State Legislative Update-July 2014

​State Legislative Update
Prepared by Department of State Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
AVMA Communications Division
July 14, 2014
As legislatures adjourn for the summer, several governors have signed into law important bills.
California AB 1810 allows a veterinarian, dog kennel, cat kennel, pet-grooming parlor, animal hospital or other animal care facility which has been left with an abandoned animal to have the animal euthanized after trying for a period of not less than 10 days to find a new owner or to turn the animal over to animal control, a shelter or a rescue.
Hawaii HB 849 updates the emergency management plan for the state, including guidelines for providing suitable arrangements and accommodations for sheltering of pets in public shelters.
Rhode Island H 7496/S 2312 makes it a crime to confine an animal in a motor vehicle in a manner that places the animal in a life- or extreme health-threatening situation. The bill also allows a law enforcement or animal control officer to take all steps reasonably necessary to remove an animal from a motor vehicle under such circumstances.
South Dakota SB 75 and Utah HB 97 prohibit local governments from enacting or enforcing any law or ordinance that is breed-specific as to dogs.
The Nova Scotia Veterinary Medical Association, which also serves as the regulatory body in the Canadian province, voted against a ban on cat declawing. The province would have been the first jurisdiction in North America, other than local governments, to outlaw the procedure.
Regulatory watch
The Nevada State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners issued several changes to its veterinary practice act regulations. Highlights include:
  • With limited exceptions, only a person who is licensed to practice veterinary medicine and is a diplomate from an approved specialty board of the AVMA may use the title “veterinary specialist.” 
  • Authorizes a licensed veterinarian to consult with another veterinarian, but the veterinarian who sought the consultation retains responsibility for any medical decisions he or she makes regarding the animal. 
  • Defines the term “veterinary dentistry” and provides that, with limited exceptions, veterinary dentistry may only be performed by a licensed veterinarian under general anesthesia with the use of an endotracheal tube with an inflated cuff unless, based on the species of the animal, the Board determines otherwise. 
  • Except for emergencies, a licensed veterinarian may perform dental surgery, periodontal surgery, endodontics and exodontia on an animal only in a veterinary facility that has the capacity to perform intraoral radiology.
  • Adopts a code of ethics for veterinary technicians.
  • Adds administration of a therapeutic laser to the tasks that a licensed veterinary technician is authorized to perform under supervision of a supervising veterinarian.
  • Defines “informed consent” for purposes of the veterinary-client-patient relationship.
  • Expands the required contents of an animal’s medical record that a licensed veterinarian is required to maintain and requires the Board or its representative to evaluate each medical record inspected for compliance with state statutes and regulations governing veterinarians.
Mid-year state legislative report available
The AVMA has posted on its website a summary of the various veterinary practice and animal health issues state lawmakers have considered so far in 2014, as well as a more comprehensive topic-by-topic review of the bills and regulations tracked by the AVMA. Overall, of the more than 75,000 bills introduced so far this year in the states, almost 20,000 have been passed into law. This legislative report will be updated at the end of the year. The summary and full report can be found by clicking here.
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.