(1) For the purposes of implementing the provisions of 37-1-319, MCA, the board defines "unprofessional conduct" as follows:

(a) violation of any state or federal statute or administrative rule regulating the practice of veterinary medicine, including any statute or rule defining or establishing standards of patient care or professional conduct or practice, or any rules established by any health agency or authority of the state or a political subdivision of those entities;

(b) resorting to fraud, misrepresentation, or deception in the examination or treatment of an animal, or in billing or reporting to a person, company, institution, or agency;

(c) failing to provide care in a competent and humane manner consistent with prevailing standards of practice for the species of animal and the professed area of expertise of the veterinarian. Veterinarians must meet the currently accepted standards of practice for the profession of veterinary medicine as described under:

(i) Title 37, chapter 18, MCA;

(ii) ARM Title 24, chapter 225; and

(iii) as otherwise found to be accepted within the profession as gauged by the reasonable conduct of other professionals engaged in the practice of veterinary medicine;

(d) possession, use, addiction to, prescription for use, diversion, or distribution of controlled substances or legend drugs in any way other than for legitimate or therapeutic purposes, or violation of any drug law;

(e) dispensing or prescribing a veterinary prescription drug or veterinary feed directive drug without a valid VCPR;

(f) failure to respond to a request from the board, including:

(i) not furnishing any papers or documents in the possession of and under the control of the licensee related to a complaint; or

(ii) not furnishing in writing a full and complete explanation covering the matter contained in a complaint;

(g) practice beyond the scope of practice encompassed by the license except when reasonably undertaken in an emergency situation to protect life, health, or property;

(h) offering, undertaking, or agreeing to cure or treat disease or affliction by a secret method, procedure, treatment, or the treating, operating, or prescribing for any health condition by a method, means, or procedure that the licensee refuses to divulge upon demand from the board;

(i) failing to adequately supervise auxiliary staff to the extent that the patient's physical health or safety is at risk;

(j) practicing veterinary medicine after the practitioner's license is expired, terminated, revoked, or suspended;

(k) cruel or inhumane treatment of animals;

(l) abandoning, neglecting, or otherwise physically abusing a patient once the veterinarian has undertaken treatment of the patient;

(m) making public any information without consent as per ARM 24.225.514;

(n) violation of professional ethical standards by making public false or misleading negative information about another veterinarian's professional standing or reputation;

(o) identifying oneself as a member of an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)-recognized specialty organization if such certification has not been awarded and maintained, or using terms implying a specialty in a false and misleading manner;

(p) failure to disclose records in accordance with ARM 24.225.514 in a reasonable period of time;

(q) failure to report to the proper authorities cruel or inhumane treatment to animals, if the veterinarian has direct knowledge of the cruel or inhumane treatment;

(r) failure to refer if a client requests a referral; or

(s) failure to obtain the client's consent before placing an animal under anesthesia, performing any surgical procedure, or transporting the animal to another facility, except in emergency situations.


History: 37-1-131, 37-1-136, 37-1-319, MCA; IMP, 37-1-131, 37-1-136, 37-1-316, 37-1-319, MCA; NEW, 1989 MAR p. 1195, Eff. 8/18/89; AMD, 1996 MAR p. 2579, Eff. 10/4/96; AMD, 1999 MAR p. 411, Eff. 3/12/99; TRANS, from Commerce, 2005 MAR p. 323; AMD, 2006 MAR p. 1583, Eff. 7/1/06; AMD, 2008 MAR p. 633, Eff. 4/11/08; AMD, 2014 MAR p. 1092, Eff. 5/23/14; AMD, 2017 MAR p. 191, Eff. 2/4/17; AMD, 2020 MAR p. 1633, Eff. 8/29/20.