State Legislative Update-January 2014

State Legislative Update
Prepared by Department of State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
AVMA Communications Division
January 15, 2014
State Legislative Update January 2014
Happy New Year!  Over half of the state legislatures are already in session and activity is picking up. Some important bills have been introduced in recent days, including:
  • Alabama HB 93 would require an animal shelter owner, operator, manager or director to compile and make available to the public a monthly report detailing the number of animals that have entered the facility and their disposition.
  • Alabama HB 141 would prohibit non-veterinarians from directly supervising veterinary medical services or making certain decisions relating to medical or surgical treatment of animals. The bill also would include a spay-neuter clinic under the definition of a veterinary facility and limit the scope of services offered at such a clinic.
  • California AB 1437 and SB 835 would restrict administration of medically important antimicrobials to food-producing animals for non-routine disease control unless certain conditions are met. This legislation would also impose reporting requirements on livestock producers who administer antimicrobials and require that a veterinarian-client-patient relationship exist prior to use of such drugs.
  • Colorado SB 39 would allow trained emergency medical service providers to provide pre-veterinary emergency care to dogs and cats.
  • Florida HB 257 and SB 534 would exempt from sales tax certain medications as well as the sale of special diet food items intended as treatment of a diagnosed health disorder.
  • Maryland HB 73 and HB 80 would reinstate prior state law that liability for damages caused by a dog is determined without regard to the breed or heritage of the dog.
  • Massachusetts SB 1914 would impose mandatory reporting for veterinarians who have reasonable suspicion of animal cruelty and provide good- faith immunity for reporting veterinarians.  
  • Missouri HB 1133 would establish a prescription-drug monitoring program but exempt from the definition of “dispenser” a practitioner who administers a controlled substance. 
  • Missouri SB 646 would create a commission to license and regulate animal shelters, pounds, boarding kennels, commercial kennels, pet shops, exhibition facilities, dealers and commercial breeders.
  • South Dakota SB 46 would make some animal cruelty violations a class 6 felony.
  • Virginia HB 1035 would provide that a veterinarian may dispense a 72-hour supply of a compounded drug product to a patient to treat an emergent condition with certain restrictions.
  • West Virginia SB 73 would exempt from sales tax veterinary medications prescribed by a veterinarian in the treatment and care of animals.
Regulatory watch
The Louisiana Board of Animal Health issued rules for the care and well-being of bovine, equine, ovine, caprine, porcine and poultry bred, kept or used for market, show or profit. The rules include standards for management and destruction of animals during an emergency and guidelines for mass euthanasia. Incidentally, the enabling statute prohibits local government entities from enacting any regulation that establishes standards of care applicable to these categories of animals, unless it is reviewed and approved by the state board.
Local government watch
Effective Jan. 17, 2014, the Phoenix, Az. City Council voted to prohibit pet shops in the city from selling dogs and cats, unless they come from shelters or rescue groups. Pet shops will be required to keep records for up to a year showing the source of all dogs and cats. Violators of the ordinance could face up to six months in jail and a $2,500 fine. Phoenix joins several other cities, including Los Angeles, San Diego and Austin, that have enacted similar restrictions.
SARL report
The State Agricultural and Rural Leaders (SARL) held their annual meeting in Oklahoma City on Jan. 3-5, 2014, with about 250 in attendance.  SARL is a group of state and provincial legislators responsible for adjusting and implementing the policies that address food production, natural resource management, and rural development. The AVMA continues to be one of several sponsors of this meeting each year. Among the topics discussed at this year’s summit were food safety and public health concerns, hazardous weather response procedures for animals, and animal welfare issues, including recent livestock trespassing legislation that restricts videos and photos obtained at animal-processing plants.    
2013 state legislative year-end report
The AVMA recently issued its State Legislative End of Year Report for 2013. Last year, states considered and enacted numerous bills and regulations relating to the practice of veterinary medicine. Over the course of 2013, we saw considerable activity in the area of pharmacy, including compounding and prescription monitoring. We have also seen an increased interest in the regulation of veterinary services provided by shelters and other not-for-profits.
The year-end report provides a summary of the various veterinary practice and animal health issues state lawmakers considered in 2013, 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 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 - January 2014