State Legislative Update July 2013

State Legislative Update
Prepared by Department of State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
AVMA Communications Division
July 12, 2013
State Legislative Chart July 2013
Most state legislatures have adjourned for the year, and governors’ signing deadlines have passed. In recent weeks, however, several new significant bills have been enacted:
  • Connecticut HB 5844 prohibits tethering of a dog outdoors under adverse weather conditions for more than 15 minutes.
  • Connecticut HB 6406 expands the state’s electronic prescription drug monitoring program by requiring prescription information reporting by (1) out-of-state pharmacies that ship, mail or deliver prescription drugs into the state, and (2) any other drug-dispensing practitioners, including veterinarians.
  • Connecticut SB 918 makes the state the 13th in the nation to incorporate the AVMA Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics, in whole or in part, in its determination of what constitutes “unprofessional conduct” by a licensed veterinarian.
  • Hawaii enacted a number of animal cruelty bills, including HB 235, which prohibits the use of steel-jawed leg-hold traps and several other types of traps, and SB 9, which prohibits a person convicted of cruelty to animals in the first degree from possessing or owning any pet animal or equine animal for a minimum of five years from the conviction date.
  • Florida HB 851 expands animal cruelty laws and penalties, while also authorizing counties and municipalities to use surcharge funds imposed for violation of animal control or cruelty ordinances for animal shelter operating expenses.
  • Louisiana HB 510 amends qualification requirements for the state veterinarian and clarifies his or her powers.
  • North Carolina S 222 excludes veterinarians from the reporting requirements of the state’s prescription monitoring program.
  • Oregon HB 2783 creates the criminal offense of unlawful tethering and defines adequate shelter for domestic animals in the animal cruelty statute.
  • Oregon SB 835 creates the criminal offense of equine tripping.
  • Pennsylvania SB 526 changes the rules relating to certificates of veterinary inspection and details new requirements for animal exhibitions.
  • Rhode Island S 647 authorizes a practitioner to sign and transmit electronic prescriptions for controlled substances and makes changes to disclosure of information contained in the department of health’s prescription drug monitoring database.
  • Texas HB 746 allows volunteer health practitioners, including veterinarians, to register and provide services during declared disasters.
  • Texas SB 1312 provides for regulation of licensed veterinary technicians, certified veterinary assistants and veterinary assistants. 
New Jersey governor vetoes bill banning gestation crates
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed S 1921, legislation that proposed criminalization of confining a gestating sow “in a manner that prevents the animal from being able to turn around freely, lie down, stand up, or fully extend its limbs,” with some exceptions. Nine other states have passed similar bans. In his veto statement, Gov. Christie referred to a 1995 decision by the legislature that directed the State Board of Agriculture and the Department of Agriculture to develop and adopt standards for the humane raising, keeping, care and treatment of domestic livestock. He also asserted that the proper balancing of the humane treatment of gestating pigs with the interests of farmers, whose livelihood depends on their ability to properly manage their livestock, best rests with the state’s farming experts – the state board and the department. He also pointed out that the prohibited conduct is an industry practice that neither the AVMA nor the American Association of Swine Veterinarians advocates to ban.
Regulatory watch
The Florida Board of Pharmacy clarified requirements for compounding for office use. The new regulations require pharmacies and practitioners to enter into a written agreement providing that the compounded drug may only be administered to the patient and not dispensed. The regulations also require the practitioner to indicate on the patient’s chart the lot number and beyond-use-date of any administered compounded drug and to provide notification to the patient for the reporting of any adverse reaction or complaint. Pharmacies are also required to maintain readily retrievable records of all compounded drugs ordered by practitioners for office use and must affix a label to any compounded drug that is provided for office use.
The New Mexico Board of Pharmacy amended its compounding regulations by deleting the language permitting compounding for prescriber office use. The amended regulations provide that prescriptions for animals are to be handled and filled the same as the human prescriptions. 
New Tennessee regulations exempt licensed veterinarians from the state’s controlled substance monitoring database if they do not prescribe a controlled substance in an amount intended to treat a non-human patient for more than 48 hours. The new rules also provide a waiver process for dispensers who do not have automated recordkeeping systems or for whom electronic reporting would cause an undue hardship.
The Washington State Department of Health issued rules to implement statutory law that provides alternative reporting requirements for veterinarians. The new rules state that veterinarians must acquire and maintain a prescriber identifier issued to authorized prescribers of controlled substances by the DEA. The rules also provide that veterinarians report data for schedule II, III, IV and V controlled substances dispensed for more than a 14-day supply. Veterinarians may report data using either electronic or non-electronic methods, and information is to be submitted quarterly.
The West Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine made changes in the licensing process for veterinarians and approved continuing education programs. The new rules allow a portion of the required continuing education to be obtained through webinar programs. 
USDA grants inspection of proposed horse-processing plant
The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) granted a New Mexico company's request to convert its cattle facility into a horse-processing plant, while indicating that the agency plans to grant similar permits to operations in Iowa and Missouri. With the action, Valley Meat Co. of Roswell, N.M., is poised to become the first operation in the nation licensed to process horses into meat in the seven years since Congress eliminated inspection funding, and Texas and Illinois effectively banned the practice. Congress reinstated the funding in 2011, but the administration's budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year would eliminate this funding again, although it is unclear when an agriculture appropriations bill will pass this year. Valley Meat sued the USDA in 2012, claiming that it intentionally delayed the inspection approval process. In response to the USDA’s decision to allow the inspection, several animal protection organizations filed suit, asking for an immediate injunction on grounds that the agency failed to conduct the necessary environmental review. 
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.