President Barack Obama has signed into law the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, making it legal for veterinarians to provide complete medical care to their animal patients beyond their clinics and across state lines.

This law amends a restrictive provision within the Controlled Substances Act, which previously barred veterinarians from transporting, administering and/or dispensing controlled substances — necessary for pain management, anesthesia and euthanasia — beyond their registered locations, often their clinics. Specifically, it states:

“a registrant who is a veterinarian shall not be required to have a separate registration in order to transport and dispense controlled substances in the usual course of veterinary practice at a site other than the registrant’s registered principal place of business or professional practice, so long as the site of transporting and dispensing is located in a state where the veterinarian is licensed to practice veterinary medicine and is not a principal place of business or professional practice.”

The new law is two years in the making, representing the lobbying of thousands of practitioners as well as officials with the American Veterinary Medical Association. Both chambers of Congress unanimously passed the measure.

Any veterinarians who are unclear on how to comply with the updated regulations should consult the Diversion Control Program Manager at their respective Drug Enforcement Administration field offices, for more information.