For the purposes of this chapter, the following words or phrases shall have the meaning that appears after each one, to wit:
(a) Animal. — Means every member of the animal kingdom, wild or domestic excluding man, dead or alive, including birds, reptiles and fish.
(b) Veterinary assistant. — Means the support personnel that has received a training of less than two (2) years by means of formal education or work experience under the supervision of a veterinary doctor, who shall work under the supervision of a licensed veterinary doctor.
(c) Professional practice of veterinary medicine. — Means:
(1) The prevention, diagnosis, treatment, surgery, correction, change, relief of any illness, deformity, defect, lesion or other physical or mental condition of animals, and includes the prescribing, administering, dispensing and use of drugs, medicine, anesthetics, devices or any other substance. It also includes diagnostic and treatment techniques; alternate medicine (such as naturopathy, acupuncture and chiropractics) applied to animals; odontological procedures; therapy, tests to diagnose pregnancy or fertility or to correct sterility, as well as techniques for transplants, manipulation and alteration of embryos and other techniques developed in the dynamic professional field of veterinary medicine, as well as providing counseling or recommendations pertaining to what is mentioned above.
(2) To represent directly or indirectly in public or in private, as well as to have the ability and initiative to carry out any act included in clause (1) of this subsection.
(3) To use any title, words, abbreviations or letters in such form and circumstances that will lead to the belief that the person using them is qualified to carry out any of the acts described in the preceding clause (1).
(d) Accredited school of veterinary medicine. — Is any school or college of veterinary medicine, or division of a university accredited by the Council on Higher Education, as stipulated in § 2953 of this title, which confers the academic title of Doctor of Veterinary Medicine or its equivalent.
(e) Accredited school of veterinary technology. — Means a school or college of veterinary technology, or division of a university accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
(f) School of veterinary medicine. — Means any school or college of veterinary medicine, or division of a university which offers and grants a doctors degree in veterinary medicine, or its equivalent.
(g) Non-accredited schools of veterinary medicine. — Means any school or college of veterinary medicine located in the United States, Canada, or any foreign country which is listed, but does not bear the classification of Accredited or Approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
(h) Non-accredited schools of veterinary technology. — Means any school or college of veterinary technology, located in the United States, Canada, or any foreign country, which does not bear the classification of accredited or approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA).
(i) School of veterinary technology. — Means any institution, school, college or study center that grants a degree in veterinary technology or its equivalent.
(j) Board. — Means the Board of Veterinary Examiners of Puerto Rico.
(k) License. — Means the official document issued by the Board which certifies that the person in whose name said document has been issued is a professional authorized to practice the profession in Puerto Rico, pursuant to the provisions established in this chapter.
(l) Veterinary medicine. — Is the field of science related to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of animal diseases and aspects pertaining to public health, and includes surgery, obstetrics, odontology, ophthalmology, radiology, pharmacology, geriatrics, medicine and all other branches or specialties of veterinary medicine.
(m) Person. — Means any natural or juridical person, or any group, association or organization thereof which act in common accord, either as principal, agent, officer, trustee, successor, cessionary, or any other legal capacity.
(n) Puerto Rico. — Means the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
(o) Recertification. — Means the registration and re-certification procedure provided for health professionals in §§ 3001 et seq. of Title 24.
(p) Veterinary client-patient relationship. — Means that:
(1) The veterinary doctor assumes the responsibility to perform an evaluation and clinical finding with regard to the health of the animal or animals, the need for medical treatment, along with the commitment and acceptance by the client to follow the instructions of the veterinarian.
(2) The veterinarian has sufficient knowledge of animals to initiate a general or preliminary diagnosis of its medical condition.
(3) The veterinary [sic] has recently seen the animals and is familiar with their care by virtue of the examination of said animals or medically prudent visits to the place where they live.
(4) The veterinary doctor is available for follow-ups in the event of adverse reactions or a failure of the therapeutic treatment.
(q) Secretary. — Means the Secretary of the Department of Health of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
(r) Subboard. — Is the body attached to the Puerto Rico Board of Veterinary Examiners, constituted pursuant to § 2956a of this title, which shall be in charge of all matters related to the qualification, evaluation, granting, denial, suspension and determination of requirements for the re-certification and renewal of the license to practice as veterinary technologist or veterinary technician in Puerto Rico.
(s) Veterinary technician. — Means the support professional who has obtained an Associate Degree in Veterinary Technology or its equivalent, in a two (2) or three (3) year program from a school of veterinary technology, as defined in this chapter.
(t) Veterinary technology. — Is the branch within the science of veterinary medicine that applies scientific knowledge in favor of the health and welfare of animals by the technique of providing professional support to the licensed veterinary doctor and other professionals in the field of biological sciences in the practice of their profession.
(u) Licensed veterinary technologist or veterinary technician. — Is the person who is duly authorized by the Sub-Board to practice veterinary technology as defined in this chapter.
(v) Veterinary technologist. — Is the support professional who has obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in veterinary technology or its equivalent in a four (4) year program of a school of veterinary technology, as defined in this chapter.
(w) Veterinarian or veterinary doctor. — Is a natural person who has received a degree of Doctor in veterinary medicine or its equivalent, from a school of veterinary medicine, as defined in this chapter.
(x) Licensed veterinarian or veterinary doctor. — Is a veterinarian who is duly authorized by the Board to practice veterinary medicine in Puerto Rico.
History —Aug. 4, 1979, No. 194, p. 549, § 2; Dec. 28, 2001, No. 187, § 2.