Legislative Session 2013
Although this year’s legislative session was relatively quiet, the NMVMA proved to be rather active. The NMVMA began the session by sending a letter of introduction to each and every legislator. The Legislative Committee vigorously stayed on top of those bills pertaining to veterinary medicine, animals and other issues that could have an impact on veterinarians. The most significant bill that was on the NMVMA radar was Senate Bill 174 (SB 174). This bill would have repealed the Animal Sheltering Board and assigned the powers and duties to the Board of Veterinary Medicine (NMBOVM). The NMVMA strongly opposed the section of this bill that would have added an eighth member to the NMBOVM, mandating that this person be either a euthanasia technician, euthanasia instructor or a director of a euthanasia agency. Dr. Murt Byrne personally met with Senator Cisneros, the bill sponsor, to discuss these issues. A letter, opposing the bill, was hand delivered to each committee member of the Senate Public Affairs Committee (SPAC). The SPAC replaced this bill with a different bill that extended the life of the Animal Sheltering Board until July 1, 2020.
Other bills of concern were the Animal Cruelty Bills, Senate Bill 83 (SB 83) and House Bill 224 (HB 224). Both of these bills clarified the application of veterinary medicine within the animal cruelty law. This issue has come before the legislature in the past, but this year’s bill had a provision that directed the NMBOVM to hold a hearing in order to determine if the practice in question is a commonly accepted veterinary practice. HB 224 passed the House floor 34-29 on March 8, 2013.