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News Link • Healthcare Industry

Texas vet sues Veterinary Board after he is suspended for giving free advice

• The Examiner
A Texas veterinarian, Ronald V. Hines, was trying to do the right thing by helping pet owners care for their pets. According to a report by Courthouse News Service, dated April 10, Hines was fined and suspended from practicing medicine by the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners because of his helpful advice on his Website.

After retiring in 2002, Hines launched a website that was run solely by him. He posted articles about pet health and care that were free to the public to access. Hines states that he also had contact with many pet owners via emails and even by telephone to offer his medical advice.

After 10 years and over 200 articles and countless pet owners helped, Dr. Hines was forced to shut his website down for fear of punishment. The Texas Veterinarian Board contends that he is in violation of Texas law by giving advice without first examining the pet.

Hines has sued the 9 members of the board, claiming they are violating his First Amendment rights. He also claims that there are more than 18 websites like his and that a Texas news station sponsors a “Call a Vet” segment where people can call in and get advice about their pets from licensed veterinarians. If that is not in violation of Texas laws, then why is he?

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