81R9473 YDB-F
  By: Aycock H.B. No. 1562
  relating to the confidentiality of investigation records of the
  State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners and clarification of
  the regulatory authority of the board.
         SECTION 1.  Section 801.004, Occupations Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         Sec. 801.004.  APPLICATION OF CHAPTER.  This chapter does
  not apply to:
               (1)  the treatment or care of an animal in any manner by
  the owner of the animal, an employee of the owner, or a designated
  caretaker of the animal, unless the ownership, employment, or
  designation is established with the intent to violate this chapter;
               (2)  a person who performs an act prescribed by the
  board as an accepted livestock management practice, including:
                     (A)  castrating a male animal raised for human
                     (B)  docking or earmarking an animal raised for
  human consumption;
                     (C)  dehorning cattle;
                     (D)  aiding in the nonsurgical birth process of a
  large animal, as defined by board rule;
                     (E)  treating an animal for disease prevention
  with a nonprescription medicine or vaccine;
                     (F)  branding or identifying an animal in any
                     (G)  artificially inseminating an animal,
  including training, inseminating, and compensating for services
  related to artificial insemination; and
                     (H)  shoeing a horse;
               (3)  the performance of a cosmetic or production
  technique to reduce injury in poultry intended for human
               (4)  the performance of a duty by a veterinarian's
  employee if:
                     (A)  the duty involves food production animals;
                     (B)  the duty does not involve diagnosis,
  prescription, or surgery;
                     (C)  the employee is under the direction and
  general supervision of the veterinarian; and
                     (D)  the veterinarian is responsible for the
  employee's performance;
               (5)  the performance of an act by a person who is a
  full-time student of an accredited college of veterinary medicine,
  [or is a foreign graduate of a board-approved equivalent competency
  program for foreign veterinary graduates and who is participating
  in a board-approved extern or preceptor program] if the act is
  performed under the direct supervision of a veterinarian employing
  the person;
               (6)  the performance of an act by a person who is a
  full-time student in a veterinary program of an accredited college
  of veterinary medicine, if the act is performed under the direct
  supervision of a veterinarian licensed in this state;
               (7)  an animal shelter employee who performs euthanasia
  in the course and scope of the person's employment if the person has
  successfully completed training in accordance with Chapter 829,
  Health and Safety Code;
               (8) [(7)]  a person who is engaged in a recognized
  state-federal cooperative disease eradication or control program
  or an external parasite control program while the person is
  performing official duties required by the program;
               (9) [(8)]  a person who, without expectation of
  compensation, provides emergency care in an emergency or disaster;
               (10) [(9)]  a consultation given to a veterinarian in
  this state by a person who:
                     (A)  resides in another state; and
                     (B)  is lawfully qualified to practice veterinary
  medicine under the laws of that state.
         SECTION 2.  Section 801.207, Occupations Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
  [PUBLIC RECORD; EXCEPTION]. (a)  The board's investigation files
  are confidential, privileged, and not subject to discovery,
  subpoena, or any other means of legal compulsion for release other
  than to the board or an employee or agent of the board. [Except as
  provided by Subsection (b), a board record is a public record and is
  available for public inspection during normal business hours.]
         (b)  The board shall share information in investigation
  files with another state or federal regulatory agency or with a
  local, state, or federal law enforcement agency regardless of
  whether the investigation has been completed. The board is not
  required to disclose under this subsection information that is an
  attorney-client communication, an attorney work product, or other
  information protected by a privilege recognized by the Texas Rules
  of Civil Procedure or the Texas Rules of Evidence.
         (c)  On completion of the investigation and before a
  contested case hearing, the board shall provide to the license
  holder, subject to any other privilege or restriction established
  by rule, statute, or legal precedent, access to all information in
  the board's possession that the board intends to offer into
  evidence in presenting its case in chief at the contested case
  hearing under Chapter 2001, Government Code, on the complaint. The
  board is not required to provide:
               (1)  a board investigative report or memorandum;
               (2)  the identity of a non-testifying complainant; or
               (3)  attorney-client communications, attorney work
  product, or other materials covered by a privilege recognized by
  the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure or the Texas Rules of Evidence.
         (d)  Notwithstanding Subsection (a), the board may:
               (1)  disclose a complaint to the affected license
               (2)  provide to a complainant the license holder's
  response to the complaint, if providing the response is considered
  by the board to be necessary to investigate the complaint; and
               (3)  disclose information regarding a complaint and an
  investigation to:
                     (A)  a person involved with the board in a
  disciplinary action against a license holder;
                     (B)  a veterinary licensing or disciplinary board
  in another jurisdiction; or
                     (C)  a peer assistance program approved by the
         (e)  This section does not prohibit the board or another
  party in a disciplinary action from offering into evidence in a
  contested case under Chapter 2001, Government Code, a record,
  document, or other information obtained or created during an
         (f)  The board's filing of formal charges against a license
  holder, the nature of the charges, and the board's final
  disciplinary actions, including warnings and reprimands, are not
  confidential and are subject to disclosure in accordance with
  Chapter 552, Government Code. The furnishing of information under
  this section does not constitute a waiver of any other privilege or
  confidentiality provision established under this section or any
  other law. [An investigation record of the board, including a
  record relating to a complaint that is found to be groundless, is
         SECTION 3.  Sections 801.401(a) and (c), Occupations Code,
  are amended to read as follows:
         (a)  If an applicant or license holder is subject to denial
  of a license or to disciplinary action under Section 801.402, the
  board may:
               (1)  refuse to examine an applicant or to issue or renew
  a license;
               (2)  revoke or suspend a license;
               (3)  place on probation a license holder or person
  whose license has been suspended;
               (4)  reprimand a license holder; and [or]
               (5)  impose an administrative penalty.
         (c)  The board may require a license holder whose license
  suspension is probated to:
               (1)  report regularly to the board on matters that are
  the basis of the probation;
               (2)  limit practice to the areas prescribed by the
  board; and [or]
               (3)  continue or review continuing professional
  education until the license holder attains a degree of skill
  satisfactory to the board in those areas that are the basis of the
         SECTION 4.  This Act takes effect immediately if it receives
  a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as
  provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  If this
  Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this
  Act takes effect September 1, 2009.