National Report - From Alabama to Wyoming, state legislatures opened 2007 with a flurry of bills potentially impacting veterinary medicine. With the help of the American Veterinary Medical Association, DVMNewsmagazine dusted off the bureaucratic minutia to offer this state-by-state analysis. It's anything but a clean bill of health.
NATIONAL REPORT — From Alabama to Wyoming, state legislatures opened 2007 with a flurry of bills potentially impacting veterinary medicine. With the help of the American Veterinary Medical Association, DVMNewsmagazine dusted off the bureaucratic minutia to offer this state-by-state analysis. It's anything but a clean bill of health.
Citation: Board of Massage Therapy/Alabama Administrative Code 532-X-1, 2, 3, 4, 5A0
Summary: States the qualifications for a massage therapist to practice on an animal under the direction of a licensed veterinarian.
Status: Final Nov. 30.
Citation: State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, Alabama Administrative Code 930
Summary: The proposal allows non-DVMs to vaccinate or treat animals under immediate, direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian. It establishes a code of professional conduct for veterinary and euthanasia technicians, extends the practice act to non-licensed individuals engaged in the unauthorized practice of veterinary medicine and requires all DVMs providing veterinary drugs and medicines for resale to practitioners and other veterinary wholesalers to obtain a Drug Distributor's Permit.
Status: Proposed Sept. 29. Comments due at presstime.
Citation: HB 2324, Pets in Emergency Plans
Summary: The bill requires Arizona officials to establish emergency evacuation plans for household pets and service animals. It directs animal shelters, humane societies, DVM offices, boarding kennels, breeders and other businesses that normally house pets or service animals to create evacuation plans.
Status: Introduced Jan. 11. Assigned Jan. 22 to House committees on rules, homeland security and property rights, and government.
Citation: State Veterinary Medical Examining Board, Arizona Administrative Code R3-11-901 to 1010
Summary: The proposal creates licensure for animal crematoriums with operating and record-keeping requirements.
Status: Comments pending following a Dec. 11 hearing.
Citation: HB 2536, Protection of Egg-Laying Hens
Summary: The bill prohibits a person from confining any egg-laying hens to a living space that does not allow sufficient space to fully extend their limbs without touching the sides of the living space. It contains an exemption from this requirement for the purposes of transportation, slaughter or veterinary care. It also appears to grandfather prohibited uses until Jan. 1, 2011.
Status: Introduced Jan. 11 and assigned Jan. 24 to House committees on rules, judiciary, and water and agriculture.
Citation: California Veterinary Medical Board regulatory proposal
Summary: The California Veterinary Medical Association is drafting a proposal to define physical therapy practiced on animals by non-veterinarians and the level of veterinary supervision required.
Status: In development.
Citation: AB 64, Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act
Summary: Allows out-of-state volunteering veterinarians to participate in a registration system and to practice veterinary medicine in emergency situations via a "host entity."
Status: Introduced Dec. 4.
Citation: HB 1199, Concerning the Enactment of the Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act
Summary: The bill provides for out-of-state veterinarians to register as volunteer health practitioners and defines their scope of practice and the entities through which they may practice.
Status: Introduced Jan. 30, referred Feb. 12 to the House Committee on Health and Human Services and passed out of committee Feb. 15. Second reading pending at presstime.
Citation: HB 1126, Concerning The Authority of Physical Therapists to Perform Physical Therapy on Animals
Summary: The bill allows licensed physical therapists to treat animals. It was amended to state that a veterinarian must certify that the animal has no other medical conditions and that physical therapy would not hurt the animal. The bill also provides for credentials and training.
Status: Introduced Jan. 16. The amended version passed the health and human services committee Feb. 5.
Citation: SB 284, HB 6294, HB 6071, An Act Concerning the Protection of Pets in Domestic Violence Cases
Summary: The bills allow the inclusion of domestic pets in orders of protection.
Status: Introduced Jan. 16 and referred to Joint Committee on Judiciary.
Citation: HB 6775, An Act Banning the Use of Cages to Confine Egg-Laying Chickens
Summary: The bill proposes to ban cages to confine egg-laying chickens to promote humane treatment and the consumption of cage-free eggs.
Status: Introduced Jan. 23 and referred to the Joint Committee on Environment.
Citation: LB 89
Summary: The bill recognizes guardians and provides non-economic damages in cases where a veterinarian kills or causes the death of a companion animal intentionally or with gross negligence. The measure provides caps of $7,500 and $2,000, depending on the act.
Status: Introduced Feb. 6.
Citation: State Board of Veterinary Medicine, Administrative Code 700-14, 700-15
Summary: The proposal outlines the scope of practice for veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants, and defines the level of supervision.
Status: Final on Nov. 30, 2007.
Citation: SB 1301, Tort Actions; Damage to Companion Animals
Summary: The bill provides non-economic damages for negligent infliction of serious emotional distress or disturbance arising from damage to a companion animal up to a yet-to-be-determined limit. It provides an exemption for licensed veterinarians except when damages occur as a result of the veterinarian's gross negligence or wanton acts or omissions.
Status: Introduced Jan. 22 and referred to Senate Judiciary and Labor Committee Jan. 26.
Citation: HB 57, Registration of Animal Remedies
Summary: The bill requires registration of "animal remedies," defined as any pharmaceutical, proprietary medicine, veterinary biologics or combination of these substances and other ingredients, other than those used for food or cosmetic purposes, which is prepared or compounded for any animal use. Exemptions include products compounded by an Idaho-licensed veterinarian for use in the course of practice.
Status: Introduced Jan. 25 and referred to House Agriculture Affairs Committee.
Citation: Board of Veterinary Medicine, 46-0101-0601
Summary: The proposal revises continuing education requirements to allow online or correspondence courses, updates practice standards, clarifies code of conduct, establishes timeframe for filing of complaints, and other housekeeping changes. It accepts Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence requirements for licensure eligibility of foreign veterinary graduates.
Status: Written comments were due Oct. 25. The measure is still pending.
Citation: 8 Illinois Administrative Code 25, Animal Welfare Act
Summary: The measure prohibits pet retailers from accepting animals imported into the state unless accompanied by a health certificate (with a few exceptions) and an entry permit number assigned by the Illinois Agriculture Department.
Status: Proposed Sept. 25. The measure is still pending.
Citation: SB 312, HB 867, Force-Fed Birds Act
Summary: The bill prohibitsA0the force-feeding of birds and the selling, serving or dispensing of products that are the result ofA0force-feeding birds.
Status: Introduced Feb. 7.
Citation: SB 486, Termination of Farm Animal Tracking Agreement
Summary: The bill ends the farm animal tracking agreement and provides that the state may not participate in the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) or any component of animal tracking.
Status: Introduced Jan. 18 and referred to Senate Committee on Agriculture and Small Business.
Citation: SB 1, An Act Concerning Public Health Relating to Vaccines
Summary: No vaccine administered in the state may contain any level of mercury after July 1, 2009.
Status: Referred Jan. 9 to the Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee.
Citation: SB 6, An Act Relating to Horses
Summary: The bill bans the slaughter of horses for human consumption in Kentucky but does not prohibit out-of-state travel for slaughter. It requires the Kentucky Department of Agriculture to maintain a list of individuals who knowingly sell horses for the purposes of slaughter for human consumption via interstate commerce.
Status: Introduced Jan. 2 and referred to Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Citation: HB 49, An Act Relating to the Destruction of Animals
Summary: A veterinarian must attempt to notify an animal owner prior to euthanizing an animal and written authorization should be obtained where feasible. Requires documentation for euthanization and exempts the euthanization of diseased or abandoned livestock and others.
Status: Introduced Jan. 2 and referred Jan. 3 to House Committee on Agriculture and Small Business.
Citation: SB 114, An Act Relating to Trusts
Summary: The bill enables creation of animal trusts.
Status: Introduced Jan. 4 and referred Jan. 9 to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Citation: HB 287, An Act Relating to the Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act
Summary: The bill allows out-of-state veterinarians who are licensed and in good standing in their home state to provide veterinary services in Kentucky during declared emergencies through certain entities.
Status: Introduced Feb. 6 and referred Feb. 7 to the House Seniors, Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee.
Citation: LD 230, An Act To Protect Veterinarians Providing Animal Welfare Services for the State
Summary: The bill provides good-faith civil immunity for licensed veterinarians performing animal welfare services at the request of the state or a state agency unless he or she acts recklessly or with gross negligence.
Status: Introduced Jan. 23 and referred Jan. 25 to the House Committee on Judiciary.
Citation: SB 121, Dog and Cat Breeders Act
Summary: The bill creates licensure mechanism for breeders and requires them to comply with consumer protection laws and applicable federal standards. It allows local government to enact more stringent regulations governing breeders, including specifying the maximum number of animals allowed at one facility. It provides for investigations, hearings and enforcement of the act.
Status: Introduced Jan. 18; referred to Senate Agriculture and Veterans Committee.
Citation: SB 346, An Act to Amend PAVE Certificate Recognition and Equine Teeth Floating Services
Summary: The bill amends a grandfather clause that requires all equine teeth floaters to obtain certification from the International Association of Equine Dentistry or other board-approved entity and a written statement signed by a supervising large animal veterinarian that the equine teeth floater will work under direct or indirect veterinary supervision. The bill also adopts the Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence.
Status: Introduced Jan. 29 and referred to Senate Agriculture and Veterans Committee. It died on the calendar Feb. 8.
Citation: SB 2097, An Act to Revise the Crime of Cruelty to Animals
Summary: The bill revises the animal cruelty law by creating a definition for "guardian" and uses that term in setting minimum-care standards for the health and well-being of animals.
Status: Passed Senate Judiciary Committee Jan. 30.
Citation: HB 693, Veterinary Student Loan Assistance
Summary: Increases number of yearly participants in the Large Animal Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program from five to six. This program repays student loans of qualified veterinary students who pledge to practice in shortage areas.
Status: Introduced on Feb. 1, read twice and a public hearing concluded Feb. 15.
Citation: LB 550, Provides for the Sale of Prescription Drugs to Animal Owners
Summary: Enables a pet owner to receive veterinary prescription drugs from a wholesale drug distributor if the owner has a written prescription from a veterinarian issued in the context of an existing, valid veterinarian-client-patient relationship.
Status: Introduced Jan. 17 and referred to the Health and Human Services Committee. Hearing scheduled Feb. 7.
Citation: SB 11, Revises Provisions Governing the Treatment of Animals
Summary: Requires the state to include provisions in its emergency management plan to address the simultaneous transport and sheltering of individuals and their service animals to the "greatest extent practicable." It also contains provisions prohibiting the restraint of animals for nine hours or more a day or the restraint of animals in any manner depriving them of shelter, sustenance or mobility.
Status: Prefiled Dec. 11 and referred Feb. 5 to Senate Natural Resources Committee.
Citation: Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food/New Hampshire Administrative Code Agr 2700, Docking Tails of Horses.
Summary: Provides that veterinarians must file a request with the state veterinarian prior to docking any horse's tail. Tail docking would only be permitted when medically necessary and when the horse is used for drafting purposes thereafter.
Status: Proposed on Sept. 15, 2006, and pending.
Citation: AB 3082, An Act Concerning Domestic Violence Involving Animals
Summary: Authorizes courts to include animals in domestic violence restraining orders. Based on a Maine bill that passed in 2006.
Status: Passed House Committee report Dec. 7.
Citation: Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division
Summary: Several activist groups filed a Superior Court appeal contending that the regulations drafted by the state's agriculture department for domestic livestock are inhumane and inconsistent with the intent of the enabling legislation. The state offers the nation's only humane code for farm animals.
Status: Oral arguments began Dec. 6. On Feb. 16, the court upheld the agriculture department's standards.
Citation: AB 1468, An Act that Regulates Internet Pharmacies and Electronic Prescriptions, Adds Registration Requirement
Summary: The bill regulates Internet pharmacies and requires registration with the New Jersey Board of Pharmacy. Internet pharmacies must ensure that prescriptions are filled by pharmacists who are licensed and in good standing in the state where the prescription is filled. It requires Internet pharmacies filling prescriptions for New Jersey patients to ascertain that prescription is legal and valid.
Status: Referred to Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee Jan. 10.
Citation: AB 3230, An Act Concerning Certain Practices Affecting the Raising of Certain Poultry
Summary: The bill prohibits forcible feeding of ducks, geese and other poultry for the production of foie gras. It directs the New Jersey State Board of Agriculture and New Jersey Department of Agriculture to establish standards for humane feeding and raising of poultry.
Status: Introduced last June, referred to Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. This bill carried over from the 2006 legislative session.
Citation: SB 249, Veterinary Medical Supplies Gross Receipts
Summary: The bill allows receipts from sales of veterinary medical services, medicine or medical supplies used in the medical treatment of livestock to be deducted from gross receipts if the sale is made to a person regularly engaged in the business of ranching or farming, including dairy farming, or if the sale is made to a veterinarian providing veterinary medical services, medicine or medical supplies in the treatment of livestock owned by that person.
Status: Introduced Jan. 18 and passed the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee as well as the Senate Finance Committee.
Citation: SB 559, HB 453, Commission on the Welfare of Animals Act
Summary: The bills create the Animal Sheltering Services Board and Act, exempting veterinarians. Licenses euthanasia providers and certifies euthanasia instructors. Provides that at least one licensed veterinarian who has provided services to a shelter shall be a member of the Animal Sheltering Services Board, and a veterinarian shall execute the daily operations of the board.
Status: Introduced Jan. 24 and pending in several committees including the Senate Conservation Committee.
Citation: AB 1677, Animal MicrochipMandate
Summary: The bill requires the micro-chipping of all dogs and cats, excluding feral cats and temporarily kept dogs, and creates a state registry to maintain contact information.
Status: Introduced Jan. 10 and referred to the Assembly Agriculture Committee.
Citation: SB 1282, AB 1990, Prohibits the Confinement of Animals in Vehicles in Extreme Temperatures
Summary: Provides that no person shall confine a companion animal in a motor vehicle in extreme heat or cold without proper ventilation or other protection from extreme temperatures. Civil penalties apply.
Status: Introduced Jan 11, referred to Assembly Agriculture Committee.
Citation: AB 1704, AB 1896, AB 4455, Insurance Policies Mandate Related to Dog Breeds
Summary: The bill prohibits insurers from refusing to issue or renew, cancel, charge or impose an increased premium for certain policies based on the breed of a dog owned.
Status: Introduced Jan. 12 and Feb. 1 and referred to Assembly Insurance Committee.
Citation: SB 785, Renter Pet-Owning Rights
Summary: The bill provides that no person 62 years of age or older shall be denied occupancy in a multiple dwelling or be subject to eviction from any such dwelling on the sole ground that he or she owns or keeps a common household pet.
Status: Introduced Jan. 9 and referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Citation: AB 1691, Animal Hording
Summary: Creates the offense of companion animal hoarding where an individual possesses or has custody of more than 25 companion animals and other conditions are present.
Status: Introduced Jan. 10 and referred to the Assembly Agriculture Committee.
Citation: SB 1463, Agriculture, Markets Law Amendment Relating to Force Feeding Birds
Summary: The bill makes it unlawful to force feed a bird, by hand or machine, for the purpose of fatty enlargement of the bird's liver.
Status: Introduced Jan. 22 and referred to the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Citation: HB 1034, Uniform Trust Code
Summary: The bill allows the creation of pet trusts.
Status: Introduced Jan. 3 and passed the House on Feb. 6.
Citation: SB 2100, Reporting Abuse
Summary: The bill makes veterinarians required reporters of child abuse if the knowledge or suspicion is derived from information received in his or her official or professional capacity.
Status: Passed the Senate Jan. 25, introduced to the House Jan. 31.
Citation: HB 1125, Loan Repayment Program for Veterinarians
Summary: The bill creates a veterinary educational loan repayment program whereby three veterinarians per year will be selected to participate in communities with a defined need for veterinary services, up to $80,000 per person.
Status: Passed House Feb. 14 and was moved to Senate Feb. 15.
Citation: HB 1082, Cody's Law Relating to Dangerous Dogs
Summary: Deletes the current prohibition on breed-specific local ordinances. Amends the provisions for confining dangerous dogs and requires the Oklahoma Board of Health to adopt rules in order to collect information on the number of animal attacks on humans. Such information will be collected from county health departments, hospitals and law enforcement agencies.
Status: Prefiled Jan. 12, referred to House General Government and Transportation Committee on Feb. 5.
Citation: HB 1565, Civil Justice
Summary: Provides immunity from civil liability to volunteer veterinarians and registered veterinarian technicians.
Status: Prefiled Jan. 19 and referred Feb. 6 to House Judiciary and Public Safety Committee. Recommended to pass out of committee Feb. 19.
Citation: HB 2052, Income Tax Exemption for Certain Veterinarians
Summary: Provides a tax deduction for veterinarians whose practice consists of at least 51 percent work with large animals of $10,000 for taxable years 2007-2012.
Status: Prefiled Jan. 19, referred to House Appropriations and Budget Committee on Feb. 6.
Citation: SB 438, Criminal, Civil Damages for Acts Against Guide Dogs
Summary: Allows for the recovery of economic and non-economic damages for a person with physical impairment if their assistance animal is injured or disabled. It exempts veterinary practices.
Status: Introduced Jan. 22 and referred to Senate Judiciary Committee on Jan. 29. Public hearing held Feb. 12.
Citation: Certified Veterinary Technician Specialties-49 Pa. Code, Chapter 31
Summary: Proposes that only individuals certified by a veterinary technology academy recognized by the National Association of Veterinary Technicians may hold him/herself out as a specialist. Increases biennial renewal fees for veterinary technicians and veterinarians. Clarifies conduct that constitutes unprofessional conduct. Proposes changes to the sections pertaining to veterinary dentistry, veterinary records and standards for and registration of veterinary facilities.
Status: Proposed March 18, 2006, published Aug. 1 in Governors Office Regulatory Agenda Notice and pending.
Citation: Pennsylvania Board of Veterinary Medicine-49 Pa. Code, Chapter. 31A0
Summary: Amends record-keeping requirements, including the content of veterinary medical records. Such records must be maintained for at least three years. Separate records must be kept for each patient.
Status: Proposed Sept 30, 2006, and pending.
Citation: HB 5179, An Act Relating to Animals and Animal Husbandry
Summary: Creates requirements for tethering a dog outdoors. Limits the amount of time a dog may spend outdoors unattended and specifies acceptable tethering methods.
Status: Introduced Jan. 24, referred to House Health, Education and Welfare Committee.
Citation: HB 5185, An Act Relating to Courts and Civil Procedure
Summary: Allows a court to include domestic pets in orders of protection.
Status: Introduced Jan. 24, referred to House Judiciary Committee.
Citation: SB 19, HB 1596, Revises University of Tennessee's (UT) Admissions Requirements for College of Veterinary Medicine
Summary: This bill requires applicants for UT's veterinary medical college to complete at least three undergraduate courses in animal sciences and states an admission preference for applicants with an agriculture background or interest in practicing food animal medicine. It also requires the Tennessee Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners to test applicants in food animal medicine.
Status: Referred Jan. 20 to Senate Education Committee
Citation: SB 655, HB 764, Appropriations Ban on Using State Funds to Effectuate the Implementation of a National Tracking System
Summary: Prohibits the appropriation of state funds to implement the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Animal Identification System by amending Tennessee Codes Annotated Title 44, Chapter 7
Status: Introduced Feb. 7.
Citation: HB 88, Evacuation, Sheltering of Service Animals, Household Pets in Disasters
Summary: Requires the Division of Emergency Management to provide for the evacuation and sheltering of household pets and service animals in the event of a disaster and mandates the establishment of a household pet identification system.
Status: Prefiled Nov. 13, 2006, referred Jan. 29 to House Defense Affairs and State-Federal Relations Committee.
Citation: HB 297, Offense of Cruelty to Animals
Summary: Adds the term "reckless" to intent required for animal cruelty and expands acts constituting the offense. Removes an exemption for cattle, horses, sheep, swine and goats and expands the definition of animal to mean any nonhuman mammal, bird or captive amphibian or reptile. Deletes domestication requirements and exclusions for uncaptured wild creatures.
Status: Prefiled Nov. 20, 2006; referred to House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee.
Citation: HB 342, Modifies Cohabitant Abuse Act by Including Pets
Summary: Authorizes a court issuing a protective order to enjoin the respondent from harming a pet animal.
Status: Introduced Jan. 25, and received a favorable recommendation Feb. 1 from the House Judicial Committee.
Citation: HB 2242, HB 2098, Tethering of Dogs
Summary: Specifies how a dog may be tethered and makes it a third-degree misdemeanor to tether a dog to a stationary object. The bills provide exceptions.
Status: Prefiled Jan. 9 and Jan. 8, respectively. Both referred to House Committee on Agriculture.
Citation: HB 2363, Registration of Equine Dental Technicians
Summary: Provides for the registration of equine dental technicians under regulation of the Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine that includes a scope of permissible activities and training requirements.
Status: Prefiled Jan. 9 and passed the House Jan. 26. Passed the Senate Feb. 19 and awaits a joint version.
Citation: HB 1397, SB 5403, HB 1158, Massage Therapy Definitions
Summary: HB 1397 revises the definition of massage therapy to include manipulation or pressure inside the mouth or oral cavity.
SB 5403 and HB 1158 define activities that may be performed under the definition of animal massage, and allow for certification, as opposed to licensure, of animal massage practitioners.
Status: Both introduced Jan. 18. HB 1397 referred Jan. 18 to House Health Care and Wellness Committee. SB 5403 passed Senate Agriculture Committee Jan. 30.
Citation: HB 1151, SB 5753, Prohibiting the State from Establishing or Participating in an Animal Identification System
Summary: Provides that the state will not participate in or establish a mandatory or voluntary national animal identification system.
Status: HB 1151 filed Jan. 11 and scheduled for public hearing Feb. 21 in the House Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources. SB 5753 referred to Senate Committee on Agriculture & Rural Economic Development.
Citation: HB 1105, Limiting When the Presence of a Dog Affects the Availability of Homeowner's Insurance
Summary: Prohibits insurance companies from discriminating by breed but allows different treatment of insured if a dangerous dog resides on the property.
Status: Passed House Insurance Committee Feb. 1, sent to House Rules Committee.
Citation: SB 5066, Concerning Animal Protection Orders
Summary: Allows courts to include animals in ex parte temporary orders of protection.
Status: Referred Jan. 9 to Senate Judiciary Committee.
Citation: HB 2261, Requirements, Certifications Held by Graduates of Foreign Veterinary Colleges as a Condition of Application
Summary: Allows the West Virginia Board of Veterinary Medicine to accept license applications from graduates of foreign veterinary colleges who hold a certificate issued by the Program for the Assessment of Veterinary Education Equivalence or other foreign graduate testing program approved by the board.
Status: Introduced Jan. 16, referred to House Government Organization Committee.
Citation: SB 371, Exempting Certain Professional Services from Consumers Sales and Service Tax
Summary: Includes veterinarians in the list of professionals exempted from the payment of consumer sales and service tax.
Status: Introduced Jan. 20, referred to Senate Judiciary Committee.
Citation: Veterinary Examining BoardA0
Summary: Requires DVMs to provide informed consent to clients about recommended patient treatment, alternate viable treatments and risks or complications of the procedure.
Status: Notice issued March 15, 2006; committee formed to draft pending language.
CItation: SB 61, Board of Pharmacy Makeup
Summary: Requires that one veterinarian be a member of the Board of Pharmacy. Prohibits dispensing drugs in a manner differing from the prescription and employing directly or indirectly, any unlicensed pharmacy technician. States procedure by which the board may order a manufacturer or wholesaler to cease and desist the distribution of a prescription drug.
Status: Passed Senate Jan. 18; referred to House Labor Committee Feb. 1.
Source: The information in this report was compiled from a variety of sources researched by DVM Newsmagazine and the American Veterinary Medical Association.