Florida: Gov. DeSantis Signs Bill to Protect State’s Pets and Vets!
Update—July 2, 2019: Great news, advocates! This bill was passed by both chambers and has been signed into law by Governor DeSantis. We want to thank everyone who spoke up on this important issue.
Veterinarians are often the first to detect potential cases of animal cruelty and neglect. A recent study found that 87% of veterinarians had encountered cases of animal abuse. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2017;250:688–696)
Veterinarians swear an oath to “relieve animal suffering” when they enter their profession. But Florida’s law actually prohibits veterinarians from reporting or discussing a patient’s condition without facing serious disciplinary and legal risk, making it nearly impossible for them to uphold this oath when they witness suspected animal abuse.
Their ability to report potential cruelty cases without risking their careers is crucial to protecting animals from potentially life-threatening situations.