinary license in good standing in his or her respective state of licensure and that he or she practices in good faith and within the reasonable scope of his or her skills, training, or ability;
NOW THEREFORE I, KATHLEEN BABINEAUX BLANCO, Governor of the state of Louisiana, by virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution and laws of the state of Louisiana, do hereby order and direct as follows:
SECTION 1: The Louisiana State licensure laws, rules, and regulations for veterinarians relative to the requirement of possessing a Louisiana license to practice veterinary medicine are hereby suspended for out-of-state veterinarians who provide veterinary services in Louisiana to those needing such services as a result of this disaster provided that such out-of-state veterinarian possesses a current veterinary license in good standing in his or her respective state of licensure and that he or she practices in good faith and within the reasonable scope of his or her skills, training, or ability.
SECTION 2: All out-of-state veterinarians offering services to the state of Louisiana by authority of this Order shall submit a copy of their respective license and photo identification, as well as other requested information, to the Louisiana Board of Veterinary Medicine at 225-342-2176, or fax 225-342-2142, for registration with that agency.
SECTION 3: The suspension of these rules, regulations, and laws shall extend through Sunday, September 25, 2005.
SECTION 4: This Order is effective upon signature and shall apply from Friday, September 9, 2005 through Sunday, September 25, 2005, unless amended, modified, terminated, or rescinded by the governor, or terminated by operation of law prior to Sunday, September 25, 2005.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have set my hand officially and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of Louisiana, at the Capitol, in the city of Baton Rouge, on this 12th day of September, 2005.
Kathleen Babineaux Blanco
Secretary of State