House Approves Changes To Regulations On Large Animal Vets

Large Animal Veterinarians

House File 670, which passed the House this week, proposes some changes to Iowa’s regulations on the practice of veterinary medicine. In the wake of a shortage of large animal veterinarians in our agriculturally focused state, this legislation seeks to address some key points of the issue.

Why does Iowa lack large animal veterinarians, especially in rural areas? Based on research from Iowa State University, some factors could include long hours, emergency duties, or lack of time off. Large animal veterinary work includes much more intense physical labor than a regular clinical practice, and many students who grew up on Iowa farms want to try something new and different when they graduate college. There is also a perception that rural veterinary practice will pay significantly less, but the data from this research shows that, at the time of writing, close to 80% of Iowa veterinary clinics were offering a starting salary of at least $70,000 a year. Another factor considered was the draw of a city or suburb lifestyle as opposed to a rural lifestyle.

Under current law, a person may not practice veterinary medicine in the State unless the person is a licensed veterinarian or has a valid temporary permit issued by the Board of Veterinary Medicine. The Board issues certificates to veterinary medicine students who have been certified by an instructor to practice veterinary medicine. In addition, a veterinary assistant employed by a licensed veterinarian may be certified to practice veterinary medicine, except for diagnosing,

prescribing, or performing surgery, if the veterinary assistant has met educational, experience,

and testing requirements established by the Board.

The bill proposes that a licensed veterinarian may act as a supervising veterinarian exercising differing levels of supervision according to rules determined by the Board based on the situation and personnel. The veterinary auxiliary personnel category would include (1) a registered veterinary technician who has graduated from an accredited veterinary technology program, received a passing score on a national veterinarian technician examination, and is issued a certificate of registration by the board; (2) a veterinary technician student attending an accredited technology program; (3) a veterinary assistant subject to qualifications established by the board; (4) a veterinary student attending an accredited college of veterinary medicine; and (5) a graduate of a foreign college of veterinary medicine.

HF670 also proposes a few language changes, including changes to the definition of “practice of veterinary medicine” to include veterinary acupuncture, acutherapy, acupressure, manipulative therapy based on techniques of osteopathy and chiropractic medicine, or other similar therapies as specified by the Board of Veterinary Medicine. This definition excludes any form of animal massage. It also expands the definition of “livestock” to include flocks of poultry.

In conclusion, this legislation seeks to fill some of the gaps in the need for large animal vets in rural Iowa by expanding the scope of those allowed to practice under the supervision of a licensed veterinary professional. As always, I welcome comments, questions, and feedback from my constituents. You are welcome to email me at or leave a message for me on the Capitol switchboard at 515.281.3221.

Firearms in Vehicles

This week, the Iowa House passed the “Parking Lot Carry Bill.” This bill, if made law, would allow law-abiding citizens to carry a loaded firearm in their vehicle on most publicly owned property. Let’s break down the sections of this bill along with who and what it applies to:

Division 1- Firearms in locked vehicles

● Allows anyone who can legally carry a firearm to keep that firearm in their locked vehicle on any public property. The firearm must be out of sight and the vehicle must be locked.

● If a firearm is left in a vehicle at a prison or jail the vehicle must be in a non-secure parking lot of the facility.

● Public parking areas include those operated by the state, county, city, or township.

● This division does not apply to a parking lot at a facility owned or operated by the National Guard.

Division 2- Firearms in vehicles transporting foster children

● The Department of Health & Human Services currently does not permit foster families to carry firearms in their vehicle unless they are unloaded and the firearm and ammunition are locked separately. This is not a federal requirement.

● The Department DOES currently allow families to carry loaded firearms when out with foster children.

● The bill strikes the DHHS rule and ensures that foster families can legally carry firearms inside their vehicles.

Division 3- Firearms on School Property

● Would allow a person to possess a firearm in their vehicle if they are dropping off or picking up someone from a school building.

● A person driving a school vehicle cannot have a firearm in the passenger compartment unless authorized by the school.

● This bill would allow a qualified retired law enforcement officer to carry a firearm on school grounds. This is allowed for current law enforcement officers already.

Division 4- Regents Universities and College Campuses

● Would allow a person to keep a firearm in their vehicle on a community college campus or a regents university campus. The vehicle must be locked and the firearm stored out of sight.

● Law enforcement officers and those authorized by the school (such as competitive shooting sports teams, campus security, criminal justice classes, etc) would still be able to carry firearms on the campus as before.

Division 5- Insurance Coverage

● Requires commissioner of insurance to adopt rules to prohibit an authorized insurer from denying property and casualty insurance to a school based solely on the school authorizing a person to carry a firearm on school grounds.

Division 6- Guns in Vehicles on Public Highways

● The bill clarifies any confusion on the issue of firearms in vehicles on public highways and ensures that law-abiding citizens can have a loaded firearm in their vehicle on public highways.

Division 7- Carrying Firearms on Snowmobiles and ATVs

● Under current law, a person cannot carry a loaded firearm on their snowmobile or ATV.

● This bill strikes that law, but specifies that no one can shoot from either machine.

● There is an exception for non-ambulatory persons (someone with a condition that significantly impacts their mobility). These folks would be able to fire a gun while lawfully hunting from their snowmobile or ATV as long as they are not operating or riding the machine.

Division 8- Casinos and Gambling Facilities

● Strikes rules that ban firearms in casinos statewide. Casinos still have the freedom to prohibit firearms but each business must make their own policy.

Division 9- Eligibility to Carry Weapons

● This section addresses some consistency issues in the current Iowa Code surrounding this issue.

● Clarifies the definitions of “carry” and “possess” in relation to firearms and who is allowed to carry vs. possess.

● Returns the power of removing people from the National Criminal Background Check System to the Department of Public Safety. This power has previously only been held by the courts.

● Makes it clear that a person can possess a firearm on their own property even if they do not qualify for a permit to carry.

As always, I welcome feedback and questions from my constituents. You are welcome to email me at or leave a message for me on the Capitol switchboard at 515.281.3221.

Posted by on Apr 17 2023. Filed under Local News, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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