During the 2022 session, the Pelican Institute supported legislation which eventually became Act 583, a law that promotes an easier path to work for Louisiana families. The bill, which advocates have called the Right to Earn a Living (RTEAL), limits regulations and requirements for licensure to only those that protect the health, safety, welfare, and fiduciary interests of consumers. The intent was to put an end to arbitrary regulations that create barriers to work.

Recently, the Board of Veterinary Medicine Examiners filed a notice to repeal its preceptorship requirement, aligning with Louisiana’s new law. The preceptorship program is an arbitrary requirement requiring veterinarians licensed in other states and wishing to practice in Louisiana to complete an eight-week unpaid internship prior to consideration for licensure. This is in addition to the internship program that veterinary medicine students must participate in if they wish to graduate from school. The preceptorship program also requires burdensome paperwork and fees that must be paid at different intervals of the program to receive a license to practice in Louisiana.

Louisiana’s board had been the only board in the entire country requiring this internship for previously licensed veterinarians. This requirement did not contribute to the health, safety, and welfare of veterinary consumers, and created a barrier to entry for people wishing to work in our state. It also reduced the number of veterinarians available to take care of our furry, four-legged loved ones in times of need.

Pelican applauds the Board of Veterinary Medicine Examiners for its willingness to review their rules and regulations and address those instances where overly burdensome requirements do not meet the standards of consumer health, safety, welfare, or fiduciary well-being. While this is a great step toward reducing the regulatory burden in one field, especially for those trying to move to our state, there is still much work to be done in a wide variety of professional licensing programs so that Louisiana’s people can flourish.