Kentucky law keeps pet records confidential, for better or worse

Posted on November 12, 2009 under Pet Health & Safety, Pet Industry News

Pets now receive a confidential relationship with vets in KentuckyMost people feel that doctor-patient confidentiality is critical to protecting one’s privacy and feeling at ease in the physician’s office. But are our pets concerned about the accessibility of their medical information?

Animal control agencies in Kentucky are expressing their displeasure to state legislators who recently passed a law restricting the information that can be shared by veterinarians, NBC affiliate WFIE reports.

Under the law, veterinarians must first get consent from pet owners in order to share any pet health information with animal shelters, groom facilities or any person who may have found a stray animal.

"People will call and they want information about vaccination records, those kinds of things, especially rabies vaccinations," veterinarian Dr Monroe Slaton told the news source. "We are not going to be able to share that information over the phone."

Some animal control agencies are concerned that important medical and contact information will be off limits to kennels and finders of lost animals attempting to locate owners or ensure safety. However, state law requires all pets to wear rabies tags which provide their owner’s contact information.

According to a Pet Industry Strategic Outlook report from the research firm Dillon Media, U.S. pet owners spent $10.5 billion on veterinary pet care in 2005.