Statements & Announcements

Page last updated on 5/1/2024

Animal Therapy Services

Only a Kentucky-licensed veterinarian, or a person who is employed by and working under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian within the constraints established by 201 KAR 16:750, can perform complementary and alternative veterinary medicine therapies (KRS 321.181(23)) on animals in the Commonwealth. The Practice of Veterinary Medicine (KRS 321.181(50)), as defined by the Kentucky General Assembly, covers a wide range of activities that may be performed to treat, correct, change, or prevent an animal’s deformity, defect, injury, or other physical or mental condition, including:

  • Veterinary acupuncture, acutherapy, and acupressure;
  • Veterinary homeopathy;
  • Veterinary manual or manipulative therapy, such as therapies based on techniques practiced in osteopathy, chiropractic, or physical medicine and therapy;
  • Veterinary nutraceutical therapy;
  • Veterinary phytotherapy; and
  • Veterinary dentistry.

A person who is not a Kentucky-licensed veterinarian can provide these services in the Commonwealth only under limited circumstances. Pursuant to KRS 321.200, an animal’s owner, or the owner’s employee or agent, may provide these services without a license. Also, a trainer, sales agent, or herdsman can provide these services under instruction and direct supervision from a Kentucky-licensed veterinarian, provided there exists a veterinarian-client-patient relationship.

In 2023, the Kentucky Veterinary Medicine Practice Act was updated to allow for a new permitted class of individuals called allied animal health professionals (AAHPs) (KRS 321.181(1)). Currently the AAHP permit is only available for animal chiropractors. Regulations are now being promulgated, and the permit should be available for applications early in 2025, including a limited legacy candidate window.

The Board is currently investigating an expansion of this permit class to include animal massage therapists and equine dental providers, but these other cross-over professions will not qualify for the permit until statutory changes are made. If you support expanding the AAHP permit, contact KBVE for more information on how you may join a stakeholder group and plug into the legislative effort.

Please contact the KBVE at Vet@ky.gov with any questions or comments.


Equine Dental Services

  • WHEREAS, In KRS 321.175(2)(a), the Kentucky Board of Veterinary Examiners (KBVE) is charged with protecting public health, safety, and welfare from unlicensed persons practicing veterinary medicine,
  • WHEREAS, As defined in KRS 321.181(50)(a), animal dentistry (equine or otherwise) is within the scope of the practice of veterinary medicine,
  • WHEREAS, Technology used in modern dental procedures is far advanced and more complex compared to teeth floating tools used in the past,
  • WHEREAS, Multiple individuals are alleged to have been or currently practicing veterinary medicine in the form of dentistry on animals without a veterinarian license in Kentucky,
  • WHEREAS, A proper animal dental cannot be done without sedation;
  • WHEREAS, Multiple individuals are alleged to obtain veterinary drugs from a licensed veterinarian for use in sedation without a patient specific prescription,
  • WHEREAS, These individuals are alleged to work without the supervision of a veterinarian,
  • BE IT SO RESOLVED THAT, The KBVE shall pursue enforcement action against unlicensed persons practicing dentistry on animals;
  • BE IT SO RESOLVED THAT, The KBVE shall pursue enforcement action against licensed veterinarians who improperly supply prescription drugs to unlicensed persons for the purpose of animal dentistry.


Hemp Derived Products / CBD use in Animals

In regard to veterinarians or clinics, the Board cautions that selling, prescribing, or advising on the use of cannabidiol (CBD) in animals is at your own risk in the event a patient has an adverse reaction.

    Background information on CBD:
  • In 2018, the U.S. Congress passed the 2018 Farm Bill descheduling hemp from the Controlled Substances Act. The farm bill assigns regulatory responsibility for hemp to states with a USDA approved plan and sets minimum requirements for a state regulatory framework.
  • The regulation of CBD and other hemp extracts remains with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD & C Act). There still exists a gray area on whether CBD extract is a supplement or a drug. Until such time as FDA issues a clear statement(s) in writing or federal law is clearly updated to define extract products as either a supplement or a drug, Kentucky will continue to view CBD as a supplement and treat it accordingly. (40 KRS 218A.010(23)-(24), KRS 260.850, KRS 260.852)
  • The regulation of hemp grain and all extracts, including CBD, in animal feed remains with the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) and the University of Kentucky (UK) Division of Regulatory Services Feed Program. The UK Feed Program released an updated policy statement on September 26, 2023: Current Policy on Use of Hemp Products in Animal Feed. Please contact the UK DRS Feed Program directly for more information.
  • The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) is a national leader in hemp growing and processing. Kentucky has been one of the highest producing states in the nation since 2015.
  • In Kentucky, CBD products are legal when derived from industrial hemp (Cannabis sativa L. with a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration of not more than 0.3% on a dry weight basis).
  • There is no prohibition in Kentucky for carrying this product in a store or clinic as a product with an off-label use.
  • Per federal rule, practitioners are prohibited from making efficacy claims about CBD products.

In Kentucky, veterinarians and the general public can learn more about hemp from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture Hemp Program.