State Summary Report

 State Legislative Update January 2015

​​State Legislative Update
Prepared by AVMA Department of State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
January 14, 2015

The end of 2014 brought about not only the adjournment of several legislative sessions in large states, but also a few significant legislative enactments and signings, such as:  

  •  New York AB 739/SB 6769 prohibits companion animal piercing and tattooing except when performed by a licensed veterinarian or under his or her supervision in conjunction with a medical procedure for the benefit of the animal. Tattooing is permissible for the purpose of identification of the companion animal. The new restrictions do not prohibit ear tags on rabbits and cavies. 
  •  New York AB 9256/SB 7432 requires a pet dealer to have a veterinarian examine cats and dogs within five business days of receipt, but prior to sale, to determine if the animal has any adverse medical conditions. The examination must be appropriate to the age and breed.
  •  Ohio SB 177 includes the protection of companion animals in temporary protection orders, domestic violence protection orders, anti-stalking protection orders, and related protection orders.

 New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie exercised a well-publicized veto of SB 998, a bill calling for the State Board of Agriculture and Department of Agriculture to adopt regulations prohibiting the confinement in an enclosure of any sow during gestation in a manner that prevents the sow from turning around freely, lying down, standing up, or fully extending the limbs of the animal, with some exceptions.

 Legal watch

 A New York state appeals court unanimously affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by the Nonhuman Rights Project seeking legal personhood for a chimpanzee. In its decision, the court stated, “Needless to say, unlike human beings, chimpanzees cannot bear any legal duties, submit to societal responsibilities or be held legally accountable for their actions. In our view, it is this incapability to bear any legal responsibilities and societal duties that renders it inappropriate to confer upon chimpanzees the legal rights – such as the fundamental right to liberty protected by the writ of habeas corpus – that have been afforded to human beings.” In a separate case filed by the same organization, an appeals court heard arguments that a privately owned chimpanzee in Niagara Falls should be considered a legal person with a right to “not be owned or imprisoned.” A decision is expected in that case in early 2015.

 State Agricultural and Rural Leaders’ Summit

 The State Agricultural and Rural Leaders (SARL) held their 14th annual summit in Clearwater, Fla., on Jan. 2-4, 2015, with about 250 in attendance. SARL is a group of U.S. state and Canadian provincial legislators with a particular interest in public policies that address food production, natural resource management and rural development. The AVMA has participated in this meeting for the past nine years. Veterinary legal and legislative issues and animal care standards boards were among the breakout topics included at this year’s event.      

 2014 state legislative year-end report

 The AVMA recently issued its State Legislative End of Year Report for 2014. Last year, states considered and enacted numerous bills and regulations relating to the practice of veterinary medicine. For example, we saw considerable activity in the area of pharmacy, including dispensing, compounding and prescription monitoring.  The year-end report provides a summary of the various veterinary practice and animal health issues state lawmakers considered in 2014, as well as a more comprehensive review of the bills and regulations tracked by the AVMA.  Also included are several court decisions and other policy developments that are particularly relevant to veterinary medicine. The report also covers results of races involving veterinarians who ran for state legislative seats in last November’s elections.

 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.