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SB25: A Bad Option for Low Cost Spay & Neuter Clinics

by: countrycat

Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:34:25 AM CST

There are currently two bills introduced in the Alabama Legislature that affect the operations of low-cost spay & neuter clinics.  The House bill (HB17) is supported by animal welfare groups and many veternarians in the state.  The Senate bill (SB25) appears to be a ruse.  Under the guise of protecting animals, the bill could actually close most low-cost clinics in the state by forcing them to meet higher standards in some areas and provide a lower standard of care in others.

Alabama Voters for Responsible Animal Legislation, a non-partisan animal welfare group (that needs your support!) is urging Senators to reject SB25.

Dr. Joy Baird of the North Alabama Spay and Neuter Clinic offers these 10 reasons why:

1. Spay neuter clinics must become outpatient clinics -- certain patients, particularly feral cats and exclusively outside pets, should be in a veterinary hospital overnight, confined, warm and clean, to allow proper healing to begin. Forced release of all patients the same day as their surgery is substandard quality of care. This could cause increased mortality post-operatively, and increased infection rates.

2. Spay neuter clinics would not be allowed to carry vaccinations, dewormer, or other prescription medications—this is in direct violation of federal law, as rabies vaccination is required for all companion animals, due to the human health risk rabies presents. Other vaccinations and dewormer should be allowed to be given on a one time basis on the day of surgery. The majority of spay neuter clinic clientele have no full service veterinarian and will not go to a full service veterinarian, as they can’t afford the office visit/exam charge. If spay/neuter clinics do not provide them with quality vaccines or deworming, they will go to Jeffers, Tractor Supply, or elsewhere and purchase a substandard product (or they may not vaccinate or deworm their pet at all). This is not in the best interest of animal health. In the case of feral cats, the spay/neuter surgery may be the only opportunity to administer vaccines during that animal’s life.

3. Spay/Neuter Clinics would not be allowed to have medicines, treatments, and antibiotics as needed to provide any necessary re-checks after surgery-- Often our clientele is uneducated and will not follow post operative instructions fully. This creates a situation where patients are allowed to lick their incisions or be too active. These clients cannot afford full service veterinary care, and would not get those animals treated for these post-operative concerns. Spay/Neuter clinics should be able to dispense simple treatments like Elizabethan collars and antibiotics for post-operative complications.

4. Pain medications would be limited to a single injection the day of surgery-- This is substandard veterinary care. Many animals need additional pain management for 2-3 days post surgery and this should be given at the discretion of the veterinarian who performs the surgery. Why is the ASBVME and the ALVPOA in support of a bill which so blatantly creates substandard care for animals?

5. SB 25 creates confusion with the current AL veterinary practice act
-- there are some equipment items that arguably are not needed for the “spay-neuter process” that are required in the current AL state practice act for all clinics to have on site for premise permit issuance. Examples of this include microscopes, fecal flotation kits, and urinalysis kits. The language must be clear here and spell out exactly what is required, so as that no contradictions occur.

More on the flip....
countrycat :: SB25: A Bad Option for Low Cost Spay & Neuter Clinics

6. The proposed regulations on data reporting, particularly in regards to mortality rate and complications, is inadequate and discriminatory towards spay-neuter veterinarians-- this should be a requirement for all veterinary clinics throughout the state. Why are spay-neuter clinics being singled out? Spay neuter clinics would not have a problem with providing this information if traditional clinics are also required to do so. In fact, we would welcome the opportunity for mandatory reporting of all clinics statewide because we believe this will provide evidence that non-profit spay neuter clinics do not provide an inadequate standard of care. This would protect our clinics against the spreading of false information regarding poor quality of care, which has occurred all too frequently as of late. Also, if only spay neuter clinics are required to report, how can they be judged accurately against other clinics?

7. Requiring semi-annual inspection of spay neuter clinics is unnecessary
-- this is completely unnecessary as there is a veterinarian in charge of these clinics just like any other veterinary hospital. No other type of veterinary practice, specialty, mobile or otherwise, has this degree of scrutiny. Annual inspections for premise permit issuance and unannounced inspections as needed should be adequate.

8. Other veterinarians must report complications from ONLY spay-neuter clinics
-- this is extremely discriminatory against spay/neuter veterinarians. Again, spay neuter clinics would not have a problem with this requirement if other traditional clinics were given the same rule. The ASBVME should be concerned with quality of care of all clinics, not just non-profit hospitals.

9. Veterinarians working in non-profit clinics would be forced to practice substandard care, and be overly scrutinized.
Therefore, they may not choose to work in those facilities—as shown above, SB 25 creates numerous areas of substandard veterinary care and higher scrutiny for spay-neuter veterinarians. If regulations are written such that a veterinarian has total control of the medical practice of non-profit facilities, why are they to be treated different from other veterinarians? A veterinarian should be able to decide the type of care, medicines, treatments, vaccinations, and anesthetics used in their patients, regardless of the type of clinic they work in. Veterinarians leaving the few non-profit clinics Alabama does have would directly cause an increase in euthanasia rate, followed by an increase in taxpayer dollars spent in shelters.

10. SB 25 may indirectly cause the closing of Alabama’s spay/neuter clinics
—SB 25 will reduce non-profit clientele by creating a substandard medical facility. Many people may choose to not have their pets sterilized, even for the non-profit rates. In addition, restricting provided services will increase financial strain on the businesses, and many clinics may not be able to financially keep the doors open.

The animals of Alabama desperately need these clinics, and the public is in full support of them. The non-profit spay neuter clinics should not be hindered by SB 25. Please stop this bill and support the common sense alternative of HB 17.

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More information about this bill (0.00 / 0)

from our FB page comments:

The Alabama Veterinary Medical Association and Senator Paul Bussman of Cullman were also parties to the negotiations at the end of last year that resulted in the content of SB25. Prior to being pre-filed, Bussman also presented the bill to the Alabama GOP Caucus to solicit their backing and co-sponsorship of leading Republicans in the legislature. Bussman had also consulted with the ASBVME in late summer of last year to suggest language from the Dental Practice Act (Bussman is a dentist) that was used in the ASBVME's attempt last October to bypass the legislature by simply implementing a new rule in the ASBVME's Administrative Code that would have resulted in the closing of Alabama's non-profit, limited-service spay/neuter clinics. Public outrage and an opinion from the ASBVME's own attorney that the proposed rule amounted to an attempt to create legislation, which the ASBVME is not empowered to do, resulted in the ASBVME voting to rescind the rule.

In a newsletter communicated by the Alabama Veterinary Practice Owners Association to the state's veterinarians following the August 2012 review of ASBVME conduct and practices by the Legislative Sunset Committee, Senator Bussman, a member of the Sunset Committee, was praised by the ALVPOA as a vocal supporter of veterinarians during the meeting. The newsletter stated that, "Senator Paul Bussman, who himself is a dentist, was the veterinarians' sincerest ally in the proceedings, as he routinely stated facts about medical professionals and reminded the committee about the board's limitations under the law.”

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith

how to take action? (4.00 / 1)

thanks for this article; it provides great information! now, what shall we do? in what ways can/should we take action? 

for those of us with busy, busy lives, could you provide the info re: whom to contact and how? perhaps emails/phone numbers? I realize I could eventually figure this out on my own, but in the interest of my own time, as well as the hope that other individuals will take action if the yellow brick road is right in front of them, perhaps the writers could post such info?

thanks! we appreciate you! 


a terrific idea - (0.00 / 0)

and something I should have done.  But I had an early morning appointment followed by errands in town all day and I dropped the ball!

I got an email this afternoon that says Rep. Todd will introduce another bill today or tomorrow that is a compromise between the spay & neuter clinics & the state vet group.  Supposedly, it has Speaker Hubbard's support & since he's the guy who killed the legislation last term, that's a good thing!

As soon as I get the bill number, I'll do an updated post that contains contact info for all legislators.

Might be a good idea to make a standalone page, come to think of it.... that way, we could link it to all legislative posts.

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith

[ Parent ]
Ding, ding... first time comment here! (0.00 / 0)

Welcome to LIA!  I love you screen name and I bet our Young Cone would too, as lasagna is her favorite food.  :-)

We're glad you joined the community to comment and discuss issues.  Please feel free to hang out & continue the conversation!

Also, all community members are invited to write diaries about issues they're knowledgable and passionate about.  if you have any technical difficulties, contact an admin for help.

And again, WELCOME TO LIA!

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."  - John Kenneth Galbraith

[ Parent ]
thanks :) (4.00 / 1)
thanks for the warm welcome ... didn't realize community members could blog it out; good to know!

[ Parent ]
Bussman (0.00 / 0)

actually seems like a pretty good guy. I'v been reading up on bills and legislators a lot recently, and he has also started a Free Clinic in his district for uninsured, low income folks where he donates dental work.


A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on. -Churchill



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