State Legislative Update - August 2013

State Legislative Update
Prepared by Department of State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
AVMA Communications Division
August 16, 2013
Governors around the nation signed into law several more bills of significance to veterinary medicine. These include:
  • Illinois HB 83 provides that certain requirements must be met in order for an owner to lawfully tether a dog outdoors. The new law defines the term, creates exemptions and sets penalties for violations.
  • New York AB 5114, SB 3723, AB 1205 and SB 3955 make several amendments to the pet lemon law, including a 180-day period for a veterinarian to certify that an animal is unfit for purchase due to a congenital malformation, increased penalties for violations and an automatic license suspension or revocation hearing for a pet dealer who fails three consecutive inspections.
  • North Carolina S 626 enacts standards for holding periods, public viewing and disposition of animals in shelters, including a medical records requirement and a 72-hour period prior to the euthanization of impounded animals.
  • Oregon SB 6 increases penalties for certain animal-cruelty offenses, expedites the disposition of abused animals while their defendant owners await trial and requires unlicensed animal-rescue organizations to comply with regulations.
  • Pennsylvania SB 165 requires owners to vaccinate dogs and cats against rabies within four weeks after the date the animal attains 12 weeks of age but provides a one-year exemption if a licensed veterinarian determines that it would be medically contraindicated to vaccinate the animal due to an infirmity, other physical condition or regimen of therapy.
  • Rhode Island S 515 makes a number of technical and definitional changes to the law governing veterinary biologics.
  • Rhode Island S 407 expands the meaning of “unnecessary cruelty” to include failure to provide an animal with adequate living conditions.
  • Rhode Island H 5426 and S 177 prohibit landlords from requiring the devocalization or declawing of animals as a condition of real estate occupancy, similar to a law adopted in California last year.
  • Rhode Island H 5671 prevents cities and towns from enacting any regulation or ordinance specific to any particular breed of dog, cat or other animal.

Court watch

Affirming a circuit court ruling, a Florida appeals court ruled last month that the state must compensate Stephen Basford for the value of swine production facilities rendered unusable by a 2002 ballot initiative that effectively banned the use of gestation stalls. The court found that the initiative “deprived him of all economically viable and reasonable use of his business for a public purpose” and thus constitutes a “government taking.” The court affirmed a judgment in favor of the farmer in the amount of $505,000 plus interest for the fair market value of barns and other improvements related to the sow operation. It remains to be seen whether this opinion will be used as a precedent successfully in other states where voters approved similar initiatives.

NPI numbers not for veterinarians

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has implemented new guidance on National Provider Identifier (NPI) numbers. In 2007, NPI numbers were put into place for health care providers who bill for Medicare services. Due to incorporation of “veterinarian” into the taxonomy in the NPI application form, and continued requests for these identifier numbers by individual pharmacies, NPI numbers have been used to satisfy individual pharmacy requests for identification of prescribing veterinarians. However, the new DHHS guidance says specifically that “NPI numbers are not eligible for veterinarians because they do not meet the regulatory definition of ‘health care provider’ as defined at 45 CFR 160.103.” DHHS advises that numbers previously procured by veterinarian be deactivated. Veterinarians should not be barred from ordering a prescription at a pharmacy simply because they do not have an NPI number, as the DEA’s Practitioners Manual indicates that DEA registration numbers should not be used for identification purposes. The AVMA is working with the agency to gain more information on identifier number options for veterinarians.

Mid-year state legislative report available
The AVMA has posted on its website a summary of the various veterinary practice and animal health issues state lawmakers have considered so far in 2013, as well as a more comprehensive topic-by-topic review of the bills and regulations tracked by the AVMA. This legislative report will be updated at the end of 2013.
The summary and full report can be found here:


The link at the top or bottom of this page will take you to the latest chart of significant pending bills and regulations from around the country.     


State Legislative Update August 2013