Bills Filed 2023: "Expand Access to Spay/Neuter Veterinary Care"

The below summary of the proposed legislation was shared by the ASPCA. 


Spay/Neuter surgeries are critical to reducing the population of homeless dogs and cats in Florida and preventing the euthanasia of adoptable pets. Unfortunately, an ongoing critical shortage of veterinarians in the workforce means that there are not enough veterinarians to meet the demand for dog and cat spay/neuter surgeries. Unplanned litters of dogs and cats put pressure on local animal shelters and government resources.

Floridians are motivated to get their pets sterilized, but they lack the access to this vital veterinary care because of a shortage of spay/neuter surgeons, affordability, and other barriers. Spay/neuter capacity is an essential element of access to care. Many animals sterilized in high-volume spay/neuter clinics have never been to a veterinarian prior to coming in for spay/neuter. Sterilization surgeries provide the opportunity to start pets on a lifetime of wellness and prevention.

For a part-year Florida resident, it is difficult, expensive, and time consuming to obtain a veterinary license by endorsement in Florida for veterinarians that are licensed in another state. This includes a hefty application fee, providing veterinary school transcripts (even though already licensed in another state), and letters from every state where the applicant is currently or has been licensed.


The practice of veterinary medicine in Florida is regulated by the Board of Veterinary Medicine. F.S.S. Chapter 474 Veterinary Medical Practice provides for licensure and exemptions.


S.B. 722/H.B. 719 would amend Chapter 474 Exemptions to Licensure, F.S.S. §474.203, to enable a veterinarian licensed and in good standing in another jurisdiction to provide animal sterilization and preventative wellness services at the time of sterilization, under the responsible supervision of a Florida-licensed veterinarian, as an unpaid volunteer.

Florida-licensed supervising veterinarians would be responsible for all acts performed under their responsible supervision. Veterinarians practicing under this exemption is not eligible for a premises permit under F.S.S. §474.215.


Passage of S.B. 722/H.B. 719 would allow retired or semi-retired veterinarians who are licensed and in good standing in another jurisdiction to provide sterilization services for Florida pets under the responsible supervision of a Florida-licensed veterinarian. Florida has a significant population of part-year residents often referred to as “snowbirds,” including veterinarians who may spend as much as half of the year in our state and would more efficiently enable eligible veterinarians to provide these services to Florida’s communities voluntarily.

SUPPORT: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)

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