Good afternoon,

I have been receiving many questions since the Governor’s announcement concerning “life sustaining businesses”. 

YES - veterinary medicine is considered “life sustaining business”.  As per the PVMA website: “The Governor’s office has confirmed that veterinary services DO fall under Healthcare and are permitted to stay open.”

Consistent with what is being required of human medical providers, elective procedures must be postponed for companion animals to conserve medical supplies and safeguard human health. 

Food animal medicine and surgery are considered essential as well as non-elective care and procedures for companion animals.

It is critical while maintaining necessary services to conserve medical supplies such as masks and gloves and to take all precautions to safeguard human health. 

If you work in the Ag sector, please help us to get the word out that Ag stakeholders including livestock markets, processing, and all parts of the food supply chain are considered life sustaining. We need to ensure that they continue to operate while taking all appropriate precautions to protect human health. For more information on mitigation recommendations for Ag stakeholders, please go to the Department’s website COVID-19 page .

The PVMA held an online town hall meeting last evening to discuss many of the issues veterinarians are asking about such as specific practice recommendations and licensure c.e. requirements. PVMA will be posting the questions and answers from that town hall as soon as possible. Keep checking their COVID-19 Resource page for updates.

Also please remember that if you are using the PADLS laboratory system for testing including necropsy services, please check the website of that laboratory or communicate with the lab directly to determine hours of operation and special procedures that are in place for sample submission.

Please check the PVMA and AVMA websites frequently for the latest guidance on this rapidly escalating situation. I will continue to send out emails as needed with major changes and in response to widespread questions. Be safe out there!

Kevin Brightbill, DVM | State Veterinarian | Director
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture | Bureau of Animal Health and Diagnostic Services
2301 North Cameron Street | Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717.705.1626 | Fax: 717.787.1868  
For the most up-to-date information on the COVID-19 pandemic,