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(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;

(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) incompetence, negligence, or use of any practice or procedure in the practice of the profession, which creates an unreasonable risk of physical harm or serious financial loss to the client;

(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 without a valid veterinarian/client/patient relationship;

(f) failure to cooperate with an investigation authorized by the Board of Veterinary Medicine by:

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

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

(iii) not responding to subpoenas issued by the board or the department, whether or not the recipient of the subpoena is the accused in the proceedings.

(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) willful or repeated violations of rules established by any health agency or authority of the state or a political subdivision thereof;

(l) cruel or inhumane treatment of animals;

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

(n) violation of the veterinarian/client/patient relationship by making public any information about, or photos of, the owner or patient, without consent of the owner or person(s) authorized by the owner;

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

(p) 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.

History: 37-1-131, 37-1-319, 37-18-202, MCA; IMP, 37-1-131, 37-1-141, 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.

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