Florida Senate - 2019                             CS for SB 1738
       By the Committee on Agriculture; and Senator Gruters
       575-03188-19                                          20191738c1
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to animal welfare; amending s.
    3         474.2165, F.S.; authorizing a veterinarian to report
    4         suspected patient criminal violations to certain
    5         officers and agents without notice to or authorization
    6         from a client under specified circumstances; providing
    7         an exception; prohibiting the report from including
    8         written medical records except under certain
    9         circumstances; amending s. 828.12, F.S.; prohibiting a
   10         person from restraining a dog outside and unattended
   11         during a manmade disaster or a natural disaster;
   12         providing a criminal penalty; providing a fine;
   13         defining terms; creating s. 828.261, F.S.; authorizing
   14         a contract for the sale of a horse to include a
   15         covenant for the continuing care of the horse;
   16         providing requirements for such a covenant;
   17         authorizing the Department of Agriculture and Consumer
   18         Services to adopt rules that meet certain
   19         requirements; providing an effective date.
   21  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   23         Section 1. Subsection (4) of section 474.2165, Florida
   24  Statutes, is amended to read:
   25         474.2165 Ownership and control of veterinary medical
   26  patient records; report or copies of records to be furnished.—
   27         (4) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a
   28  veterinarian may not furnish written patient medical such
   29  records may not be furnished to, and may not discuss the medical
   30  condition of a patient may not be discussed with, any person
   31  other than the client or the client’s legal representative or
   32  other veterinarians involved in the care or treatment of the
   33  patient, unless the veterinarian has received except upon
   34  written authorization of the client. However, such records may
   35  be furnished without written authorization under the following
   36  circumstances:
   37         (a) To any person, firm, or corporation that has procured
   38  or furnished such examination or treatment with the client’s
   39  consent.
   40         (b) In any civil or criminal action, unless otherwise
   41  prohibited by law, upon the issuance of a subpoena from a court
   42  of competent jurisdiction and proper notice to the client or the
   43  client’s legal representative by the party seeking such records.
   44         (c)In any criminal action or a situation where a
   45  veterinarian suspects a criminal violation. If criminal
   46  violation is suspected, a veterinarian may, without notice to or
   47  authorization from the client, discuss the condition of the
   48  patient with and report the violation to a law enforcement
   49  officer, an animal control officer who is certified pursuant to
   50  s. 828.27(4)(a), or an agent appointed under s. 828.03. However,
   51  if a suspected violation occurs on a commercial food-producing
   52  animal operation on land classified as agricultural under s.
   53  193.461, the veterinarian must provide notice to the client or
   54  the client’s legal representative before reporting the suspected
   55  violation to an officer or agent under this paragraph. The
   56  report may not include written medical records except upon the
   57  issuance of an order from a court of competent jurisdiction.
   58         (d)(c) For statistical and scientific research, provided
   59  the information is abstracted in such a way as to protect the
   60  identity of the patient and the client, or provided written
   61  permission is received from the client or the client’s legal
   62  representative.
   63         Section 2. Present subsection (6) of section 828.12,
   64  Florida Statutes, is redesignated as subsection (7), and a new
   65  subsection (6) is added to that section, to read:
   66         828.12 Cruelty to animals.—
   67         (6) A person who leaves a dog outside and unattended by use
   68  of a restraint during a manmade disaster or a natural disaster
   69  commits animal cruelty, a misdemeanor of the first degree,
   70  punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or by a fine of not more
   71  than $5,000, or both. As used in this subsection, the term:
   72         (a)“Manmade disaster” means a situation in which a person
   73  has received notice from a local or governmental authority that
   74  an event attributed in part or entirely to human intent, error,
   75  or negligence, or involving the failure of a manmade system,
   76  which results in significant damage has occurred, is occurring,
   77  or may soon occur in the person’s vicinity.
   78         (b) “Natural disaster” means a situation in which a
   79  hurricane, tropical storm, or tornado warning has been issued
   80  for a municipality or a county by the National Weather Service,
   81  or the municipality or county is under a mandatory or voluntary
   82  evacuation order.
   83         (c) “Restraint” means a chain, rope, tether, leash, cable,
   84  or other device that attaches a dog to a stationary object or
   85  trolley system.
   86         Section 3. Section 828.261, Florida Statutes, is created to
   87  read:
   88         828.261 Ongoing horse care covenants.—
   89         (1)Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a contract
   90  for the sale of a horse may include a covenant for the
   91  continuing care of the horse, subject to the following
   92  provisions:
   93         (a)The obligations under the covenant may be provided by a
   94  third party that is obligated to provide services and care to an
   95  animal that is retired from ownership, for an actuarially
   96  appropriate charge, and is not subject to chapter 624.
   97         (b)A covenant is valid and annexed to the horse, runs with
   98  the horse, and is binding and enforceable upon the purchaser and
   99  all future subpurchasers.
  100         (c)A covenant must require notice, in writing, before
  101  purchase of any subsequent purchaser and must be acknowledged in
  102  writing by all such subsequent purchasers, before consummation
  103  of the purchase of a covered horse.
  104         (d)A covenant may include liquidated damages for failing
  105  to comply with the provisions of the covenant.
  106         (e)A covenant must allow any owner to retire the horse
  107  into the care and treatment of the third party provider of
  108  services under the covenant.
  109         (2)An owner is not required to include a covenant for the
  110  continuing care of a horse in a contract for the sale of the
  111  horse and a purchaser is not required to purchase a horse that
  112  includes such a covenant.
  113         (3)The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services may
  114  adopt rules adopting the American Association of Equine
  115  Practitioners care guidelines for equine rescue and retirement
  116  facilities and may include additional standards for the ethical
  117  treatment of horses by third party providers of a covenant for
  118  the continuing care of the horse. The rules must:
  119         (a)Require third party providers to make available a
  120  request hotline during normal business hours to be used by an
  121  owner that voluntarily decides to retire a horse and effectuate
  122  its care under a covenant.
  123         (b)Include provisions for the appropriate diet, shelter,
  124  pasture, and medical care of horses that are retired under this
  125  section.
  126         (c)Allow all prior owners of a horse to have notice of the
  127  retirement of the horse, along with the address where the horse
  128  will be cared for, and the ability to visit the horse during
  129  normal business hours 7 days a week.
  130         (d)Require submission of an actuarial report and evidence
  131  indicating the maintenance of adequate reserves by a third party
  132  provider to adequately care for a horse subject to a covenant
  133  under this section.
  134         (4)This section does not create any covenants that annex
  135  to or travel with any other chattel.
  136         Section 4. This act shall take effect July 1, 2019.