Video: Texas Law Muzzles Vet Helping Pets Worldwide Via the Internet

The Internet can be an amazing tool, allowing information to be shared around the world in an instant. A retired and disabled veterinarian from Texas decided that he could use the tool to help pet owners around the world, especially those who live far from proper veterinary care. In 2002, Dr. Ron Hines started communicating via the Internet with people who had conflicting diagnoses from their local vets, who lived in remote parts of the world without access to trustworthy veterinarians, and who could not afford traditional veterinary care. He often worked for free or charged a $58 flat fee.

Then, last month, the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners shut him down, suspended his license, fined him, and made him retake portions of the veterinary licensing exam. It turns out that, in Texas, it is a crime for a veterinarian to give advice over the Internet without having first physically examined the animal. However, Dr. Hines has never been accused of harming a pet and no one has complained about him.

Watch the video above, and Click here for the full story.

What do you think? Is it dangerous for a trained vet to give advice on animals he hasn’t examined, or is this denying vital services to pet owners in need?

Dr. Ron Hines—a retired and physically disabled Texas-licensed veterinarian—has used the Internet since 2002 to help pet
owners from across the country and around the world.

photo courtesy Institute for Justice

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