Memphis, Tenn. - The Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) anticipates mandatory spay/neuter and breed-specific banning legislation - both of which it opposes - to be introduced in the next legislative session.
MEMPHIS, TENN. — The Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association (TVMA) anticipates mandatory spay/neuter and breed-specific banning legislation — both of which it opposes — to be introduced in the next legislative session.
"Both of these issues are really tricky," says Charles Halford, DVM and TVMA president. "We want dogs to be spayed and neutered, but mandatory spay/neuter seems almost like a civil-liberty problem. As an American, I don't want the government to tell me I have to."
Municipalities should put more time and money into educating pet owners on the needs of spay/neuter procedures and programs that provide the service to those who qualify at a discounted fee, rather than focusing on punishing violators, Halford says.
And breed-banning legislation creates nothing but "ineffectiveness," he says. "I can't imagine it is going to be successful or helpful. It is a terrible problem having vicious animals on the street, but identifying them by breed is not the answer. It is a people problem, not an animal problem."
The 2008 Tennessee legislative session begins Jan. 9.