Tennessee Code Annotated

Title 63: Professions of the Healing Arts

Chapter 12: Tennessee Veterinary Practice Act

TCA 63-12-124: Denial, suspension or revocation of license -- Investigation -- Immunity of informants.

(a) The board, pursuant to the procedure prescribed in this section, has the power to deny, suspend or revoke any license or to otherwise discipline an applicant or licensee who is found guilty by the board of one (1) or more of the following:

(1) Willful or repeated violation of any provisions of this chapter or any rules of the board;

(2) Fraud or deceit in procuring or attempting to procure a license to practice veterinary medicine, or presenting to the board dishonest or fraudulent evidence of qualification or fraud or deception in the process of examination for the purpose of securing a license;

(3) The willful failure to display a license;

(4) Fraud, deception, misrepresentation, dishonest or illegal practices in or connected with the practice of veterinary medicine in any of its branches;

(5) Willfully making any misrepresentation in the inspection of food for human consumption;

(6) Fraudulently issuing or using any health certificate, vaccination certificate, inspection certificate, test chart or other blank form used in the practice of veterinary medicine to the dissemination of animal disease, transportation of diseased animals or the sale of inedible products of animal origin for human consumption;

(7) Fraud or dishonesty in applying, treating or reporting on tuberculin, diagnostic or other biological test;

(8) Failure to keep the equipment and premises of the business establishment in a clean and sanitary condition;

(9) Refusing to permit the board or any legal representative of the board to inspect the business premises of the licensee during regular business hours;

(10) Circulating knowingly untrue, fraudulent, misleading or deceptive advertising;

(11) Gross malpractice or a pattern of continued or repeated malpractice, ignorance, negligence or incompetence in the course of veterinary medical practice;

(12) Unprofessional or unethical conduct or engaging in practices in connection with the practice of veterinary medicine that are in violation of the standards of professional conduct as defined in this section or prescribed by the rules of the board;

(13) Conduct reflecting unfavorably upon the profession of veterinary medicine;

(14) The willful making of any false statement as to a material matter in any oath or affidavit that is required by this chapter;

(15) Revocation by another state of a license to practice veterinary medicine in that state, in which case the record of such revocation shall be conclusive evidence;

(16) Conviction on a charge of cruelty to animals;

(17) Conviction of a felony under federal or state law involving use, misuse, possession or sale of any controlled substance or controlled substance analogue;

(18) Conviction of a felony in the courts of this state, or of any other state, territory or country that, if committed in this state, would be a felony;

(A) The record of conviction in a court of competent jurisdiction shall be sufficient evidence for disciplinary action to be taken as may be considered proper by the board. For the purpose of this chapter, a conviction shall be considered to be a conviction that has been upheld by the highest appellate court having jurisdiction or a conviction upon which the time for filing an appeal has passed; and

(B) A record of conviction upon charges that involve the unlawful practice of veterinary medicine; and based upon such record of conviction, without any other testimony, the board may take temporary disciplinary action even though an appeal for review by a higher court may be pending;

(19) Permitting or allowing another to use the licensee's license for the purpose of treating or offering to treat sick, injured or affected animals;

(20) Engaging in the practice of veterinary medicine under a false or assumed name or the impersonation of another practitioner of a like, similar or different name;

(21) Has been guilty of employing or permitting any person who does not hold a license to practice veterinary medicine in this state to perform work that, under this chapter, can lawfully be done only by persons holding such license and permitted by law to practice veterinary medicine in this state. It shall be conclusively presumed that any unlicensed person, if employed by a licensed person, was employed for such purpose if the unlicensed person has attended any school of veterinary medicine or surgery, accredited or otherwise, for a period of over thirty (30) days;

(22) Addiction to the habitual use of intoxicating liquors, narcotics or other stimulants to such an extent as to incapacitate the applicant or licensee from the performance of the applicant's or the licensee's professional obligations and duties;

(23) Professional incompetence;

(24) Having been adjudged mentally incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction and the disabilities of such person not having been restored or the voluntary commitment or admission to a state hospital or other mental institution. The record of adjudication, judgment, order or voluntary commitment is conclusive evidence of such mental illness; and upon receipt of a certified copy of any such adjudication, judgment, order or record of voluntary commitment by the board, it may suspend the license of the person so adjudicated or committed;

(25) Failure to report, as required by law, or making false report of, any contagious or infectious disease as referred to under the United States department of agriculture (U.S.D.A.) standards for accreditation of veterinarians in Tennessee and other states;

(26) Has been found guilty of using biologicals or other drugs that have deteriorated or after the expiration date of that particular lot or serial number;

(27) Has been convicted of any crime involving moral turpitude;

(28) Dispensing, prescribing or otherwise distributing any controlled substance or any other drug not in the course of the accepted practice of veterinary medicine; or

(29) Practicing veterinary medicine without establishing and maintaining a valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

(b) The board may, on its own motion, cause to be investigated any report indicating that a veterinarian is or may be in violation of the provisions of this chapter.

(c) Any person who in good faith shall report to the board any information that a veterinarian is or may be in violation of any provisions of this chapter shall not be subject to suit for civil damages as a result thereof.

History: Acts 1967, ch. 80, § 24; T.C.A., § 63-1224; Acts 1983, ch. 57, § 14; 2012, ch. 848, § 76; 2016, ch. 819, § 4.