AUGUSTA — Maine is loosening restrictions on veterinarians who prescribe opioids for animals.

A new law removes a requirement that all vets check the prescription history of the individual who brought in the animal. It also lifts a requirement to check Maine’s prescription monitoring system when vets provide less than a two-day supply of opioids or tranquilizers to animals in an emergency or mobile setting.

Veterinarians argued Maine’s strict opioid prescribing law didn’t consider issues like privacy concerns raised by allowing veterinarians to check human medical records. One veterinarian said Maine’s law kept her from providing medicine to a horse she visited on a farm that died.

The law will become effective 90 days after lawmakers officially end work this year. That day could be as early as Wednesday.


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