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WSVMA testifies on recycling and packaging bill

January 20, 2023

The legislature is back in session and that means the WSVMA is actively watching the action for potential impact to the veterinary profession, animal health and welfare, public health, and small business. Senate Bill 5154 and its’ companion, House Bill (HB) 1131, if passed, will require that consumer packaging and paper products producers adhere to new requirements in order to cut down waste. It will also set up minimum standards for postconsumer recycled content for various plastics and other products, and establish a deposit on glass bottles.

What does this all have to do with veterinary medicine? Think flea and tick products, drugs, vaccines, and biologics. Over 2,500 animal medicines that are regulated by the FDA, EPA and USDA all come with packaging that must be sterile or enclosed with tamper resistant seals to protect the public. Specific packaging is important for protection against biological contamination, light, oxygen or temperature variations, specific labeling, among others.

Both bills exempt flea and tick products from the requirements but sweep in all other animal medicines. It sets up a nebulous process where a producer has to petition for exemptions for their products. Having animal health companies subject to this puts in danger our ability to get the necessary drugs we need in a timely manner, if at all. If a drug’s packaging were to be denied, how would we get the drug into the state when it’s packaged nationally according to USDA or FDA guidelines? The bill puts at risk the health and safety of our state’s animals, citizens, and food supply.

There were dozens of interested parties present at both the Senate Committee on the Environment, Energy & Technology and the House Committee on Environment & Energy. WSVMA was able to provide critical information to legislators about the risks of sweeping in veterinary medicine. Good intentions with unintended and potentially dangerous consequences.

As the legislative session progresses, we’ll be watching closely to ensure we’re exempted from the bill.

As a reminder, it’s thanks to your membership that we can effectively engage in these critical activities to protect and defend you, the profession and our patients.


Posted January 20, 2023