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Bill Number: 2115 Ratification Number: 69 Act Number 40 Introducing Body: House Subject: Certification of animal health technicians
(A40, R69, H2115)
AN ACT TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING ARTICLE 3 TO CHAPTER 69 OF TITLE 40 SO AS TO PROVIDE FOR THE CERTIFICATION OF ANIMAL HEALTH TECHNICIANS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
Designation of article
SECTION 1. Chapter 69 of Title 40 of the 1976 Code is amended by inserting above "Section 40-69-10":
Animal Health Technicians
SECTION 2. The 1976 Code is amended by adding to Chapter 69 of Title 40:
Animal Health Technicians
Section 40-69-410. For purposes of this article:
(1) 'Animal Health Technician' means a person who has received a degree in Animal Health Technology from an American Veterinary Medical Association accredited school offering a program in Animal Health Technology; this person shall be knowledgeable in the care and handling of animals, in the basic principles of normal and abnormal life processes, and in routine laboratory and clinical procedures. The performance of the Animal Health Technician shall be under the direct supervision of a veterinarian duly licensed to practice in the State of South Carolina. No Animal Health Technician may diagnose disease, perform surgery, or prescribe medicine.
(2) 'Direct supervision' means the guidance of the activities of the Animal Health Technician within the scope of the instructions of the licensed veterinarian in charge of the care of the animal.
(3) 'Certificate' means a written statement acknowledging successful completion of the Animal Health Technician Examination or other necessary requirements as issued by the board.
(4) 'Certified Animal Health Technician' means a person who is certified by the board to work as an Animal Health Technician.
Section 40-69-420. (A) The powers and duties of the board shall include but not be limited to:
(1) promulgate regulations governing the Animal Health Technician as are necessary to enable it to carry out and make effective the purpose and intent of this article.
(2) adopt rules of professional conduct appropriate to establish and maintain a high standard of integrity and skills relating to the Animal Health Technician.
(3) print its regulations and distribute them to all certified Animal Health Technicians.
(4) establish qualifications for persons wishing to be certified as an Animal Health Technician.
(5) pass upon the qualifications of applicants for a certificate to work as an Animal Health Technician in this State.
(6) prescribe the subject, character, manner, time and place of holding examinations and the filing of applications for examinations and to conduct the examinations.
(7) issue temporary certificates to duly qualified applicants.
(8) provide for, regulate and require all persons certified in accordance with the provisions of this article; to renew their certificate annually; to issue annual renewal certificates to such persons and to suspend or revoke the certificate of such persons who fail, refuse or neglect to renew such certificate.
(9) inspect certificate.
(B) The powers and duties of the board as provided in items (4), (11), (12), (13), (14), (16), and (17) of Section 40-69-70 shall also apply to Animal Health Technicians.
Section 40-69-430. (A) Any person wishing to work as an Animal Health Technician in this State shall obtain a certificate from the board. Unless such person shall have obtained a certificate, it shall be unlawful for him to work as an Animal Health Technician as defined in this article.
(B) The board shall conduct examinations of all applicants and the board may examine any applicant who submits satisfactory evidence that he:
(1) is at least eighteen years of age;
(2) is a graduate of an American Veterinary Medical Association accredited school of animal technology;
(3) has submitted authenticated evidence of a high school education or General Education Development Certificate and evidence of having completed a program of five continuous years of practical training as an Animal Health Technician under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian. Any person engaging in a program of practical training shall be exempt from this article until completion of examination requirements as issued by the board. The provisions of this item shall not be effective after July 1, 1983;
(4) is in good physical and mental health;
(5) is of good moral character;
(6) has paid the required fee.
Section 40-69-440. (A) The board may issue a temporary certificate provided such applicant:
(1) meets all the qualifications and requirements of Section 40-69-430;
(2) has filed an application to take the examination;
(3) pays a temporary certificate fee of five dollars, which fee shall be in addition to the examination fee.
(B) Such temporary certificate shall permit the applicant holder to work in the capacity as an Animal Health Technician until the next regularly scheduled examination. Temporary certificates may not be renewed. Provided, however, any person who is unable to attend such examination because of illness, accident, or other reasonable condition beyond his control may, in the discretion of the board, have his temporary certificate renewed until the board is able to act on his application after he completes the required examination.
Section 40-69-450. Any person desiring to take the examination for certification shall make application in writing to the board on forms prescribed by the board at least fourteen days prior to the examination. The application shall be endorsed by at least three persons, one of whom shall be the instructor in the school of Animal Health Technology attended by the applicant; or if in practical training, one endorsement shall be that of the supervising veterinarian. The fee accompanying each application shall be set by the board but must be a minimum of ten dollars and may not exceed thirty-five dollars.
Fees may not be returned under any circumstances, regardless of whether the applicant is accepted for examination, fails the examination, withdraws his application, or is issued or denied a certificate. If an applicant fails to take the examination for a legitimate reason, the board may allow him to take the examination at a later date, without having to pay another fee.
After the board accepts such application and finds that the applicant is otherwise qualified to meet the requirements necessary to work as an Animal Health Technician, the applicant may be examined by the board at its next meeting. The board shall give notice to the applicant of the exact time and place of the examination.
Section 40-69-460. (A) The examination of applicants for certification must be conducted under the regulations adopted by the board. The board shall require the applicant to take a written examination in Animal Anatomy, Clinical Pathology, Pharmacology, Office Procedures, Radiology, Laboratory Animal Technology, Parasitology and such additional subjects relating to Animal Health Technology as the board may require. The board may also require that the applicant undergo a clinical, oral or practical examination in addition to the written examination, shall establish a minimum passing grade for each examination given and shall hold at least one examination annually.
(B) If the applicant makes the minimum passing grade on the examination established by the board and the board finds that the applicant is otherwise qualified, it shall issue the applicant a certificate. An applicant who fails to meet the minimum passing grade or fails to maintain a current certificate may submit to reexamination at the discretion of the board. Each applicant is entitled to at least one reexamination.
Section 40-69-470. The board may issue a certificate, without written examination, to a qualified applicant who is certified as an Animal Health Technician in another state if the applicant furnishes satisfactory proof that he is a graduate of an American Veterinary Medical Association Accredited School of Animal Health Technology, is in good standing in his respective state, and holds a current certificate to work as an Animal Health Technician in that state.
The board is authorized to enter into reciprocal certifying agreements with other states having similar certifying requirements and the board may certify, without written examination, any person working as an Animal Health Technician in such other states.
Section 40-69-480. Each holder of a certificate must apply on January first of each year for renewal of certification. Renewal application must be provided by the board thirty days prior to January first of each year. The completed application must contain the annual fee of five dollars not to exceed twenty dollars, which fee shall be set by the board and made payable to the secretary-treasurer of the board. If such completed application and fee is not submitted by February fifteenth of each year, a late renewal fee penalty of five dollars will be added to the annual fee. If the completed application and renewal fee is not received by March fifteenth of each year, certification of the holder will be revoked and the holder must file for reexamination for certification. The application for renewal must be endorsed by a licensed veterinarian of this State and must include sufficient proof of continuing education as required by the board in the regulations.
The board may issue a duplicate certificate to replace one that has been lost or destroyed upon payment of a fee of ten dollars. Each duplicate certificate must have the word 'DUPLICATE' typed or printed across the face thereof.
Section 40-69-490. The board may revoke, suspend, deny, or place on probation the certificate of an Animal Health Technician, or impose any reasonable disciplinary action toward the Animal Health Technician, who, in the opinion of the board, has committed one or more of the following:
(1) Gross incompetence in connection with the performance of the duties or tasks of the Animal Health Technician;
(2) Fraud or deceit in procuring certification as an Animal Health Technician;
(3) Performing tasks otherwise than under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian;
(4) Conviction in any court, state or federal, of any felony;
(5) Representing himself or permitting another to represent him as a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine;
(6) Conviction on a charge of cruelty to animals;
(7) Violation of the code of conduct as adopted by the board;
(8) Any conduct in violation of this article.
Section 40-69-500. No action to deny, revoke, or suspend a certificate of an Animal Health Technician may be taken until the person has been furnished a statement of the charges against him by the board. Preferring of charges, hearings, appeals, and reinstatements shall be conducted by the board as stated in Section 40-69-150.
Section 40-69-510. A complete roster that shows all the names and places of employment of Certified Animal Health Technicians in this State must be prepared annually by the board by April fifteenth of each year. This list must be filed with the secretaries of the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians and South Carolina Certified Animal Health Technician Association.
All persons certified as an Animal Health Technician must display in his place of employment at all times his current certificate issued by the board.
Section 40-69-520. Any person who works as an Animal Health Technician without first having complied with the board as provided by this article, or who knowingly presents to or files false information with the board for the purpose of obtaining a certificate, is guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be fined not less than fifty dollars or imprisoned for not less than thirty days.
Section 40-69-530. Any person previously issued a certificate to work as an Animal Health Technician on or before August 1, 1981, by the South Carolina State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners shall, upon payment of the required fee, be issued a certificate by the board.
Section 40-69-540. Any person performing acts as a certified Animal Health Technician in compliance with this article shall not be deemed to be engaging in the practice of veterinary medicine as defined in Section 40-69-20."
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon approval by the Governor.