Veterinarians Jenny Fortune and Forrest Townsend claim that they may be at risk of losing their medical licenses. And they say it is because they have refused to turn over their clients’ rabies vaccination data to Okalossa County.
City commissioners previously voted that the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society was able to collect rabies vaccination information from veterinarians and use these records to collect a $10 annual licensing fee from pet owners.
Fortune and Townsend refused to give their clients’ information to PAWS, and the organization has filed complaints with the Department of Business and Professional Regulation against the vets and wants their licenses to be revoked if they do not comply.
The two Florida veterinarians said that state law says that vaccination data should be made available to the organization that investigates animal bites. But they said that PAWS does not investigate animal bites and wants to only collect licensing fees from pet owners. Fortune and Townsend also stated that PAWS has a lot of the same veterinary services that they offer and could use the data to undercut their prices.
The County Administrator said only about 3,000 out of 60,000 pet-owning households pay the $10 licensing fee.
The director of animal services for PAWS said that Fortune and Townsend could also get a $500 citation for each day they do not comply.
Source: Northwest Florida Daily News