10 Feb Several bills in the Colorado legislature would impact animals and veterinarians statewide
CVMA is tracking a handful of bills currently in the Colorado legislature that could have the potential to impact animals and veterinarians in Colorado if passed by the legislature and signed into law.
Note: Bills regarding the mid-level practitioner and other changes to the Veterinary Practice Act have not yet been introduced in the state legislature, and are not reflected below.
Bills CVMA supports
Veterinary Education Loan Repayment Program (SB 23-044)
This bill would update the veterinary education loan repayment program in the following ways:
- Increase the number of qualified applicants per year from 4 to 6;
- Eliminate the requirement that an applicant must have graduated from an accredited veterinary school in 2017 or later;
- Increase the total amount an applicant is eligible for over a 4-year period from $70,000 to $90,000;
- Increase the yearly repayment amounts for successful applicants; and
- Require the state treasurer to transfer $540,000 from the general fund to the veterinary education loan repayment fund on September 1, 2023.
Nontoxic Bullet Replacement Hunting Program (HB 23-1036)
This bill would create a nontoxic bullet replacement program that will allow hunters to exchange:
- Hunting rounds that have lead bullets for hunting rounds that have nonlead bullets; or
- Reloading or muzzle-loader lead bullets for nonlead bullets.
The bill also would direct the division of parks and wildlife to designate an entity to educate the public about the benefits of nontoxic bullets and publicize the program to hunters.
Bills CVMA is monitoring
Prohibit Equine Slaughter for Human Consumption (SB 23-038)
This bill establishes the crime of unlawful equine slaughter. A person engages in unlawful equine slaughter if the person:
- Slaughters an equine when the person knows or reasonably should know that any part of the equine will be used for human consumption;
- Buys or accepts an equine with the intent of killing, or having another person kill, the equine if the person knows or reasonably should know that any part of the equine will be used for human consumption; or
- Buys or accepts equine meat if the person knows or reasonably should know that the meat will be used for human consumption.
The bill would provide a safe harbor for facilities that slaughter equines to feed predators housed at the facility.
Each equine that is unlawfully slaughtered and each 100 pounds of equine meat derived from unlawful slaughter would be a separate offense. A first violation would be a class 1 misdemeanor with a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000, and a second or subsequent violation within a 10-year period would be a class 5 felony with a mandatory minimum fine of $5,000. If a person obtains the equine by fraud and commits unlawful equine slaughter, it would be a class 4 felony with a mandatory minimum fine of $10,000. In addition, a person that commits unlawful equine slaughter would forever be prohibited from owning, possessing, or caring for an equine and from participating in a public livestock market for 3-5 years.
The crime of unlawful equine slaughter would be required to be given at livestock auctions and on bills of sale.
Prohibit Wagering on on Simulcast Greyhound Races (HB 23-1041)
Current law prohibits racing of greyhounds in Colorado; however, it is legal to wager on greyhound races that are conducted at out-of-state race tracks and simulcast for viewing in off-track betting venues in Colorado. The bill would make it unlawful in Colorado to wager on any race of greyhounds that is conducted at, and simulcast from, a track that is outside of Colorado.
Pet Animal Ownership in Housing (HB 23-1068)
This bill concerns pet animal ownership in housing circumstances including both home ownership as well as rentals. This bill would:
- Prohibit insurers from denying a homeowner’s insurance policy based on the breed or mixture of breeds of dog that resides at the insured dwelling, while allowing denial if a specific individual dog is a dangerous dog. CVMA could support this provision.
- Prohibit insurers from asking or otherwise inquiring about the specific breed or mixture of breeds of dog kept at a dwelling except to ask if the dog is known to be or has been declared a dangerous dog. CVMA could support this provision.
- Require that an officer executing a writ of restitution inspect the premises for pet animals and give any pet animal found to the tenant of the premises if the tenant is present at the time the writ is executed. If a tenant is not present, the landlord must contact a local animal shelter or pet animal rescue to take custody of any pet animal and leave contact information for the tenant as to where the pet animal has been taken. CVMA could support this provision.
- Prohibit a landlord from demanding or receiving a security deposit or rent in exchange for allowing a pet animal to reside on the residential premises with a tenant.
- Create the pet friendly landlord damage mitigation program to be administered by the department of local affairs. Under the program, a landlord may receive reimbursement for actual damage caused to a rental premises by a pet animal allowed to reside with the tenant up to $1,000.
- Exclude pet animals from the categories of a tenant’s personal property that a person who rents furnished or unfurnished rooms or apartments may place a lien on for unpaid board, lodging, or rent.
- Prohibit the existing Colorado affordable housing tax credit from being allocated unless tenants are allowed to keep pet animals at a qualified development where the tenant resides.
While CVMA could support several provisions in this bill, the association is concerned that landlords might respond by not allowing pets at all, and that the bill would have the reverse outcome.
Did you know?
CVMA staff and volunteers spend 3,200+ hours a year tracking important legislative and regulatory issues that impact your practice of veterinary medicine in Colorado. We do the heavy lifting so that you can focus on what you do best: Providing exceptional care to Colorado’s animals.
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