Expanding protective ordersInjuring or killing a household companion animal would be included under the definition of domestic abuse in a House Bill making its way...
Expanding protective orders
Injuring or killing a household companion animal would be included under the definition of domestic abuse in a House Bill making its way through the state Legislature.
HB 52, introduced by Rep. Joanne J. Ferrary, D-Las Cruces, has already received a green light from two committees. The bill, if approved, would expand domestic abuse to include harming a household dog, cat or other pet under the Family Violence Protection Act. It would allow such incidents of animal abuse to be used as evidence for a person seeking a protective order against another member of the household.
The bill might expand the costs to law enforcement and the courts responsible for investigating and issuing protective orders, according to the Legislative Finance Council.
HB 52 passed the House Judiciary Committee and is now on the temporary House of Representatives calendar.
Related to the bill is HB 87, which would prohibit someone with a protective order against them from having or buying a firearm.
Pet food fee for spay/neuter programs
Ferrary is joining forces with Sen. Jacob Candelaria, D-Albuquerque, and Rep. Andrea Romero, D-Santa Fe, in an effort to raise funds for spay/neuter programs by tacking a fee onto pet food with the money used to pay for dog and cat spay and neuter programs. Spaying and neutering animals is one of the best ways to reduce the overpopulation of unwanted canines and felines, according to the bill's backers. HB 53 and a companion senate bill would tack a fee onto each commercial feed company when it registers with the state. The New Mexico Department of Agriculture would collect the fees, which start at $50 per brand beginning Jan. 1, 2020, and go up to $100 per brand in 2022 and after. The fees would be redistributed to spay and neuter programs across the state.
The Legislative Finance Committee estimates the fee could raise $1.3 million a year for the program by 2022.
Under the bill, the Board of Veterinary Medicine would be required to produce an annual report for lawmakers that includes the number of dogs and cats spayed and neutered and the average cost paid per surgery.
-- Compiled by Staci Matlock
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