H. B. 2656
(By Delegates Overington, Anderson, Fragale,
Proudfoot, Border and Davis)
(Originating in the
Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources)
[January 29, 1998]
A BILL to amend chapter thirty of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article ten-a, relating to
creation of the position of certified animal euthanasia
technician; under the control of the state board of veterinary
medicine; provision for controlled substance permits issued by
the state board of pharmacy and drug enforcement
administration identification numbers all of which issued to
humane societies or animal shelters incorporated and organized
under the laws of this state; institutional recognition by the
federal internal revenue service as a tax exempt or
governmental organization; the certified animal euthanasia
technician education program, requiring passage of written and
practical examinations; areas in which applicants are tested;
background checks; board to approve registration; annual renewal required; limitations of authority; responsibility;
loss of certification; disciplinary authority; and board to
propose legislative rules.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter thirty of the code of West Virginia, one thousand
nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding thereto
a new article, designated article ten-a, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 10A. ANIMAL EUTHANASIA TECHNICIANS.
§30-10A-1. Creating the position of certified animal euthanasia
There is hereby created the position of certified animal
euthanasia technician. Candidates will be tested prior to
certification in the areas of proper restraint, stress management,
controlled substance record keeping requirements, handling,
administration and storage of euthanasia drugs and solutions and
other subject areas and proficiency standards as the board of
veterinary medicine may from time to time prescribe. Upon
certification, these technicians shall be authorized to practice
euthanasia under the limitations imposed by this article and under
the further authorization of a humane officer or veterinarian. For
the purposes of this article, controlled substance permits issued
by the state board of pharmacy and drug enforcement administration
shall be issued to a municipal or county run animal control
facility, a humane society or animal shelter incorporated and organized under the laws of the State, and having one or more duly
appointed agents. The humane society or animal shelter shall
possess a tax exempt charitable or tax exempt governmental
determination under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended.
Certified animal euthanasia technicians may practice euthanasia
under the authority of any licensed veterinarian as defined in
chapter thirty, article ten of this code, or a county humane
officer as defined in chapter seven, article ten of this code.
Certified animal euthanasia technicians shall in no way represent
to any person that their title grants them authority to treat or
act as an euthanasia technician in the care of animals other than
in the field of euthanasia under authorization as indicated above.
Recertification shall be required annually under such terms and
conditions as the board of veterinary medicine may prescribe.
Annual registration shall be required for every certified animal
euthanasia technician on an individual basis with the board of
veterinary medicine. Failure to comply with this requirement,
whether through willful or negligent behavior or because of simple
neglect or indifference by the certified technician may result in
revocation of certification by the board of veterinary medicine.
Institutional licensees holding a controlled substances permit from
the board of pharmacy or a federal drug enforcement administration
identification number shall be responsible to insure that certified
animal euthanasia technicians at all times maintain proper records of controlled substances relating to the inventory, storage and
administration. The proper completion and retention of these
records shall be the responsibility of the institutional licensee
and the certified animal euthanasia technician. Both institutional
licensees and certified technicians are subject to inspection and
audit by the West Virginia board of veterinary medicine, the West
Virginia board of pharmacy and any other appropriate state or
federal agency relating to proper administration of inventory,
storage, use and record keeping of any controlled substance used
under authority of this article.
§30-10A-2. Certified animal euthanasia technicians program.
(a) The certified animal euthanasia technicians program shall
be sponsored by the West Virginia board of veterinary medicine.
This course shall be designed to teach candidates record keeping,
legal, safety and practical information needed to become a
certified animal euthanasia technician. The application for
certified animal euthanasia technician shall be completed and
submitted to the West Virginia board of veterinary medicine at
least thirty days prior to the scheduled test date. Such
application shall be accompanied by the appropriate application and
examination fee specified by the West Virginia board of veterinary
(b) The passage of a written examination shall be required of
every applicant applying to be a certified animal euthanasia technician. The examination shall be approved of and administered
by the West Virginia board of veterinary medicine. The candidate
must pass the written portion of this exam with a minimum correct
score as determined by the board of veterinary medicine.
Additionally, a practical skills exam shall be administered. The
exam shall be conducted to test an applicant's ability to properly
restrain an animal, measure a correct dosage of euthanasia
solution, locate an injection site and perform an injection. An
applicant must exhibit knowledge of how to perform euthanasia
correctly and humanely. A passing grade in the practical exam does
not depend entirely upon an applicant's ability to hit a vein
during the practical exam, but also on the correctness and humanity
of the administration. Applicants shall also be tested in the
(1) Animal restraint;
(2) DEA regulations;
(3) Record keeping, inventory and proper storage and security;
(4) Certification process;
(5) Legal concern; and
(6) Sodium pentobarbital usage.
(c) Applicants shall sign a form authorizing the West Virginia
board of veterinary medicine to make inquiries through the United
States department of justice, or any other legal jurisdiction or
entity, for the purposes of determining the character and reputation and other matters relating to the certification of the
(d) All persons tested and approved for registration as
certified animal euthanasia technicians shall renew such
certification annually. Certification renewal notices shall be
mailed by the West Virginia board of veterinary medicine to all
certified animal euthanasia technicians at their last known
business address on or about the first day of December of each
year, and shall be completed and returned to the board no later
than the thirty-first day of December, with the appropriate fee.
All renewal requests for certified animal euthanasia technicians
must be signed by the certified animal euthanasia technician, and
must list the physical location of the primary facility where the
certified technician provides euthanasia services. Such renewals
shall be for the calendar year next beginning the first day of
January, one thousand nine hundred ninety-nine. Failure to timely
renew such certification shall be cause for revocation of certified
animal euthanasia technician status. The annual renewal fee shall
be twenty-five dollars if received by the thirty-first of December
for the next calendar year, and thirty-five dollars if received
after the thirty-first day of December.
(e) In the event a certified technician no longer provides
euthanasia services either as an employee or an independent
practitioner he or she shall notify the West Virginia board of veterinary medicine.
Under no circumstances shall a certified euthanasia technician
practice euthanasia at any humane society or animal shelter which
does not possess a current state controlled substance permit issued
by the board of pharmacy and a current drug enforcement
administration identification number issued by the drug enforcement
§30-10A-3.Limitations of authority; responsibility; loss of
certification; authority over certified animal euthanasia technicians; disciplinary authority; suspension of certified animal euthanasia
(a) Certified animal euthanasia technicians are authorized to
euthanize animals assigned to the care of a legally operated humane
society or animal control facility, within this state. Certified
animal euthanasia technicians may not offer or in any way indicate
their ability to practice their profession outside the direct
authority of the humane society or animal control facility which
employs them or otherwise contracts for their services. Certified
animal euthanasia technicians are not qualified, nor may they
indicate that they are qualified, to act in any capacity relative
to animals beyond their specified and regulated authority to
euthanize, at the instruction of their employer, humane society,
animal control facility, or under the supervision of a humane officer.
Any person certified as an animal euthanasia technician must
abide by and protect the requirements of his or her position as
mandated by the regulatory authorities of the West Virginia board
of veterinary medicine.
(b) Any certified animal euthanasia technicians certification
shall immediately be revoked by the West Virginia board of
veterinary medicine in the event of, but not limited to, any of the
(1) Any adjudication of a felony;
(2) Cruelty to animals;
(3) Any other circumstance or event which the board of
veterinary medicine may prescribe by legislative rule in accordance
with chapter twenty-nine-a of this code.
(c) The board of veterinary medicine shall maintain authority
over the certified animal euthanasia technicians as their
certification regulatory agency. The board of veterinary medicine
may take disciplinary action against a certified animal euthanasia
technician when justified due to misconduct. Such action may
include, but not be limited to, fines, suspension or revocation of
certification. Any disciplinary action by the board of veterinary
medicine may not infringe upon the authority of any law-enforcement
department or agency.
(d) The board of veterinary medicine has the right to suspend the authority of a certified animal euthanasia technician. In the
event of suspension or revocation of the rights to perform the
activities of a certified animal euthanasia technician, it is
solely the responsibility of the animal control facility or humane
society to replace the suspended or revoked technician with a
qualified and authorized individual capable of performing animal
(e) In the event that sodium pentobarbital is no longer
approved as the euthanasia "drug of choice" for animals by either
state or federal mandate, the West Virginia board of veterinary
medicine shall make the determination of the replacement "drug of
choice" for sodium pentobarbital for use by certified animal
euthanasia technicians. Said replacement "drug of choice" shall be
administered and controlled, properly stored and secured by an
animal control facility or humane society which meets the
qualifications in section one of this article.
(f) The West Virginia board of veterinary medicine may in its
discretion replace sodium pentobarbital as the "drug of choice" at
any time by rules promulgated pursuant to chapter twenty-nine-a of
this code. In such case, the determined "drug of choice" for
animal euthanasia as specified by the West Virginia board of
veterinary medicine shall be authorized for usage by qualified
certified animal euthanasia technicians.
§30-10A-4. Responsibilities of individual boards, coordination between boards, rule-making authority.
The board of veterinary medicine shall be responsible for
implementation and enforcement of this article. After consultation
with the board of pharmacy, the board of veterinary medicine shall
propose legislative rules to fulfill the purposes of this article
in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty- nine-a of this code.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to create an euthanasia
technician who is certified by the board of veterinary medicine.
The board of veterinary medicine shall prescribe by legislative
rule the conditions for certification of these technicians.
Euthanasia services are limited to those animals declared by
licensed veterinarians or county humane officers as eligible for
such procedures. The article authorizes euthanasia to be performed
at animal shelters or humane societies organized under state law
and recognized by the federal internal revenue service.
Appropriate state and federal licenses for controlled substances
are the responsibility of the individual facility. Animal
euthanasia may not be practiced for the purposes of this article in
other than an animal control shelter or humane society possessing
the appropriate licenses from the state board of pharmacy and the
federal drug enforcement administration. Additionally, the bill
recites subject areas in which the proficiency of technicians shall be tested. Dual registration by technicians is required with the
boards of veterinary medicine and pharmacy.