State Summary Report

 State Legislative Update - June 2014

State Legislative Update
Prepared by Department of State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
AVMA Communications Division
June 11, 2014
State Legislative Update June 2014
New Minnesota laws address animal adoption, breeders and compounding
Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed into law two bills that will have a significant impact on animal welfare and veterinary medicine. HF 3172, believed to be the first state law of its kind in the U.S., provides that a higher education research facility that receives public money or a facility that provides research in collaboration with a higher education facility that confines dogs or cats for science, education or research purposes and plans on euthanizing a dog or cat for other than science, education or research purposes must first offer the dog or cat to an animal rescue organization. The facility that provides a dog or cat to a rescue organization is immune from any civil liability if it acts in good faith.
The comprehensive piece of legislation also contains a mechanism and funding for licensing and inspection of commercial breeders who possess 10 or more adult intact animals and whose animals produce more than five total litters of puppies or kittens per year. These provisions address record keeping, protocols for disease prevention and control, euthanasia and veterinary care.
The governor also signed HF 2402, which provides additional clarity in the area of drug compounding. The new definition of anticipatory compounding includes a practitioner’s preparation of a supply of a compounded drug product sufficient to meet his or her need for dispensing or administering the drug to patients.
Connecticut governor signs horse liability bill
An appeals court decision suggesting that horses belong to a species “naturally inclined to do mischief or be vicious” led to newly enacted legislation in Connecticut. HB 5044 provides that in any civil action brought against the owner or keeper of a horse, pony, donkey or mule to recover damages for personal injury allegedly caused by such animal, there is a presumption that the animal did not have a propensity to engage in behavior that would foreseeably cause injury to humans. The presumption may be rebutted by evidence that an animal previously exhibited behavior that put the owner or keeper on notice that the animal had a propensity to engage in the behavior that allegedly caused the personal injury.
Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy also signed into law SB 445, which regulates breeders and pet shops, in addition to providing dog and cat purchasers with remedies if the purchased animal is later found to have a congenital defect. Pet shop licensees may not purchase a dog or cat for resale, or sell or offer for sale, any dog or cat purchased from a breeder that is not in possession of a current license issued by the USDA and found to have committed certain violations of pet dealer-related regulations.
States adopt prescription monitoring laws
Colorado HB 1283 makes changes to the state’s prescription monitoring program, including requiring every practitioner in the state who holds a current federal DEA registration to register and maintain a user account.
Rhode Island S 2523 requires practitioners, including veterinarians, to register with the drug monitoring database upon initial registration or renewal of their authority to prescribe controlled substances. The legislation permits an authorized, qualified designee of a practitioner to access information contained in the prescription drug monitoring database.
Tennessee SB 2547 and HB 2400 amend that state’s controlled substance monitoring program to provide that a veterinarian must submit information at least once every seven days and is not required to use a computerized system in order to submit the required information.
Regulatory watch
Veterinary medical boards in several states adopted a number of significant regulatory changes.
The Florida Board of Veterinary Medicine revised minimum standards for a mobile veterinary practice for agricultural animals, including use of AVMA-approved chemical methods of euthanasia.
Iowa’s Board of Veterinary Medicine amended its veterinarian-client-patient relationship rules and now provides that such a relationship cannot be established by contact solely based on a telephonic or electronic communication. The board also adopted a requirement that a veterinarian must maintain for at least five years an easily retrievable record for each patient. Other rule changes address prescription, storage and dispensing of drugs and controlled substances, diagnostic imaging, administration of anesthesia, disposal of waste materials, use of sterile surgical equipment and veterinary facility standards.
The Ohio State Veterinary Licensing Board now requires effective means of anesthesia monitoring if surgery is performed. It also issued standards for companion animal home visits, vaccine clinics and livestock ambulatory units, and it revised the criteria for selection of applicants in the state loan  forgiveness program.
The Montana Board of Veterinary Medicine clarified that information in veterinary medical records is privileged and confidential and may not be released except under specific circumstances. New board rules allow a veterinarian to retain an animal or refuse to release records for failure to pay veterinary bills. In addition, where a veterinarian, based upon his or her medical opinion, is willing to dispense medication, then the veterinarian must also provide a prescription in place of said medication should the owner request a prescription. If a veterinarian, based upon his or her medical opinion, is not willing to dispense medication, then the licensee should deny a request for a prescription. The board also adopted a rule that a veterinarian may not identify him or herself as a member of an AVMA-recognized specialty organization if such certification has not been awarded and maintained, or use terms implying a specialty in a false and misleading manner.
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.