Gov. signs OVMA-backed loan relief, animal cruelty bills

After many months of advocacy by OVMA’s government relations department, two pieces of veterinary legislation have been signed by Gov. Mike DeWine and will become law this spring. 

OVMA was instrumental in drafting a rewrite of House Bill 67, which re-channels surplus funds collected by the Ohio Veterinary Medical Licensing Board into a fund for veterinary student loan assistance. Grants for eligible veterinarians would range between $5,000 and $10,000. For perspective: In the last biennium, more $250,000 would have been available to Ohio veterinarians.

OVMA was also actively involved in the redrafting of House Bill 33, which will implement mandatory reporting of animal cruelty in Ohio. Key provisions include:

  • Civil and criminal immunity to veterinarians who report suspected animal abuse to county humane agents;
  • OVMLB review of possible violations to ensure veterinary medical expertise is part of the discussion; and
  • Warning issued for first violations.

In anticipation of the legislation, OVMA’s Animal Abuse Recognition and Reporting Task Force created in-depth guidance documents and templates to educate and support Ohio veterinarians.

More information on how HB 67 will work and eligibility criteria, as well as a complete HB 33 guidance document, will be shared in forthcoming OVMA member printed and electronic communications.

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