Legislative updates from around the U.S.
A number of state legislative proposals last month addressed issues related to animal welfare. One bill in Michigan would prohibit confining farm animals in a way that prevents them from lying down, standing up or turning around freely. Implementation of provisions applying to gestating sows and egg-laying hens would be delayed until 2019. A separate Michigan proposal would make it illegal to confine an animal in a motor vehicle during conditions that may cause suffering, disability or death. Legislation introduced in Pennsylvania would make it the most-recent state to consider creating a registry of people convicted of animal-abuse crimes. First-time offenders would be required to register for seven years; a second offense would garner a 15-year registration requirement; and three-time offenders would be listed for life.
Regulation of the use of antimicrobials in animals was also a trend in state policy this month. New regulations proposed in California would clarify a 2015 state law regarding the sale and use of antimicrobials in animals. Beginning next year, the regulations would prohibit administration of medically important antimicrobial drugs to livestock unless ordered by a licensed veterinarian through a prescription or veterinary feed directive pursuant to a veterinarian-client-patient relationship. The regulations would also clarify requirements for retailers selling these medications in California, including sellers based out-of-state or conducting sales online. A New York bill would prohibit the use of non-therapeutic antimicrobial agents in cattle, poultry, sheep, swine or any other animal raised for the purpose of providing food, including animals that provide non-meat food products such as eggs and milk. In addition to regulating the use of these medications, the legislation would ban the sale or transport of food products derived from animals that have been treated with non-therapeutic antimicrobials.
New York lawmakers are also considering legislation that would require pet dealers to obtain cats, dogs and rabbits they wish to sell from humane societies, shelters or public animal-control agencies.
In Ohio, a proposal would prohibit public places from denying people with disabilities the use of service animals.
And also of note are two bills in Pennsylvania: one would allow divorcing couples to enter into custody and financial-responsibility agreements for jointly-owned companion animals, while another would exempt services performed on animals at the scene of an emergency from the state’s veterinary practice act.
Here is the July 2017 chart of significant pending bills and regulations from around the country.