State Legislative Update
Prepared by Department of State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
AVMA Communications Division
August 13, 2014
Summer bill signings
At the time of this writing, only six state legislatures are in session. Most have adjourned for the year, while a few are still scheduled to meet this fall. Even with the limited summer schedule, some important measures have been signed into law in recent weeks. These include:
- Delaware SB 201 provides the Department of Health and Social Services with authority to regulate the care of companion animals in shelters, including a requirement of annual inspections. The new legislation prohibits animal shelters from using carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide as methods of euthanasia, and specifically allows licensed veterinary technicians to perform euthanasia in shelters.
- New Hampshire HB 1410 adds household and domesticated animals in the protections afforded under the domestic violence protection statute. The state is the 26th to address in its laws animals or pets in domestic orders of protection.
- New York AB 8185/SB 7684 increases penalties for animal cruelty and expands certain definitions to crimes against all companion animals, not just dogs.
Missouri voters pass right to farm initiative by slim margin
On August 5, Missouri voters narrowly approved an amendment to guarantee that the right of its citizens to engage in agricultural production and ranching practices “shall not be infringed.” The measure enjoyed wide support in rural counties, while majorities in the state's larger counties opposed the amendment. The potential implications of the verbiage used in the amendment have been debated over the past few months. Supporters argue that outside interest groups have been attempting to restrict agricultural practices in the state. Opponents claim that the language is too vague and leaves room for misinterpretation, possible giving large agribusiness operations unintended protections such as avoiding environmental regulations. A recount is being considered by opponents due to the tight election results. Similar right-to-farm measures have previously won approval in North Dakota and Indiana, but have not been interpreted by appellate courts to this point.
At its July 12th meeting, the Oregon Veterinary Medical Examining Board voted to propose rule amendments to allow it to conduct criminal background checks for license applicants. There will be a public hearing and comment on the proposed amendments. The Board plans to vote on whether to adopt the proposed rule amendments at its next meeting, scheduled for October 18, 2014. Please check the Board’s website for more information.
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.