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CS/HB 479 — Animal Control

by Health and Human Services Quality Subcommittee; Rep. O’Toole, and others (CS/SB 654 by Regulated Industries Committee; and Senators Hays, Sobel, and Montford

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Regulated Industries Committee (RI)

The bill expands the list of drugs that can be used to euthanize and immobilize domestic animals. The bill allows the Board of Pharmacy, at the request of the Board of Veterinary Medicine, to expand the list of drugs that may be used to euthanize or immobilize domestic animals if findings support the addition of drugs to the list for humane and lawful treatment of animals. The bill limits the possession and use of these drugs to animal control officers and employees or agents of animal control agencies and humane societies while operating within the scope of their employment or official duties.

The bill clarifies that the Department of Health is responsible for issuing the permit, by removing an outdated reference to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation being responsible for issuing the permit. The bill provides the Department of Health and the Board of Pharmacy with the authority to deny a permit, or fine, place on probation, or otherwise discipline an applicant or permittee for failure to maintain certain standards or violation of statutes. The bill allows the Department of Health to immediately suspend a permit through emergency order upon a determination that a permittee poses a threat to public health, safety and welfare.

The bill eliminates food-based delivery of euthanasia drugs as an acceptable method of euthanization. The bill permits euthanasia by intracardial injection only upon a dog or cat which is unconscious and exhibits no corneal reflex.

Lastly, the bill requires an animal control officer, a wildlife officer, and an animal disease diagnostic laboratory to report to the Department of Health knowledge of any animal bite, diagnosis or suspicion of a group of animals having similar disease, or any symptom or syndrome that may pose a threat to humans.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2012.

Vote: Senate 39-0; House 116-0