H.B. NO.



H.D. 1
















     SECTION 1.  Veterinary technicians are key members of the veterinary health care team, second only to licensed veterinarians, in delivering quality animal care to the community.  In public service, veterinary technicians ensure compliance with animal care and control at the University of Hawaii and at the department of agriculture in the animal industry division, in laboratories, and in the rabies quarantine branch.  Veterinary technicians assist veterinarians at the Honolulu zoo, in the shelter and rescue community, in laboratories, and other veterinary-related establishments to promote and ensure animal health.  In private practice, supervised by licensed veterinarians, veterinary technicians assist in managing the veterinarian's practice and the veterinary health care team.  Because of their superior training, they are able to assist the veterinarian in educating the staff and public and provide hands-on quality veterinary medical and surgical services.

     While students must travel to the continental United States to seek a doctorate of veterinary medicine, Hawaii has a successful, accredited veterinary technician program at Windward community college that has been accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association since 2013.  Entering its fourth year, the program enjoys ongoing popularity and outstanding success, and its graduates are easily placed in gainful employment.

     Currently, the State of Hawaii is the last state to recognize veterinary technicians as bona fide health professionals.  Veterinary technicians should be regulated in Hawaii to ensure the continuing delivery of quality veterinary service to the community and to protect animal welfare.

     The purpose of this Act is to recognize the important role veterinary technicians play in the level of care of animals in the State by:

     (1)  Establishing requirements for the regulation of veterinary technicians and the practice of veterinary technology; and

     (2)  Establishing registration requirements and limitations on use of titles.

     SECTION 2.  The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:


VETERiNARY TECHNology practice

     §  -1  Definitions.  As used in this chapter:

     "Department" means department of commerce and consumer affairs.

     "Intubate" means to pass a tube into the trachea for purposes of anesthesia and airway maintenance.

     "Monitor" means to evaluate patient health by tracking vital signs via physical examination and multi-parameter monitors in order to recognize abnormalities while an animal is under anesthesia.

     "Practice of veterinary technology" includes but is not limited to the following procedures only under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian:

     (1)  Monitoring anesthesia;

     (2)  Intubating;

     (3)  Performing dental cleaning;

     (4)  Creating a relief hold in the skin to facilitate placement of an intravenous catheter; and

     (5)  Practice and laboratory management activities.

     §  -2  Practice of veterinary technology; qualifications; registration required.  (a)  No person shall represent, announce, or advertise oneself, publicly or privately, as a veterinary technician or registered veterinary technician, or shall append the letters "RVT" or "VT" or affix any other words, letters, abbreviations, or insignia to the person's name indicating or implying that the person is a practitioner of veterinary technology, unless such person registers the person's name and business address biennially with the department in a manner prescribed by the department, and meets the qualifications of section   -3.

     (b)  The department shall maintain and biennially update a list of the names and business addresses of the veterinary technicians who are registered under subsection (a).

     (c)  Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit a licensed veterinarian from utilizing support or auxiliary personnel to assist in the practice of veterinary medicine; provided that the support or auxiliary personnel shall work under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

     (d)  A registration granted under this chapter shall mean that the person has met requirements that include minimum practice standards to provide protection to the public and is permitted to use the title and engage in the practice of veterinary technology.

     §  -3  Veterinary technician qualifications.  No person shall be registered to engage in the practice of veterinary technology unless the person:

     (1)  Is at least eighteen years of age;

     (2)  Has successfully passed the Veterinary Technician National Examination; and

     (3)  Meets at least one of the following conditions:

          (A)  Has successfully completed a course of study at a program for veterinary technology accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association Committee on Veterinary Technician Education and Activities;

          (B)  Is a licensed, certified, or registered veterinary technician in good standing in another state having standards for registration comparable to those in this State; or

          (C)  Prior to July 1, 2021, submits a notarized document from an employer who is a licensed veterinarian and who certifies that the person has five years or more of practical experience in the State of Hawaii.  No reciprocity shall be given for practical experience gained outside of the State.

     Before any applicant shall be eligible for registration under this chapter, the applicant shall file an application in the form as shall be prescribed by the department and pay to the department of commerce and consumer affairs an application fee and all other applicable fees."

     SECTION 3.  Upon the issuance of a new registration under section   -2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, as establishd by this Act, and at each registration renewal period, each veterinary technician shall pay, in addition to the registration fee or renewal fee, a surcharge of $100, which shall be maintained in a separate account within the compliance resolution fund established pursuant to section 26-9(o), Hawaii Revised Statutes.  At the end of each quarter, the moneys contained in the separate account established pursuant to this section shall be transferred to the compliance resolution fund until the total of the transferred amounts equals the amount appropriated in section 4 of this Act.  Thereafter, no surcharge shall be assessed, and any funds in excess of the amount appropriated in section 4 of this Act shall be deposited into the compliance resolution fund.

     SECTION 4.  There is appropriated out of the compliance resolution fund established pursuant to section 26-9(o), Hawaii Revised Statutes, the sum of $         or so much thereof as may be necessary, for fiscal year 2016-2017 to implement the registration of veterinary technicians as required by this Act.

     The sum appropriated shall be expended by the department of commerce and consumer affairs for the purposes of this Act. 

     SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2112.

Report Title:

Veterinary Technicians



Establishes a framework for the regulation of veterinary technicians and the practice of veterinary technology.  (HB1955 HD1)




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