Jeff Blea officially resumed his duties as medical director of the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) on Wednesday, more than eight months after being removed from the position due to a rare and controversial move. contested by the California Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) to have his license temporarily suspended for what happened to be a minor infraction.
“What I’ve been through, I’ve learned a lot,” said Blea TDN last weekend. “I need to go back to work for CHRB because they have been so supportive. The knights, they were very supportive. They need me back to work.”
In order to push for the temporary suspension, the veterinary health department initially charged Blea with various offences, including prescribing, dispensing, and administering medication without a proper examination and diagnosis. corpse.
The TDN conducted an investigation into the allegations against Blea and found a consensus among several prominent veterinarians around the country that the incident was largely due to a relatively minor record-keeping breach, Violations often result in fines.
As a condition of the deal, Blea is on a three-year probationary period and is required to undergo continuing education classes to keep records, as first reported by TDN earlier this month. Blea was also ordered to pay VMB $131,464 for the cost of the investigation.
“While the CHRB is not a direct party to this agreement, we can say that we are pleased that the parties have come to an amicable agreement and that Dr. Blea has been allowed to return to his important work. importance as EMD,” wrote Scott Chaney, CEO of CHRB, in a statement.
“The CHRB considers the safety of horses one of its most important responsibilities, and the work of the EMD is critical to that endeavour. The Council itself has supported Dr Blea throughout this process, and that support remains as he continues his essential work,” Chaney wrote.
Blea’s return as CHRB equine medical director does not diminish the health board’s presence in the California veterinary community.
VMB is involved in ongoing cases against veterinarians Kim Kuhlmann, Steven Boyer and Kenneth Allison of Northern California.
In Southern California, the board brought complaints Sarah Graybill Jones, Vince Baker, Ryan Carpenter, Wade Byrd, Samuel Bradley and Cathaleen Canfield.
In some of these complaints, the VMB allegations seem to mirror those against Blea in that they highlight the factual and philosophical discord between the medical board and the CHRB regarding the boundary. of appropriate veterinary practice for horses.
This apparent disconnect involves the use of misbranded medications such as Thyroid L and non-FDA approved drugs, as well as the precise nature of the vet-patient relationship. -clients, which are related to California’s accomplished equine practicers as a whole.
“Based on what has been going on, we need to address these issues professionally, in a government way, so that practitioners can provide quality care for more than just racehorses. but also horses perform, without fear of losing their license,” said Blea.
At the end of the day, if they can’t provide the care needed for a particular discipline, that has an impact on the horse’s health and well-being and human safety,” says Blea. “That has to be fixed.”