Sparks, January 2010

Tamper-Resistant Rx Requirements

Beginning July 1, 2010, Washington State law will require all prescriptions for delivery to a pharmacy to be written on Board of Pharmacy approved tamper-resistant paper or pads. All approved paper will be affixed with a Board of Pharmacy "seal of approval."

The seal will consist of a map of Washington State with a mortar and pestle in the center. To the right of the graphic the text will read "Paper Approved by Washington State Board of Pharmacy."
To date, fourteen vendors have completed the review/approval process. All approved vendors have demonstrated to the board that they meet the security standards as required in RCW 18.64.500. For an updated list of approved vendors and answers to frequently asked questions, please visit the Washington State Board of Pharmacy's webpage or through the links below.

Frequently Asked Questions
Review/Approval Process for Tamper-resistant Rx Vendors

Health Certification for pets traveling to Canada

Many owners and pets will make the trip to Vancouver, BC, for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games February 12–28. Make sure you provide the correct documents for your clients so their border crossing is relatively hassle-free.

There are no special or additional requirements anticipated for the Winter Olympics. Accredited veterinarians need to be aware of specific certification statements and requirements that may be imposed due to a disease situation, such as piroplasmosis or vesicular stomatitis virus.

If in doubt, verify current requirements so that you can provide all the proper documents for your clients’ border crossing. Sources for further information:
2604 12th Court SW, Suite B
Olympia, WA 98502
phone 1-360-753-9430
fax 1-360-753-9585

Dogs and cats
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) establishes the importation requirements for animals entering Canada. While CFIA only requires a valid rabies vaccination certificate for dogs and cats, customs agents from the Canada Border Services Agency may ask to see a valid Health Certificate. There have been instances of pets without Health Certificates being refused entry. To prevent this from happening, it is recommended that owners have a valid Health Certificate, which also documents the rabies vaccination.

You can issue a Health Certificate for international travel if you are licensed and USDA-accredited. The Small Animal Health Certificate does not need to be endorsed by USDA.

Proper form for dogs and cats:
• Washington State Small Animal Health Certificate form AGR 300-3008 or
• USDA’s Small Animal Health Certificate form VS-7001

Dogs and cats need a current rabies vaccination if they are over 3 months old. The rabies certificate should clearly identify the pet (breed, color, weight, etc.) and give details on the rabies vaccine used (date given, trade name, serial number and whether the vaccine used was valid for one or three years). There have been instances at the border where owners were asked to provide a veterinarian’s certificate stating that the animal was too young for rabies vaccination when the pet was less than 3 months of age.

If the owner and dogs are traveling by air, only dogs 8 weeks of age or older are allowed to fly according to the International Transport Association. The owner should consult the specific airline carrier for additional information and requirements if the pet will be shipped by air.

Dogs and cats are not quarantined upon entry to Canada, if they are accompanied by the proper documents. An export health certificate is required if the pet is shipped separately and it does not accompany the owner. If the visit to Canada extends over 30 days and the owner and pets return by air, they will need to provide a valid Health Certificate to reenter the US.

Horses entering Canada must be accompanied by a valid Export Certificate, VS 17-145. The horse must be inspected by a licensed, accredited veterinarian within 30 days of import. After you have examined the horse and complete this form, it must be endorsed at the Olympia USDA Area Office.

For travel to Canada, horses must have a negative Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA or Coggins) test within the past six months. An additional statement is required regarding contagious equine metritis (CEM). For the proper procedures and correct wording of the necessary CEM statement, contact the Olympia USDA Area Office, phone 360-753-9430, or consult USDA’s website,  

A brand inspection to verify ownership is required prior to the movement of horses to an out-of-state destination. Check with the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Livestock Brand Inspection Program, 1-360-902-1855 or, for current requirements, procedures and fees.

The Health Certificate does not need to be endorsed by the local USDA Area Office. However, birds are subject to a few more requirements in addition to the usual Health Certificate.

The bird must accompany the owner or be in the possession of an immediate family member and must be found to be healthy when inspected at the Canadian entry port. The owner must sign a declaration stating that the bird has been in his/her possession for the 90 days preceding the date of importation and was not in contact with any other birds during that time. The owner must sign another declaration stating that the birds are the owner's personal pets and are not being imported for the purpose of resale. The owner or any member of the family must not have imported birds into Canada under this pet bird provision during the preceding 90-day period.

The necessary certification to clear Canadian Customs will be made by filling out the form which is available at Customs. If all the requirements are met, there is no additional requirement for an import permit or quarantine period. If all the conditions cannot be met, the owner will have to obtain an import permit from the CFIA Area Import Office in the province he/she will be entering.

Exotic pets
To ensure you follow the proper requirements for unusual pets, contact the Olympia USDA Area Office, phone 360-753-9430, or consult USDA’s website,  

It's always prudent to check with proper agencies for current requirements so that you can provide all the correct documents for your clients' border crossing.

Department of Health amends and drafts new rules

Proposed rules by the Department of Health provide for a temporary practice permit for qualified applicants while the national background check is completed for veterinarians and veterinary technicians. When a state background check is insufficient, a sometimes lengthy federal background check is necessary. The proposed rule will provide for qualified applicants to practice in the full scope of their profession until the permit expires. Public hearings for all three rules is scheduled for January 26, 2010.

The Board of Pharmacy has by rule placed carisoprodol (Soma, generics) in Schedule IV of the Controlled Substances Act. The rule is effective February 5, 2010. A schedule IV controlled substance has been found to have a lower potential for abuse relative to Schedule III or Schedule II drugs. Carisoprodol has been a legend drug for decades used as a muscle relaxant.

USDA to restructure accreditation program, require renewal

Veterinarians who want to keep their government accreditation will need to apply under one of two newly created accreditation categories. And those who want to maintain their accreditation will need to pursue continuing education and request a renewal every three years.

A 16-page Federal Register notice published Dec. 9 details the new requirements for participants in the National Veterinary Accreditation Program, which allows veterinarians to perform some duties for the Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Because of the changes, veterinarians who want to continue participating in the NVAP will have to apply under one of the new tiers. The new accreditation form is expected to be available by Feb. 1, 2010, when the regulation takes effect, at

Veterinarians who do not apply will lose their accreditation status Aug. 2, 2010. The USDA estimates there are about 71,000 accredited veterinarians in the U.S.

“These changes will increase the level of training and skill of accredited veterinarians in the areas of disease prevention and preparedness for animal health emergencies in the United States,” the notice states.

One of the two accreditation categories will allow veterinarians to perform accredited duties, such as issuing certificates of veterinary inspection, for any animals. The other allows accredited work on animals such as cats and dogs, but not on food and fiber animal species, horses, birds, farm-raised aquatic animals, other livestock, or zoo animals that can transmit exotic animal diseases to livestock.

“It is important to note that the NVAP does not regulate general veterinary practice, but rather the performance of specific accredited duties; veterinarians who are not accredited may still provide general veterinary care to any animal,” the USDA notice states.

Dr. W. Ron DeHaven, AVMA executive vice president, said the AVMA is pleased the regulation to update the NVAP has finally been published. He said the rule acknowledges the critical role of private practitioners in ensuring the health of animals and security of the nation’s food supply.
“By having a two-tiered system, the new NVAP also recognizes the unique responsibilities of large animal veterinarians working with livestock, poultry, and horses while not placing an unnecessary burden on small animal practitioners,” Dr. DeHaven said.

Veterinarians accredited to work on any animal species will be required to complete about six hours of continuing education prior to renewing their accreditation every three years. Those who participate under the more restrictive category need to complete about three hours of continuing education in the same renewal period, and they will be able to change accreditation categories by fulfilling additional training requirements and submitting an application to the USDA-APHIS.
“The global environment as it relates to animal health is changing rapidly, and so it just makes sense to have a continuing education requirement to ensure that practitioners stay current with new or evolving requirements and disease programs,” Dr. DeHaven said.

Veterinarians will also need accreditation specialization for some APHIS disease program activities that require specific training and technical knowledge, the notice states. Specialization will require accreditation in the tier that allows APHIS work on all animals, and the cost of orientation or training could be borne by participating veterinarians.

AVMA News Bulletin Tuesday, December 22, 2009.

MPH Opportunity for Practicing Veterinarians

The University of Iowa, College of Public Health, in collaboration with the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine, is offering a distance-learning Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) program for practicing veterinarians.

Applications for the fourth cohort of students are due March 1, 2010 and courses will begin with an in-person 2-week summer session in Iowa City from May 31- June 12, 2010. The second summer session will be in Ames in June 2011. The rest of the time, courses will be taken via the Internet. The program is designed to take two full years to complete. As the first three cohorts have proven, that in-person time together is so helpful to meet your instructors and build relationships with your colleagues. That way you have a network of people you know and will take classes with, even though you may live thousands of miles apart.

"Course availability at-a-distance is critical for many veterinarians who are unable to leave their practice location for extended time periods," said Mary L. Aquilino, Ph.D., assistant dean and director of the UI Master of Public Health program. "The combination of summer on-campus institutes and Web-based instruction offers a practical blend of on-campus and distance-learning opportunities."

The program was developed in response to national and world events calling for public health preparedness in areas where public health and veterinary medicine overlap. An Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC) task force identified an urgent need for veterinarians trained in public health. The distance-learning MPH plays a crucial role in meeting this need. "This distance-learning MPH program provides practicing veterinarians with an excellent opportunity to contribute to the national need for more public practice veterinarians," said James A. Roth, DVM., PhD, director of the Center for Food Security and Public Health and at the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine.

Graduates of this program have gone on to become state public health veterinarians, Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Officers through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, biosafety officers, emergency managers at the state level, serving in regulatory roles with federal agencies, working in outreach positions at major universities and furthering their education with a PhD degree. This training program has also aided in the successful completion of the American College of Veterinary Preventive Medicine board certification exam for several graduates. A degree in veterinary medicine from a U.S. accredited college of veterinary medicine is a prerequisite for the program. Students will be enrolled in the UI College of Public Health. Selected faculty from the ISU College of Veterinary Medicine will provide instruction as adjunct faculty of the UI.

For more information about the distance-learning fully-accredited MPH program, contact Lexie Just at 319-384-5470 in Iowa City (, or Danelle Bickett-Weddle, DVM, MPH, PhD, DACVPM at 515-294-1492 in Ames ( For more information about this 42-credit MPH degree, please visit:  

CDC reorganization creating emerging and zoonotic disease center

A new division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expected to improve resource allocation, scientific collaboration, and partnership in addressing emerging and zoonotic disease, a spokesman said. The CDC planned at press time to begin operations of the proposed National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases in January, but agency spokesman David Daigle said in a message that it could be longer until the change becomes official.

The new division includes parts of the National Center for Zoonotic, Vectorborne, and Enteric Diseases and the National Center for Preparedness, Detection, and Control of Infectious Diseases. Daigle said other parts of the two older centers will be merged into the Center for Global Health, which was also recently created, and other parts of the CDC. The change is expected to be budget-neutral. He said the change is also expected to create a “clear and compelling vision and mission for addressing emerging and zoonotic infections,” increase coordination of funding, improve the development and allocation of resources, improve scientific collaboration and communication regarding emerging infectious disease, and help the CDC work with partners on addressing microbial threats to animal and human health. Daigle said the new center “will continue to promote a one-health approach involving the interface of humans, animals, and environmental factors as one of its priorities.”

AVMA News Bulletin Tuesday, January 5, 2010.


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