Telemedicine Now Available To Treat Livestock And Pets, FDA Says

Phone and Computer

AgWeb reports veterinarians can now use telemedicine practices to address animal health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to a decision announced on Tuesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

“This pandemic has had impacts on many of our everyday lives and professions, and during this time, we need to provide veterinarians with the latitude to expand the use of telemedicine in the care of animals, not only pets, but also the animals that produce our food,” said Stephen M. Hahn, FDA commissioner. “The FDA is providing flexibility that will help veterinarians maintain the health of animals during the pandemic, while allowing for the social distancing that is so important in limiting the further spread of coronavirus disease across the country and the world.”

Historically, the Federal veterinarian-client-patient relationship (VCPR) regulations have required veterinarians to physically examine animal patients to make medical determinations and prescribe treatment.

The FDA’s decision makes it much easier for veterinarians to work with farmers and ranchers for the time being.

Based on videos, photos, and descriptions of the health problems the veterinarian will be able to prescribe extra-label drugs or write a veterinary feed directive.