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State-by-State – Legislative agendas focus on prohibiting procedures, unlicensed activity

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Several states are considering prohibitions on declawing, devocalization, ear cropping and tail docking. Arizona’s HB 2537, Maryland’s HB 445, and West Virginia’s HB 2119 would prohibit declawing. New Hampshire’s HB 1683 would prohibit declawing, along with ear cropping, tail docking, declaw removal and devocalization. New Jersey’s A 1087 and S 920 and Rhode Island’s HB 7342 would prohibit declawing while NJ A 1211 would end ear cropping and tail docking. Hawaii’s HB 2163 and Washington’s HB 2317 and SB 6300 would prohibit ear cropping, tail docking, and devocalization. New York, a state which already prohibits declawing, is considering a bill that would prohibit devocalization (S 6904).

Hearings have been held on bills that would prohibit declawing in Florida (SB 48) and New Hampshire (HB 1683). Hearings have been held on bills that would prohibit declawing in Florida (SB 48) and New Hampshire (HB 1683).

Measures would allow unlicensed persons to perform services

West Virginia (SB 218) and Tennessee (HB 1945 and SB 1914) have bills that would permit consumers to hire unlicensed people, including those who practice veterinary medicine. The bills would require providers to disclose that they are not licensed. In Tennessee, a written agreement between the parties would be required prior to any work starting.

Non-economic damages and expanded economic damages

New Jersey is considering one bill dealing with non-economic damages and another with expanded economic damages. S 722 would establish a civil action for damages–including compensation for emotional distress suffered by the owner–that may be brought by any person who has a right of ownership in an animal that is injured or killed as a result of an unlawful and intentional, or a negligent act of another. The bill does not authorize any award of noneconomic damages in an action for professional negligence against a licensed veterinarian and the compensation for emotional distress would be capped at $5,000. A second New Jersey bill under consideration, A 1698, would allow the owner of a domestic companion animal that the owner believes has been subjected to veterinary malpractice, resulting in the death of or injury to the animal, to bring a civil action for expanded economic damages against the veterinarian allegedly committing the veterinary malpractice.

Equine dentistry bill progresses in Indiana

Indiana’s SB 226 would exempt individuals who perform teeth floating on horses from licensing or special permit requirements if the individual has a valid certification from the International Association of Equine Dentistry or an equivalent certification approved by the board of veterinary medicine. The individual would have to act under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian when administering a sedative drug to a horse before performing teeth floating. A hearing has already been held and the bill has progressed to the House.

Animal abuse reporting

The Hawaii and Kentucky legislatures are considering bills requiring veterinarians to report findings of animal abuse and provide immunity from liability arising from the report (HI SB 2985, HI HB 2528, HI HB 2453, HI HB 2130, KY SB 21).

Opioid-related actions being considered

Vermont’s H 613 would require veterinarians, as well as pharmacists and other health care professionals, to add a warning label or sticker to the prescription container when dispensing an opioid medication that identifies the medication as an opioid and warns of the risk of addiction and overdose.

Related to prescription drug monitoring programs, Alaska’s HB 184 would exempt veterinarians from the requirements of the controlled substance prescription database. Iowa’s SF 2120 SSB 3051 and HB 532 would allow veterinarians to register for and access information from the state’s prescription monitoring program, while a bill Oregon (HB 4129) would require veterinarians to register with the state’s prescription monitoring program.

Title change for veterinary technicians

Oklahoma’s SB 1787 and SB 1788 would change the title of veterinary technician to registered veterinary nurse.

$73 million for CVM teaching hospital in the works

Indiana’s HB 1007 would provide $73 million for construction of the College of Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital at the Purdue University in West Lafayette. The new hospital, which will be constructed just east of Lynn Hall on Purdue’s campus, will consist of small and large animal facilities, including a new equine hospital and farm animal hospital. A news release outlines the project.

For more information, and to view the Legislative Chart, click here.

Source: AVMA Governmental Relations Division

 

Posted February 14, 2020