Legislative

Ballot measure aims to save threatened animals

  |   Legislative, Uncategorized

Ballot initiative 1041, designed to help save animals threatened with extinction, will come before Washington voters on Election Day November 3. The measure would prohibit the purchase, sale, and distribution of products made from a list of 10 endangered animals being exploited to the point of potential extinction, and will be enforced by strong penalties. The animals protected by I-1401 include elephants, rhinos, lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, marine turtles, pangolins, sharks and rays. Seattle and Tacoma together represents the third...

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California Senate passes bill to restrict antibiotic use in livestock

  |   Legislative, Uncategorized

Last week, the California Senate passed SB 27 limiting the use of medically important antimicrobial (MIAM) drugs in livestock. Under a valid VCPR, MIAM drugs can only be used if the veterinarian has determined they’re necessary to treat a disease or infection, control the spread or prevent transmission of disease or infection, or in relation to surgery or medical procedure. The use of MIAM drugs to promote weight gain or improve feed efficiency is prohibited. The bill will also establish a...

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Tell Congress to oppose mandatory prescription writing for veterinarians!

  |   Legislative, Uncategorized

The alleged Fairness to Pet Owners Act (H.R. 3174/S. 1200) has once again surfaced in Congress, but this time, it may have legs, which is why we need your help! This legislation, which Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) introduced on July 24, would require veterinarians to provide clients with written prescriptions for their pets, regardless of the clients’ wishes. Some of the bills’ advocates argue that veterinarians withhold prescriptions to increase profits, but this claim was not substantiated in a recent Federal Trade Commission report....

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Legal watch

  |   Legislative, Uncategorized

On July 10, 2015, New York Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe ruled against a writ of habeas corpus for chimpanzees. The case, Nonhuman Rights Project v. Stanley, filed by famed animal rights attorney Stephen Wise, sought to establish legal rights on behalf of two chimpanzees currently located at Stony Brook University. In her decision, Justice Jaffee defined "persons" as those who have "rights, duties, and obligations" and noted that animals are accorded no legal rights beyond being guaranteed the right...

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Take action – help rural communities receive veterinary services

  |   Legislative, Uncategorized

Please contact your members of Congress and tell them to cosponsor the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act of 2015. Reps. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) and Ron Kind (D-Wis.) recently introduced the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program (VMLRP) Enhancement Act (H.R. 3095). This critical bill, which joins its counterpart bill in the Senate, S. 440, would maximize the VMLRP, which places livestock and public health veterinarians in designated shortage areas around the country in exchange for the government helping to...

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No budget deal would affect Washington Departments of Health and Agriculture

  |   Legislative, Uncategorized

Washington legislators are still hashing out their differences before finalizing the two-year state budget. If they haven’t passed the final version by June 30, government employees will be temporarily laid off at many state agencies. Current estimates are that up to half of the government workforce would be affected. As of July 1, and until they pass a budget, staff at the WA Department of Health’s Veterinary Board of Governors would be sent home, which would affect all credentialing activities....

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Fairness to Pet Owners legislation back in Congress

  |   Legislative, Uncategorized

The Fairness to Pet Owners Act (S. 1200) was again introduced in the Senate by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (CT), Schumer (NY) and Lee (UT). The intent of the legislation is to promote competition and help consumers save money by giving them the freedom to choose where they buy prescription pet medications. Veterinarians would be required to provide pet owners with a copy of their pet’s prescription, whether or not requested and prior to offering to fill or dispense the medication....

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Legislation signed for new livestock reporting system

  |   Legislative, Uncategorized

A bill aimed at modernizing the tracking of livestock in Washington was signed into law this month by Gov. Jay Inslee. Substitute Senate Bill 5733 authorizes the Washington State Department of Agriculture to establish an electronic reporting system for cattle transactions within the state. The new system provides an alternative to the mandatory inspection required for cattle and is expected to improve the way diseased animals are tracked as they move through the supply chain. Use of the system, supported...

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Legislature’s regular session ends, budget still not set

  |   Legislative, Uncategorized

The Washington State Legislature adjourned sine die early evening on Friday, two days before the end of the regular 105-day regular session.  Governor Inslee has called a special session to begin on Wednesday April 29.  The special session can last for 30 days. The special session was called because legislators have not yet agreed on a two-year operating budget as well as other major issues including responding to the McCleary decision to adequately fund K-12 education, a transportation funding proposal,...

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VCPR definition out for comment

  |   Legislative, Uncategorized

The Veterinary Board of Governors sent out for comment the language of the draft rule that will define the Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR).  The basis for interaction between veterinarians, clients, and their patients, Washington has been one of the few states lacking a legal definition of the VCPR. After VBOG used an internal policy to guide them when violations occurred in disciplinary cases, they decided it was time to codify it into the veterinary regulations. Under the new rule, a valid VCPR...

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