Press Release from the WSAVT Board on the Veterinary Board of Governors Vote
We are disappointed to inform you that on Thursday, May 5th, despite overwhelming opposition from key stakeholders, the Washington State Veterinary Board of Governors (VBOG) voted to support the proposed veterinary technician apprenticeship program proposed by Cascade Veterinary Clinics (CVC). After an impassioned discussion, the motion of support passed in a 4 to 2 vote. From here, the Washington State Apprenticeship Training Council (WSATC) will decide whether to approve the official program, after which the VBOG will discuss further steps in this program being a pathway to licensure in Washington.
The Washington State Association of Veterinary Technicians (WSAVT), Washington State Veterinary Medical Association (WSVMA), American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), and National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (NAVTA) have worked tirelessly to stop this program from moving forward. Additional support in opposing this program came from individual Licensed Veterinary Technicians, Licensed Veterinarians, Veterinary Medical Associations, Veterinary Technician Associations, and educators across our state, the United States, and Canada. We would like to express heartfelt gratitude for the support we have received, and ask for continued support as we navigate our next steps.
The decision of the Veterinary Board of Governors to support this program is an alarming reminder that Licensed Veterinary Technicians still have so far to go in being recognized. Supporters of this program cite successful apprenticeship programs for medical professionals, which further demonstrates the misunderstanding of our roles in the veterinary practice. Existing apprenticeships for human medical professionals are more closely aligned with tasks performed by unregistered veterinary assistants, and no such apprenticeship program exists for medical professionals with tasks compared to Licensed Veterinary Technicians. Especially during this critical time in veterinary medicine, this misconception is disheartening and exasperating for us all.
Insisting on AVMA accreditation for all veterinary programs as a pathway to licensure is paramount in ensuring the growth and sustainability for the profession, as well as upholding safety for the public and their pets. The integrity of Licensed Veterinary Technicians in Washington State is compromised by the Veterinary Board of Governors’ decision, and the WSAVT will continue our efforts to restore it.
The WSAVT is proud of all the incredible work performed in veterinary practices all over Washington. Please know that we are dedicated to the recognition and understanding of Licensed Veterinary Technicians, and of all roles in the practice. We will be unwavering in our pursuit of moving the industry forward for us all.
The WSAVT Board
Please read the statements below from the WSVMA & NAVTA: