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New Mexico Statewide and Local Announcements

Refer to the latest NM Legislative Update for information on statewide pending legislation.

SB 127 CUSTODY & CARE OF MISTREATED ANIMALS – House & House Judiciary Letter

March 16, 2009

Following is our recommended letter to the New Mexico House and House Judiciary Committee regarding the subject bill. You are welcome to copy and paste and customize it for your own email or use it for talking point when calling the Representatives. Don’t forget to contact your own Representative. You can locate your Representative at http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/legislatorsearch.aspx

House Leadership Contact Information
Speaker Ben Lujan : Speaker : ben.lujan@nmlegis.gov : 505-986-4782
Representative W. Ken Martinez : House Majority Leader : mlo1@7cities.net : 505-986-4776
Representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton : Majority Whip : sheryl.stapleton@nmlegis.gov : 505-986-4774
Representative Thomas C. Taylor : Minority Floor Leader : tom@tomtaylor.net : 505-986-4757
Representative Keith J. Gardner : Minority Whip : gardners90@yahoo.com : 505-986-4757

House Judiciary Committee Contact Information:
Representative Al Park : Chair : alpark.nm@gmail.com : 505-986-4411
Representative Joseph Cervantes : Vice-Chair : cervanteslaw@zianet.com : 505-986-4249
Representative Eliseo Lee Alcon : Member : eliseoalcon@msn.com : 505-986-4254
Representative Paul C. Bandy : Member : paul@paulbandy.org : 505-986-4214
Representative Elias Barela : Member : elias@barelalaw.com : 505-986-4235
Representative Gail Chasey : Member : gailchasey@msn.com : 505-986-4844
Representative Zachary J. Cook : Member : junderwoodfirm@yahoo.com : 505-986-4454
Representative Dennis J. Kintigh : Member : askdennis@denniskintigh.com : 505-986-4453
Representative Antonio “Moe” Maestas : Member : antonio@moejustice.com : 505-986-4464
Representative W. Ken Martinez : Member : mlo1@7cities.net : 505-986-4476
Representative Bill B. O’Neill : Member : oneillhd15@fastmail.us : 505-986-4254
Representative William “Bill” R. Rehm : Member : Billrehm@comcast.net : 505-986-4450
Representative Mimi Stewart : Member : mstewart@osogrande.com : 505-986-4840
Representative Gloria C. Vaughn : Member : 505-986-4453

SUBJECT: SB 127 CUSTODY & CARE OF MISTREATED ANIMALS – SUPPORT (as amended by House Judiciary Committee)
EMAIL TO: ben.lujan@nmlegis.gov, mlo1@7cities.net, sheryl.stapleton@nmlegis.gov, tom@tomtaylor.net, gardners90@yahoo.com, alpark.nm@gmail.com; cervanteslaw@zianet.com; eliseoalcon@msn.com; paul@paulbandy.org; elias@barelalaw.com; gailchasey@msn.com; junderwoodfirm@yahoo.com; askdennis@denniskintigh.com; antonio@moejustice.com; mlo1@7cities.net; oneillhd15@fastmail.us; Billrehm@comcast.net; mstewart@osogrande.com

Dear Speaker, House Leadership, Chairman Park and Members of the House Judiciary Committee

Many thanks for your service to our state!

I am writing to inform you I am in support of SB 127, Custody & Care of Mistreated Animals in it’s current form (i.e., as amended by the House Judiciary Committee) and ask that you vote for SB 127 with no additional changes. As I understand, a contingent of constituents aligned with Concerned New Mexico Animal Owners (CNMAO) attended the House Judiciary Committee meeting where this bill was heard with the intent of opposing animal indemnity sections C, D, E and F due to grave concerns about unintended consequences. To the great credit of the committee, they listened to the concerns carefully and were able to craft a pragmatic and exceptional solution that protects the rights of the innocent and considers the financial means of the accused.

For more information, CNMAO’s current position on all 48 animal interest bills of the 2009 New Mexico Legislative Session can be found in the NM Legislative Updates category of the CNMAO blog (https://cnmao.wordpress.com).

Also, CNMAO estimates state sales tax revenues generated by expenditures for the care of dogs alone is over $40 million annually. That estimate excludes sales tax revenues generated at a county/city level. On that basis, in future legislative sessions, I respectfully suggest the legislature take up the proactive cause of providing more support for low cost voluntary sterilization programs, education programs and temporary financial assistance to animal owners in need to reduce the necessity for reactive punitive measures.

Best regards,
YOUR NAME
YOUR TOWN

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Legislative Update – March 15, 2009 – 48 Bills LONG!

March 15, 2009

CROSSPOST JUDICIOUSLY! Don’t assume everyone will want to know about the 48 NM animal interest bills.

The next full update will be on Tuesday, March 24 after the New Mexico Legislature website proofreading is complete.

Concerned New Mexico Animal Owners
New Mexico 49th Legislature, First Session, 2009
Animal Related Legislation Summary, 48 Bills
Contact: Bob De Young (bobATtexaustralian.com…replace “AT” with @) to receive regular twice a week updates.

Content in order is notices, position summary (support, conditional support, oppose, oppose until amended) and summaries for each bill.

NOTICES
We know this update is inaccurate because the state legislative website has fallen behind on updating activity on many bills. However, we do know the status on the “key” bills. Our recommended positions on five “key” bills are:

  • HB159 (animal cruelty) : oppose until amended
  • HB604 (elect instead of appoint game commissioners) : oppose
  • HB667 (dangerous dogs) : conditional support
  • SB127 (shelter indemnity) : support
  • SB391 (landowner takings of animals) : conditional support

Please contact me PRIVATELY if you have concerns related to the recommended position for any bill.

New bills: None
Scheduled for committee vote: Refer to legislative calendar updates.
Scheduled for House or Senate vote: Refer to legislative calendar updates.
Passed House: Refer to legislative calendar updates.
Passed Senate: Refer to legislative calendar updates.
Passed House and Senate: Refer to legislative calendar updates.
Signed into law: Refer to legislative calendar updates.
Vetoed: Refer to legislative calendar updates.
Killed: Refer to legislative calendar updates.

RECOMMEND SUPPORT
HB11, HB68, HB128, HB133, HB143, SB185, HB204, HB265, HB456, HB467, HB567, HB593, HB594, HB645, HB696, HB772, HB892, HJM4, HJM15, HJM56, HJR19, SB127, SB282, SB351, SB471, SB492, SB504, SB553, SB562, SJM42, SJM43, SJM49, SM32

RECOMMEND CONDITIONAL SUPPORT
HB82 Intentionally Starving Animals to Death, conditional support is based on a change to sections H. (2) and (7). Refer to the editorial comments below for HB82.

HB434 Family Violence Protection Act Revisions, conditional support is based on cruelty to animals amendments referencing Section 30-18-1 of New Mexico statutes regarding animal cruelty.

HB667 Dangerous Dog Definitions & Prosecution, conditional support is based on the need for an amendment requiring a dangerous dog and their owner enroll “in a socialization and behavior program approved or offered by the animal control authority” similar to that required for a “potentially dangerous dog.”

HB 781 Equine Protection Fund, conditional support is based on state appropriations being limited to supporting administrative expenses. Additional funding should be obtained through special registration license plates, donations and other means.

HB 875 Game Hunting Outfitter Requirements, conditional support is based on reinstating the three year registered guide experience requirement removed in the bill.

HM 49 Spay Day Espanola, conditional support is based on the fact that Spay Day USA is good in that it raises the importance of sterilizing pets. However, as an HSUS event it continues to propagate the myth that there is a pet overpopulation problem instead of addressing the real problem of high quality shelter management.

SB 391 Landowner Takings Of Certain Animals, conditional support is based on the bill being amended to allow that any animal can be killed or taken in the event of immediate threat to humans and animals (for consistency with animal cruelty Section 30-18-1). And, payment for property damages be extended to all game species (i.e., not limited to that caused by predators and covered species) and that all damage claims be guaranteed by the Board of Finance (i.e., instead of merely allowing a request for additional funding).

SB 669 Disabled Veteran Game & Fish Benefits, conditional support is based on supplementing the Department of Game and Fish budget with additional funding from the General Fund due to lost revenues.

SM 68 Espanola Pit Fix Month, conditional support is based on the fact that this resolution supports sterilization as a more effective means of reducing the number of homeless animals than euthanasia. However, it doesn’t avoid propagating the myth that there is a pet overpopulation problem instead of addressing the real problem of high quality education programs and shelter management.

RECOMMEND OPPOSE UNTIL AMENDED
HB159 Expand Cruelty to Animals, opposed until amended is based on a requested change to section H.(7). Refer to the editorial comments below for HB159. We also support a change to sections D(3), D(4), D(5) and H(2) and direction to the Animal Sheltering Services Board to enact rule-making that assists in destigmatizing voluntary relinquishment and encourages assistance and education to prevent abandonment.

RECOMMEND OPPOSE
HB125 Socorro Spay & Neuter Program (local earmark)
HB302 Espanola Animal Shelter (local earmark)
HB604 State Game Commission Member Elections (appointments are recommended for this commission)
SB313 Cruelty to Animals Includes Abandonment (unintended consequences)
SB358 Espanola Animal Shelter Services (local earmark)

Format for all bills is:
BILL NUMBER & TITLE : Sponsor : Status (NEW, NO CHANGE or UPDATE)
Current Committee/House/Branch
Summary Web Page Location
ACTIONS
DESCRIPTION
EDITORIAL : (with SUPPORT or OPPOSE recommendation)

HB 11 VALLES CALDERA ELK LICENSES : Wallace : NO CHANGE
Senate Public Affairs
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20%2011&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate Conservation : Passed
House : Passed
House Energy & Natural Resources : Passed, amended by replacing 15 to 20 with 15% to 25%
House Health and Government Affairs : Passed
Fiscal Impact : None
DESCRIPTION
Amends current law to allow the director of the department of game and fish to issue no less than 15% but no more than 25% of bull elk hunting licenses under enhancement authorizations each year within the Valles Caldera national preserve. The preserve shall determine the manner of issuance of the authorizations pursuant to this subsection either by auction, lottery or as otherwise determined by the board of trustees of the preserve.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
The current lottery system for licenses allows individuals to purchase up to 20 lottery tickets at $20 to $30 each for every hunting period (14 in 2009). In 2009, 250 total licenses and 77 bull elk licenses are available. 78% of licenses are alloted to New Mexico residents and 22% are alloted to non-residents. According to the Albuquerque Journal, the enhancement authorizations will be sold for $7,500 and include a stay at the Valles Grande lodge and three catered meals each day. Prior to the federal government acquisition of the Valles Calderas preserve, bull elk hunts cost as much as $12,000. Public land use issues are often emotionally charged, more so when classes of haves and have-nots are created. Recognizing the need for Valles Caldera to be self-sustaining by 2015, the percentage allocation is a reasonable compromise that we recommended, requiring the number of enhancement authorizations allocated to the new program to fluctuate from year to year consistent with other licenses.

HB 68 NONGAME FISH CAPTURE OR KILLING : Campos J : NO CHANGE
Senate Judiciary
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20%2068&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate Conservation : Passed
House : Passed
House Judiciary : Passed
House Energy and Natural Resources : Passed
Fiscal Impact : None
DESCRIPTION
The state game commission shall adopt rules on the manner, method and devices used for the taking, capturing or killing of nongame fish necessary for the protection and conservation of game fish. A person violating a rule of the state game commission pertaining to nongame fish is guilty of a misdemeanor.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
If passed, input to state game commission will be important when they address this issue.

HB 82 INTENTIONALLY STARVING ANIMALS TO DEATH : Lundstrom : NO CHANGE
House Judiciary. This bill has been tabled. No further action expected.
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20%2082&year=09
ACTIONS
House Agriculture and Water Resource : Passed
Fiscal Impact : None
DESCRIPTION
Amends current law to make the following a fourth degree felony: intentionally or maliciously starving or dehydrating an animal to death.
EDITORIAL : CONDITONAL SUPPORT
This bill will likely die in favor of HB159. This bill is concise and current law has provisions to address unintended consequences. However, the existing law and committee substitute do not adequately protect commonly accepted activities. Conditional support is based on a change to sections H.(2) and (7) to read:
(H)The provisions of this section do not apply to:
(2) the practice of veterinary medicine, as provided in Chapter 61, Article 14 NMSA 1978, when the practice is in accordance with commonly accepted husbandry or veterinary practices. The board of veterinary medicine already has the authority to determine what is a commonly accepted veterinary practice and mention in this bill is unnecessary.
(7) other commonly accepted activities not otherwise prohibited by law including, but not limited to, husbandry, training and competition associated with use of animals in performance and working events or in activities including, but not limited to, hunting, working, herding guardianship, predator control and vermin control.

HB 125 SOCORRO SPAY & NEUTER PROGRAM : Tripp : NO CHANGE
House Appropriations & Finance
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20125&year=09
ACTIONS
Health and Government Affairs : Passed
Fiscal Impact : $25,000 recurring
DESCRIPTION
$25,000 appropriation for Socorro animal shelter sterilization program.
EDITORIAL : OPPOSE
Representative Tripp is to be commended for attention to local issues. However, state funds should be consolidated for use in a statewide low cost voluntary sterilization program. Local governments should have the option of continuing their program and/or supplementing the state program to get additional service.

HB 128 NMSU VETERINARY EDUCATION & RURAL PROGRAM : Tripp : NO CHANGE
House Appropriations & Finance
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20128&year=09
ACTIONS
House Education : Passed
Fiscal Impact : $250,000 recurring
DESCRIPTION
$250,000 appropriation to NMSU to support veterinary education through the New Mexico rural veterinary practice relief program.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Appropriate measure to support large animal veterinary programs.

HB 133 NMSU SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM : Steinborn : NO CHANGE
House Appropriations & Finance
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20133&year=09
ACTIONS
House Education : Passed
Fiscal Impact : $100,000 recurring
DESCRIPTION
$100,000 appropriation from the general fund to NMSU to provide teaching, research and extension services in a sustainable agriculture program by the small farm institute for students and small-scale farmers and ranchers. SB 282 is a companion bill.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Appropriate measure to support small farms & ranches. Based on available information, the NMSU Small Farm Institute appears to be “nonpartisan.”

HB 143 GAME & FISH PENALTY ASSESSMENT PAYMENTS : Barela : NO CHANGE
Senate Judiciary
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20143&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate Conservation : Passed
House : Passed
House Judiciary: Passed
House Energy & Natural Resources :Passed
Fiscal Impact : No appropriation, $56,800 revenue recurring
DESCRIPTION
Amendment to add a penalty assessment misdemeanor of $75 – $100 for fishing, manner and method, small game and waterfowl rule violations
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Penalty fees are comparable to existing fishing without a license and hunting small game without a license. Fishing, manner and method, small game and waterfowl rule violations previously required appearance in magistrate court. This change allows for payment of a fine or appearance in magistrate court.

HB 159 EXPAND CRUELTY TO ANIMALS : Park : UPDATE
Senate Conservation
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20159&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate Conservation : Passed
House : Passed
House Judiciary : Passed with Committee Substitute
House Consumer & Public Affairs Committee : Passed
Fiscal Impact : None
DESCRIPTION
This bill address animal cruelty and has been replace by a committee substitute. It makes current cruelty laws apply to all animals, but not insects (reptiles were previously excluded). It adds a definition for “sustenance” as food, water and shelter to the existing law. It consolidates references in current law of “tormenting, torturing, mutilating and poisoning” into the definition of “mistreatment.” Leaving an animal unattended and confined inside a motor vehicle and physical injury or death results is classified as cruelty (a misdemeanor). It reclassifies the fourth degree felony of “extreme cruelty” to “aggravated cruelty.” It classifies most acts of cruelty that result in the death or great bodily harm to an animal as aggravated cruelty, whether or not intentional. This bill does not change state law regarding the taking of an animal’s life when it presents a threat to human life and property (e.g., livestock, pets or crops) which is found in section 17-2-7.2 of New Mexico statutes.
EDITORIAL : OPPOSE UNTIL AMENDED
The committee substitute bill addresses many previous concerns. Some provision of the bill are unnecessary because they are addressed in existing law (e.g., clarification of the exception for veterinarians). And, the existing law and committee substitute do not adequately protect commonly accepted activities. Oppose until amended is based on a change to section H(7) to read:

(H)The provisions of this section do not apply to:
(7) other commonly accepted activities not otherwise prohibited by law including husbandry, training and competition associated with use of animals in performance and working events or in activities including hunting, working, herding, guardianship, predator control and vermin control.

A change to section H(2) is a secondary concern with a recommended change to:

(H)The provisions of this section do not apply to:
(2) the practice of veterinary medicine, as provided in Chapter 61, Article 14 NMSA 1978, when the practice is in accordance with commonly accepted husbandry or veterinary practices. The board of veterinary medicine already has the authority to determine what is a commonly accepted veterinary practice and mention in this bill is unnecessary.

In addition, it is recommended that sections D(3) and D(4) be removed and section D(5) be modified to add the words “intentional or maliciously” at the beginning. Those sections deal with negligent mistreatment, abandonment that results in death/serious injury and failing to provide sustenance that results in death/serious injury, respectively. There is significant concern about unintended consequences and punishment comparable to other more offensive felony acts such as intentional or malicious mistreatment or killing as noted in sections D.1 and D.2.

Also, it is recommended that the Animal Sheltering Services Board be directed to enact rule-making that assists in destigmatizing voluntary relinquishment and encouraging assistance and education to prevent abandonment through HB 593 or other appropriate means.

The following national, state and local organizations are also in support of the changes associated with protections related to commonly accepted animal activities: American Dog Breeders Association, American Pulling Association, American Saluki Association, Coursing Conservancy (NM), Land of Enchantment American Pit Bull Terrier Club, National Animal Interest Alliance, New Mexico Council of Outfitters and Guides, New Mexico Houndsmen’s Association, New Mexico Toy Group, Rio Grande Kennel Club, Saluki Club of America, Southwest Coursing Club (NM), United States Sportsmen’s Alliance and Valencia Valley Kennel Club of New Mexico, Inc.

HB 204 EXTEND HORSE RACING ACT TO 2015 : Sandoval : NO CHANGE
Senate Judiciary
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20204&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate Public Affairs : Passed
House : Passed
House Taxation & Revenue : Passed
House Health and Government Affairs : Passed
Fiscal Impact : None
DESCRIPTION
Extend the life of the state racing commission and the horse racing act until July 1, 2015, to allow for bonds issued by the New Mexico State Fair to be repaid and to prevent interruption of the revenue stream dedicated to the repayment of the bonds.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Appropriate measure to support repayment of state bonds.

HB 265 NO GAS CHAMBER FOR ANIMAL EUTHANASIA : Martinez K : NO CHANGE
Senate Judiciary
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20265&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate Conservation : Passed
House : Passed
House Judiciary : Passed
House Consumer & Public Affairs : Passed
Fiscal Impact : None
DESCRIPTION
Prohibits euthanasia by carbon monoxide gas chamber and prohibits local ordinances from conflicting with the Animal Sheltering Services Act. The prohibition on euthanasia will go into effect in July 2009. The regulation & licensing department has also suggest an amendment that local ordinances for the impounding and disposition of animals found running at large also be prohibited from conflicting with the provisions of the Animal Sheltering Services Act.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
While this is an unnecessary mandate because the Animal Sheltering Services Board (ASSB) has authority to regulate this issue, Representative Martinez has also introduced HB 892 to appropriate $500,000 in funding over a two year period to assist communities using carbon monoxide chambers with their transition to lethal injection.

HB 302 ESPANOLA ANIMAL SHELTER : Rodella : NO CHANGE
House Appropriations & Finance
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20302&year=09
ACTIONS
House Consumer & Public Affairs : Passed
Fiscal Impact : $48,000 recurring
DESCRIPTION
$48,000 appropriation to fund animal shelter services, including a spay/neuter program, an animal transfer program and operational expenses for Espanola. SB358 is a companion bill.
EDITORIAL : OPPOSE
Representative Rodella is to be commended for attention to local issues. However, state funds should be consolidated for use in a statewide low cost voluntary sterilization program. Local governments should have the option of continuing their program and/or supplementing the state program to get additional service.

HB 434 FAMILY VIOLENCE PROTECTION ACT REVISIONS : King : UPDATE
Senate Judiciary
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20434&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate Public Affairs : Passed
House : Passed
House Judiciary : Passed with committee substitute
Health & Government Affairs : Passed
Fiscal Impact : Indeterminate due to expected higher increase in petitions for protective orders.
DESCRIPTION
Among other actions, extends the protection of the Family Violence Protection Act to animals.
EDITORIAL : CONDITIONAL SUPPORT
The cruelty to animals amendments should reference Section 30-18-1 of New Mexico statutes regarding animal cruelty.

HB 456 PURCHASE POLICE DOG PROTECTIVE VESTS : Tripp : NO CHANGE
Senate Judiciary
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20456&year=09
ACTIONS
House : Passed
House Judiciary : Passed
House Health and Government Affairs : Passed
Fiscal Impact : Pending
DESCRIPTION
Amends current law to allow for the purchase of law enforcement equipment, including protective vests, for police dogs from the law enforcement protection fund.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Representative Tripp is to be commended for supporting these noble working animals with additional protection.

HB 467 AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES CONTROL : Tripp : UPDATE
Senate Judiciary
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20467&year=09
ACTIONS
House : Passed
House Business & Industry : Passed with committee substitute
House Energy & Natural Resources : Passed
Fiscal Impact : $30,000 in 2009, $120,000 in 2010, $150,000 in 2011. Recurring TBD.
DESCRIPTION
Establishes a law to prevent and address existing occurrences of invasive aquatic species as declared by the director of the department of game and fish. Among other things, it also makes provisions for equipment impound and decontamination, check points and prosecution for violation.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Good conservation measure. This act is proactive and well thought out considering ongoing risks associated with invasive non-native aquatic species.

HB 567 FARM & RANCH COMMUNITY LICENSE PLATES : Egolf : UPDATE
Senate Corporations & Transportation
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20567&year=09
ACTIONS
House : Passed
House Appropriations & Finance : Passed
House Transportation and Public Works : Passed
Fiscal Impact : Estimated revenue and expense are approximately offsetting
DESCRIPTION
Special registration plate with a logo indicating support for the New Mexico farm and ranch community. $25 of license plate fee will support the farm and ranch heritage museum for educational programs.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Worthwhile effort to support agricultural heritage.

HB 593 ANIMAL EUTHANASIA REQUIREMENTS : Martinez : NO CHANGE
Senate Judiciary
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20593&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate Public Affairs : Passed
House : Passed
House Judiciary : Passed
House Consumer & Public Affairs : Passed
Fiscal Impact : $50,000 reduced expense recurring, the regulation and licensing department will not have to hire a veterinarian.
DESCRIPTION
Changes the name of the Animal Sheltering Services Act (ASSA) and Board (ASSB) to the Animal Sheltering Act and Board, changes Animal Sheltering Board meeting requirements from four per year to one per year, changes board member term expiration from no more than two per year to no more than three per year and allows licensed euthanasia technicians to purchase, possess and administer controlled substances intended for euthanasia without veterinary supervision.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Regardless of questions regarding the overall effectiveness of the ASSA and ASSB changes are acceptable. There are potential problems with administering euthanasia when a veterinarian is not present because licensed technicians probably won’t receive the same level of ethical training as a veterinarian, but that is better monitored at the ASSB rule making level.

HB 594 FERAL HOG CONTROL : Ezzell : NO CHANGE
Senate Judiciary
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20594&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate Conservation : Passed
House : Passed
House Judiciary : Passed
House Agriculture : Passed
Fiscal Impact : None

DESCRIPTION
No person shall import into the state, transport within the state, hold for breeding or sell a live feral hog or operate a commercial feral hog hunting enterprise. The House Judiciary Committee added “Nothing in this section shall prevent a person from possessing captured feral hogs in a secure enclosure for domestication or human consumption or from transporting captured feral hogs for slaughter or processing.” SB504 is a companion bill.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
In New Mexico, feral hogs are a non game (destructive/invasive) species and a license is not required to hunt feral hogs if you are a state resident. All that is needed is landowner permission. The purpose of this bill is to discourage their proliferation and “ensure the public health, safety and welfare and to prevent the introduction or spread of disease to New Mexico’s livestock and wildlife.”

HB 604 STATE GAME COMMISSION MEMBER ELECTIONS : Tripp : UPDATE
House Voters & Elections – Unconfirmed, but it is reported that this bill has been tabled (i.e., died in committee).
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20604&year=09
ACTIONS
House Energy & Natural Resources : Passed with committee substitute
Fiscal Impact : None
DESCRIPTION
Amends elected position law to make state game commissioner positions elected positions instead of appointed positions.
EDITORIAL : OPPOSE
Converting commissioners from appointed to elected positions would provide no guarantee that qualified individuals would fill those positions, unlike current requirements. In addition, as the Senate affirms those appointments, the legislature should accept some responsibility whenever there are complaints about the Game Commission. In an increasingly urban state, many voters have no direct interest in the Commission’s primary mission of good conservation and game management practices. In fact, commentary in the significant issues section of the fiscal impact report appears opposed to this bill.

HB 645 BASS FISHING LICENSE PLATES : Tripp : UPDATE
Senate Finance
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20645&year=09
ACTIONS
House : Passed
House Appropriations & Finance : Passed
House Transportation and Public Works : Passed
Fiscal Impact : Estimated revenue and expense are approximately offsetting
DESCRIPTION
$15 of initial $25 fee and entire $10 renewal fee will be applied to the bass habitat management program of the game protection fund.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Good conservation measure.

HB 667 DANGEROUS DOG DEFINITIONS & PROSECUTION : Heaton : NO CHANGE
Died on House floor vote. No further action expected.
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20667&year=09
ACTIONS
House : Died
House Judiciary : Passed
House Consumer & Public Affairs : Passed with committee substitute
Fiscal Impact : Minimal
DESCRIPTION
Amends the dangerous dog law to expand the injuries inflicted that are considered serious (protracted loss or impairment of bodily member/organ), prohibits enclosure by electronic collar or invisible fence, requires a dangerous dog to be controlled by someone 18 years of age or older when off property, requires the dog to be photographed or permanently identified, requires $100,000 of liability insurance.
EDITORIAL : CONDITIONAL SUPPORT
The current dangerous dog law is generally well written and provides adequate protections. In the committee substitute, the following was removed: concussion as a serious injury, breed specific language (rottweilers and pit bulls), warrantless random searches. According to the fiscal impact report, Independent Insurance Agents of New Mexico (IIA) is concerned that this legislation will put an insurance agent in the uncomfortable position of having to tell the owners of a “dangerous dog” that they can either have their family pet or homeowners insurance, but not both. IIA believes that the purpose of this bill is to provide protection for potential victims of dangerous dogs, but the inclusion of the insurance requirements is bound to have unintended consequences that will actually take away liability protection that is currently readily available. Coverage in the surplus lines market could possibly develop as an alternative, but the problems with litigating such claims would make it unaffordable for most people. The House Judiciary Committee amended this bill to reduce the mandatory liability insurance requirement for dangerous dogs from $250,000 to $100,000. Recognizing that a dangerous dog is a dog that has already caused the unprovoked death of or a serious injury to a person or domestic animal, it is difficult to argue there should be NO strict liability requirement. Conditional support is based on continuing to support an amendment requiring a dangerous dog and their owner enroll “in a socialization and behavior program approved or offered by the animal control authority” similar to that required for a “potentially dangerous dog.” While there are other problems with the current law and it’s amendments, particularly related to a “potentially dangerous dog”, they are better addressed in the next legislative session.

HB 696 NMSU VERTEBRATE WILDLIFE MUSEUM SUPPORT : Gutierrez : NO CHANGE
House Appropriations & Finance
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20696&year=09
ACTIONS
House Education : Passed
Fiscal Impact : $50,000 recurring
DESCRIPTION
$50,000 appropriation to New Mexico State University to provide operational support for the university’s vertebrate wildlife museum in the department of fish, wildlife and conservation ecology.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
The Vertebrate Museum is the oldest collection of its kind in New Mexico with about 26,000 specimens of mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. They primarily represent the fauna of New Mexico, but include specimens from across the US and other continents. The mission of the Vertebrate Museum is to serve in research and education.

HB 772 4-H SUPPORT LICENSE PLATES : Hall : UPDATE
Senate Intro
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20772&year=09
ACTIONS
House : Passed
House Appropriations & Finance : Passed
House Transportation and Public Works : Passed
Fiscal Impact : Estimated revenue and expense are approximately offsetting
DESCRIPTION
Special registration plate with the 4-H logo indicating support for 4-H. $25 of the license plate fee will support the New Mexico state 4-H office and 4-H youth programs in the
state.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Worthwhile effort to support youth agriculture education.

HB 781 EQUINE PROTECTION FUND : Nunez : NO CHANGE
House Agriculture
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20781&year=09
ACTIONS
Fiscal Impact : Unknown. As written at least $55,000 recurring.
DESCRIPTION
Establishes a fund supported by donations and appropriations to assist with the care, treatment, rehabilitation and humane disposition of equines. The department of finance and administration will control the fund and adopt rules for disbursing money from the fund. An advisory committee will make recommendations for disbursement and consist of individuals with an interest in equine issues, including representatives from horse breeders, the horse racing industry, the rodeo industry, the livestock community and the animal advocacy community.
EDITORIAL : CONDITIONAL SUPPORT
With the defacto elimination of horse slaughter in the US (no facilities currently operate), funding is needed to provide for care and euthansia of unwanted equines. The proposed composition of the advisory board appears to protect all interests. Conditional support is based on state appropriations being limited to supporting administrative expenses. Additional funding should be obtained through special registration license plates, donations and other means.

HB 875 GAME HUNTING OUTFITTER REQUIREMENTS : Garcia : NO CHANGE
House Business & Industry
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20875&year=09
ACTIONS
Fiscal Impact : $25,000 revenue partially offset by $10,000 expense recurring.
DESCRIPTION
Primarily removes old date and interim language dating back to 1996 and 1997. However, it also removes the requirement that a registered outfitter be a registered guide for three years.
EDITORIAL : CONDITIONAL SUPPORT
Reinstating the three year registered guide experience removed in the bill is recommended. The fiscal impact report notes “eliminating the 3 year experience of being a registered guide prior to becoming a registered outfitter any individual without prior hunting guide experience could advertise, book clients and sell hunts for thousands of dollars/hunt/person. This lack of experience may cause a physical and financial risk to licensed hunters employing these outfitters…By lessening the experience requirement for outfitters, complaints could increase due to lack of experience.”

HB 892 ANIMAL SHELTER EUTHANASIA REQUIREMENTS : Martinez : NO CHANGE
House Appropriations & Finance
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20892&year=09
ACTIONS
House Consumer & Public Affairs : Passed
Fiscal Impact : $500,000 non-recurring
DESCRIPTION
Provides an appropriation of $500,000 from the general fund to the animal care and facility fund and is further appropriated from that fund to the regulation and licensing department for expenditure in fiscal years 2010 and 2011 by the animal sheltering services board to assist animal shelters in transitioning from carbon monoxide chambers to injection for the euthanasia of cats and dogs and for meeting the requirements of rules promulgated by the animal sheltering services board regulating the provision of euthanasia services by animal shelters.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Generous appropriation and companion bill to HB265 required for our support of HB265. Support of HB265 will not be removed if HB892 is reduced due to the state’s current fiscal constraints.

HJM 4 WILDLIFE CORRIDOR INFO SHARING : Stewart : NO CHANGE
Senate Calendar
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=JM&legno=%20%20%204&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate Conservation : Passed
Senate Rules : Passed
House : Passed
House Energy & Natural Resources : Passed
Fiscal Impact : None
DESCRIPTION
Joint memorial requesting state agencies, using existing resources, and by September 1, 2009, work together with other agencies, Indian nations, tribes and pueblos and private groups, in a workshop led by the energy, minerals and natural resources department, to share the information gathered by the western wildlife habitat council of the western governors’ association to identify and map wildlife corridors and crucial habitats and to identify funding needs and future data and mapping needs. It is also requested that state agencies consider existing and future data about wildlife corridors in their planning decisions.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Good conservation measure.

HJM 15 TIERRA AMARILLA LAND GRANT LAND USE RIGHTS : Rodella : NO CHANGE
Senate Conservation
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=JM&legno=%20%2015&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate Rules : Passed
House : Passed
House Consumer & Public Affairs : Passed
Fiscal Impact : None
DESCRIPTION
Joint memorial requesting the state game commission find a way to grant traditional use rights to the heirs of the Tierra Amarilla land grant-merced for lands controlled by the commission that are located within the historic boundaries of the Tierra Amarilla land grant-merced.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
This measure relates to one of many long standing contentious land grant issues associated with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848). If passed, input to state game commission will be important when they address this issue, particularly regarding precedent established due to other contentious land grant issues associated with the treaty. Implementation must also comply with requirements for $11.5 million in annual federal grants received by the state for the Edward Sargent Wildlife Management Area, Rio Chama Wildlife Management Area and the Humphries Wildlife Management Area.

HJM 56 FFA & 4-H DAY : Hall : NO CHANGE
Resolution Passed Both Houses. No Further Action.
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=JM&legno=%20%2056&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate : Passed
House : Passed
Fiscal Impact : No Report Needed
DESCRIPTION
Resolution declaring February 19, 2009 as “FFA and 4-H Day” at the legislature. SJM 43 is a companion bill.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Worthwhile effort to support youth agriculture education.

HJR 19 EXTEND DOWNS OF ALBUQUERQUE LEASE : Park : NO CHANGE
Senate Judiciary
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=JR&legno=%20%2019&year=09
ACTIONS
House : Passed
House Judiciary : Passed
House Voters & Elections : Passed
Fiscal Impact : $332,000 revenue in FY2010 and $2,000,000 revenue in FY2011
DESCRIPTION
Authorizes extension of the Downs of Albuquerque lease at the state fairgrounds to January 11, 2011 with an option to extend the lease to January 11, 2012.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
This measure is needed due to a delay in relocation of operations to Moriarty.

HM 49 SPAY DAY ESPANOLA : Lujan : NO CHANGE
Passed House. No Further Action.
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=M&legno=%20%2049&year=09
ACTIONS
House : Passed
Fiscal Impact : No Report Needed
DESCRIPTION
Resolution declaring February 24, 2009 as Spay Day Espanola in the House in recognition of Spay Day USA on the same date and Espanola Valley Humane Society and Saving Animals New Mexico offering free spaying and neutering for the pit bulls of Espanola and Rio Arriba county.
EDITORIAL : CONDITIONAL SUPPORT
Conditional Support is based on the fact that Spay Day USA is good in that it raises the importance of sterilizing pets. However, as an HSUS event it continues to propagate the myth that there is a pet overpopulation problem instead of addressing the real problem of high quality education programs and shelter management.

SB 127 CUSTODY & CARE OF MISTREATED ANIMALS : Wirth : UPDATE
House Calendar
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=B&legno=%20127&year=09
ACTIONS
House Judiciary : Passed with amendments
Senate : Passed
Senate Judiciary : Passed committee substitute
Senate Conservation : Passed
Fiscal Impact : $100 recurring for incidental administrative expenses
DESCRIPTION
Allows a livestock board agent, animal control agency operated by the state, a county or a municipality, or an animal shelter or other animal welfare organization designated by an animal control agency or an animal shelter to petition the court to request security be posted for seized animals. Security required is to be based on owner ability to pay. Security is to be refunded upon acquittal. Expended security is not refunded, whether or not a conviction is obtained. It allows seized livestock to be sold except for poultry associated with cockfighting. It provides administrative clarification to existing law.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Current legislation provides for restitution for seized animals upon conviction for animal cruelty (Statutory Chapter 30-18-1.3). Opposition is based on punitive sections C, D, E and F related to posting security and all references to those sections which are the primary basis for this bill. The argument associated with the indemnity and it’s need to prosecute animal cruelty cases is that animal control is inhibited from pursuing prosecution due to budget constraints related to animal control funding. Government has funding constraints in the prosecution of many cases. That is one of the reasons for plea bargains and choices Attorneys General and District Attorneys regularly have to make regarding prosecution due to funding constraints. An individual’s rights should not be compromised because they are in a “special” class. A charge for animal control’s overhead is not reasonable until a conviction is obtained. The basis for that position is a fourth amendment issue (seizures) and an eighth amendment issue (excessive fines). An average owner’s expenses are generally much lower than that of animal control and welfare organizations and they certainly shouldn’t bear the burden of those costs or exposure to loss of their animals if ultimately acquitted or charges are dropped. The legislature should be focusing more attention on encouraging animal cruelty prevention efforts and compassion, education and assistance to animal owners as alternatives. Punitive actions should be a last resort.

SB 185 PET LICENSE PLATE FEES TO ANIMAL CARE FUND : Garcia M J : UPDATE
House Transportation and Public Works
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=B&legno=%20185&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate : Passed
Senate Finance : Withdrawn from committee or daily calendar for subsequent action
Senate Corporations & Transportation : Passed with amendments.
Fiscal Impact : No net impact
DESCRIPTION
Amends current law to direct $25 collected for each pet care special registration plate (“Don’t Litter, Spay/Neuter”) to the animal care and facility fund instead of the motor vehicle suspense fund for distribution in accordance with Section 66-6-23 NMSA 1978. The Animal Sheltering Services Board distributes monies in that fund. A Senate Corporations & Transportation Committee amendment directs the funds to be disbursed “so that spay and neuter programs in a county receive money attributable to the number of those special registration plates issued in that county” as originally intended.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT (See below)
The original intent for this license plate is to fund county spay/neuter programs in proportion to monies received for the plates. As interests of animal owners are inadequately represented on the ASSB, conditional support is based on specific direction of monies to only be used for unbiased sterilization education and reduced cost voluntary sterilization programs. A change to the license plate logo of “Remember, Spay/Neuter”, “Be Responsible, Spay/Neuter” or “Spay/Neuter Your Pets” is recommended to send a more positive message.

SB 282 : NMSU SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE PROGRAM : Beffort : NO CHANGE
Senate Finance
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=B&legno=%20282&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate Education Committee : Passed
Fiscal Impact : $100,000 recurring
DESCRIPTION
Appropriates $100,000 from the general fund to New Mexico State University to provide teaching, research and extension services in a sustainable agriculture program by the for students and small scale farmers and ranchers. HB 133 is a companion bill.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Appropriate measure to support small farms & ranches. Based on available information, the NMSU Small Farm Institute appears to be “nonpartisan.”

SB 313 CRUELTY TO ANIMALS INCLUDES ABANDONMENT : Eichenberg : NO CHANGE
House Judiciary
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=B&legno=%20313&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate : Passed
Senate Judiciary : Passed
Senate Conservation : Passed with amendments
Fiscal Impact : Indeterminate recurring due to changes in judiciary case load
DESCRIPTION
Amends current law as follows:
Changes to cruelty to animals are capitalized: KNOWINGLY abandoning or failing to provide necessary sustenance to an animal THAT IS under that person’s custody or control. Also adds to extreme cruelty: starving or dehydrating an animal to a point that imperils the animal’s life.
EDITORIAL : OPPOSE
This bill will likely die in favor of HB159. This is similar to HB82, but ambiguities in wording make HB82 a better alternative.

SB 351 NMSU AGRICULTURAL EDUCATION EVENT ATTENDANCE : Campos : NO CHANGE
Senate Finance
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=B&legno=%20351&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate Conservation : Passed
Fiscal Impact : $150,000 recurring
DESCRIPTION
$150,000 appropriation to New Mexico State University for expenditure in fiscal year 2010 to pay for student travel expenses to national and regional agricultural secondary education events.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
This pays travel expenses for 200 high school FFA students to compete in national FFA competitions

SB 358 ESPANOLA ANIMAL SHELTER SERVICES : Martinez : NO CHANGE
Senate Finance
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=B&legno=%20358&year=09
ACTIONS
Fiscal Impact : Pending
DESCRIPTION
$48,000 appropriation to fund animal shelter services, including a spay/neuter program, an animal transfer program and operational expenses for Espanola. HB302 is a companion bill.
EDITORIAL : OPPOSE
Senator Martinez is to be commended for attention to local issues. However, state funds should be consolidated for use in a statewide low cost voluntary sterilization program. Local governments should have the option of continuing their program and/or supplementing the state program to get additional service.

SB 391 LANDOWNER TAKINGS OF CERTAIN ANIMALS : Sanchez : UPDATE
House Intro
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=B&legno=%20391&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate : Passed
Senate Judiciary : Passed committee substitute
Senate Public Affairs : Passed with amendments
Fiscal Impact : None
DESCRIPTION
Rewrite of existing law, Section 17-2-7.2. The changes include but are not limited to: Allows landowners, lessees and their employees and agents to only take or kill a predator (bears, cougars and bobcats only) that presents an immediate threat to human life, livestock or family pets. The department of game and fish will provide assistance to a landowner, lessee or their employee who requests assistance in remedying or preventing reasonably anticipated damage to property or physical harm to humans, livestock or family pets caused by a predator or covered species (elk, deer, antelope, cranes and geese). Indemnity for property damage and provisions for forage leases (ongoing payments for crop damage), is generally limited to funding available in the big game depredation damage fund. However, the department of game and fish can request a grant from the state Board of Finance for additional funding to pay any outstanding claims.
EDITORIAL : CONDITIONAL SUPPORT
While it appears that the only animals that could be taken or killed in the event of immediate threat to humans, livestock and pets are bears, cougars or bobcats (defined as predators). That is not the case as the animal cruelty law, Section 30-18-1, would continue to allow the taking or killing of any animal to “protect a person or animal from death or injury due to an attack by another animal.” However, there is no provision for the taking and killing of animals that are not predators or covered species that pose an immediate threat to property when that property is not livestock or pets. In addition, there is no provision to allow a property owner to resolve a threat to human life or damage to property, including crops, after giving the Department of Fish and Game a reasonable period to resolve the threat. The ongoing adequacy of funding for damages that may occur, even after allowing for the possibility of a Board of Finance grant, is not guaranteed and funding for damages is limited to predators and covered species. To maintain consistency with Section 30-18-1, the bill should be amended to allow that any animal can be killed or taken in the event of immediate threat to humans and animals. And, payment for property damages should be extended to all game species (i.e., not be limited to that caused by predators and covered species) and that all damage claims be guaranteed by the Board of Finance. It is our understanding that Senate floor amendments were introduced that eliminate most concerns about this bill. Our position regarding this bill is unchanged until those amendments can be reviewed as they are not available on the state legislative website.

SB 471 CREATE NM RODEO COUNCIL : Munoz : NO CHANGE
Senate Rules
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=B&legno=%20471&year=09
ACTIONS
Fiscal Impact : “Minor” for council travel expenses
DESCRIPTION
Establish a council to advise the economic development department, the governor and the legislature regarding rodeo, equestrian and livestock education, events, facilities and citizen participation in rodeo, equestrian and livestock activities and to establish policy regarding economic development related to rodeo, equestrian and livestock activities and operations, including the expenditure of money appropriated by the legislature for the purposes of this section.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Council members are to have experience in rodeo, equestrian or livestock activities, as a contestant or business owner.

SB 492 SEIZURE & BRAND INSPECTION OF LIVESTOCK : Asbill : UPDATE
House Judiciary
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=B&legno=%20492&year=09
ACTIONS
House Agriculture : Passed
Senate : Passed
Senate Judiciary : Passed
Senate Conservation : Passed
Fiscal Impact : None
DESCRIPTION
Amends existing law to prohibit the issuance of a New Mexico Livestock Board brand inspection certificate to move federally seized livestock without consent from the owner of that livestock. The law would not apply if the owner is unknown, or if the federal government has properly obtained approval for the seizure from an appropriate court and has presented that approval to the livestock inspector. The law would not apply to feral or wild free roaming horses or burros. The law would also not apply when conditions of a federal permit, allotment or lease is in dispute.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
The bill clarifies and codifies the parameters within which the NM Livestock Board is authorized to issue a brand certificate in the case of federally seized animals.

SB 504 FERAL HOG CONTROL : Griego : NO CHANGE
House Judiciary
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=B&legno=%20504&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate : Passed
Senate Judiciary : Passed
Senate Conservation : Passed
Fiscal Impact : None
DESCRIPTION
No person shall import into the state, transport within the state, hold for breeding or sell a live feral hog or operate a commercial feral hog hunting enterprise. HB594 is a companion bill.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
In New Mexico, feral hogs are a non game (destructive/invasive) species and a license is not required to hunt feral hogs if you are a state resident. All that is needed is landowner permission. The purpose of this bill is to discourage their proliferation and “ensure the public health, safety and welfare and to prevent the introduction or spread of disease to New Mexico’s livestock and wildlife.”

SB 553 COUNTY CATTLE GUARDS NEAR SCHOOL BUS ROUTES : Ulibarri : UPDATE
House Calendar
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=B&legno=%20553&year=09
ACTIONS
House Education : Passed
Senate : Passed
Senate Corporations & Transportation : Passed
Senate Conservation : Passed
Fiscal Impact : Indeterminate (positive to counties)
DESCRIPTION
Limits county authority to constructing cattle guards where privately owned fences intersect school bus routes on county roads when consent is obtained from each owner of real property upon which the cattle guards are to be constructed. Construction is done with county funds.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT (changed from oppose based on fiscal impact report)
Current law requires counties to construct such cattle guards on ANY road in a county with county funds that may not be reimbursed by other jurisdictions (state/federal).

SB 562 JUNIOR RODEO FINALS IN NEW MEXICO : Munoz : NO CHANGE
Senate Finance
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=B&legno=%20562&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate Corporations & Transportation : Passed
Fiscal Impact : Pending
DESCRIPTION
$2 million appropriation spread over 2010 to 2020 to encourage that the national junior and high school rodeo finals be held in New Mexico every year pursuant to a process in which the rodeo events are rotated to communities in New Mexico that have the appropriate facilities to host the events.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
More details are needed from the fiscal impact report. However, it is assumed this refers to the National High School Rodeo Association finals. The National High School Finals Rodeo (NHSFR) is held annually in July with more than 1,500 contestants from each state/province competing for national titles, awards, and scholarships. The NHSFR is the “World’s Largest Rodeo” and currently rotates every two years from chosen sites. The most recent sites have been Gillette, WY, Springfield, IL and Farmington. The junior high division rodeo Wrangler Junior High Finals Rodeo (WJHFR) was held in Gallup in 2008. This subsidy would be more than offset by benefits to local communities and the state.

SB 669 DISABLED VETERAN GAME & FISH BENEFITS : Rodriguez : NO CHANGE
Senate Finance
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=B&legno=%20669&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate Conservation : Passed
Fiscal Impact : $2.8 million recurring reduction in revenue for the Department of Game and Fish
DESCRIPTION
Removes “one hundred percent” before the word “disabled” regarding the granting of no fee general hunting and fishing licenses and class A trout stamps to disabled veterans.
EDITORIAL : CONDITIONAL SUPPORT (changed from support based on fiscal impact report)
Due to the significant reduction in the Department of Game and Fish revenues, this needs to be supplemented with an amendment for additional funding from the General Fund.

SJM 42 DAY OF THE ROADRUNNER : Sapien : NO CHANGE
Senate Table
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=JM&legno=%20%2042&year=09
ACTIONS
Fiscal Impact : Pending
DESCRIPTION
Resolution declaring March 16, 2009 as “Day of the Roadrunner” at the legislature.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Appropriate recognition for the 60th anniversary of the Roadrunner as a venerable state icon.

SJM 43 FFA & 4-H DAY : Griego : NO CHANGE
HJM 56 Passed Both Houses. No Further Action Expected
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=JM&legno=%20%2043&year=09
ACTIONS
House : Passed
Senate : Passed
Fiscal Impact : No report

DESCRIPTION
Resolution declaring February 19, 2009 as “FFA and 4-H Day” at the legislature. HJM 56 is a companion bill.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Worthwhile effort to support youth agriculture education.

SJM 49 VALLES CALDERA MANAGEMENT HEARINGS : Eichenberg : NO CHANGE
Senate Rules
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=JM&legno=%20%2049&year=09
ACTIONS
Fiscal Impact : None
DESCRIPTION
Urges the US Congress to hold hearings to establish a new management system for the Valles Caldera National Preserve, in which the US Forest Service, the National Park Service or the US Fish and Wildlife Service provide management to improve responsible public access, hunting, fishing and outdoor recreational opportunities and place the Valles Caldera National Preserve on firm financial footing.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Worthwhile nonbinding effort so present and future generations can enjoy and experience this spectacular place and benefits to the economy can be fully realized.

SM 32 VALLES CALDERA MANAGEMENT HEARINGS : Eichenberg : NO CHANGE
Passed Senate. No Further Action.
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=M&legno=%20%2032&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate : Passed
Senate Rules : Passed
Fiscal Impact : None
DESCRIPTION
Urges the US Congress to hold hearings to establish a new management system for the Valles Caldera National Preserve, in which the US Forest Service, the National Park Service or the US Fish and Wildlife Service provide management to improve responsible public access, hunting, fishing and outdoor recreational opportunities and place the Valles Caldera National Preserve on firm financial footing.
EDITORIAL : SUPPORT
Worthwhile nonbinding effort so present and future generations can enjoy and experience this spectacular place and benefits to the economy can be fully realized. This is different than SJM49 as it is a Senate only measure.

SM 68 ESPANOLA PIT FIX MONTH : Martinez : NO CHANGE
Passed Senate. No Further Action.
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?Chamber=S&LegType=M&LegNo=68&year=09
ACTIONS
Senate : Passed
Fiscal Impact : No Report
DESCRIPTION
Resolution declaring March be proclaimed “Espanola Pit Fix Month” at the senate in support of free spaying and neutering for the pit bulls of Espanola and Rio Arriba county.
EDITORIAL : CONDITIONAL SUPPORT
Conditional support is based on the fact that this resolution supports sterilization as a more effective means of reducing the number of homeless animals than euthanasia. However, it doesn’t avoid propagating the myth that there is a pet overpopulation problem instead of addressing the real problem of high quality education programs and shelter management.

Torrance County Ordinance Hearing-3/19/2009

March 15, 2009

Courtesy of East Mountain Animal Interest Alliance (EMAIA)…

The Torrance County Animal Control Ordinance has not passed! “We the people” can still make a difference! Stay involved!

The Commission meeting we have all been waiting for has been scheduled for Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 6:00 PM in the Commission room in Estancia.

ALERT: HB159, HB604, HB667, SB127, SB391

March 11, 2009

This is a special update on key bills and updated positions based on today’s developments…

HB 159 EXPAND CRUELTY TO ANIMALS : Park : CONDITIONAL SUPPORT
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20159&year=09
HB 159 was heard in the Senate Conservation Committee today and passed unchanged with one “no pass” vote from Senator William Sharer (bill@williamsharer.com) who we should thank. His “no pass” vote was based on several concerns. Senators Phil Griego and Clinton Harden were excused (not in attendance) at the meeting. After the committee meeting we were able to meet with Senator Harden and he is in support of introducing our “performance and working animal protections” amendment in the Senate Judiciary Committee. That amendment replaces section (H) (7) currently written as:

H. The provisions of this section do not apply to:
(7) other commonly accepted activities not otherwise prohibited by law.

The replacement is:

H. The provisions of this section do not apply to:
(7) other commonly accepted activities not otherwise prohibited by law including husbandry, training and competition associated with use of animals in performance and working events or in activities including hunting, working, herding, guardianship, predator control and vermin control.

The purpose of the amendment is to provide a statewide framework preventing inconsistent and overly constraining or broad interpretation of “commonly accepted activities.” The specific items stated are NOT limiting language. When legislation states “including …” it is intended as examples and not restricted exclusively to those activities. A new open letter thanking Senator Harden for his support is in the open letters section of the blog.

HB 604 STATE GAME COMMISSION MEMBER ELECTIONS : Tripp : OPPOSE
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20604&year=09
While not posted on the state website yet, we have learned that this bill died in the House Voters & Elections Committee.

HB 667 DANGEROUS DOG DEFINITIONS & PROSECUTION : Heaton : CONDITIONAL SUPPORT
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=H&legtype=B&legno=%20667&year=09
The House Judiciary Committee amended this bill to reduce the mandatory liability insurance requirement for dangerous dogs from $250,000 to $100,000. Recognizing that a dangerous dog is a dog that has already caused the unprovoked death of or a serious injury to a person or domestic animal, it is difficult to argue there should be NO strict liability requirement. Conditional support is based on continuing to support an amendment requiring a dangerous dog and their owner enroll “in a socialization and behavior program approved or offered by the animal control authority” similar to that required for a “potentially dangerous dog.” While there are other problems with the current law and it’s amendments, particularly related to a “potentially dangerous dog”, they are better addressed in the next legislative session after we have built a strong standing with the legislature, which is one of the primary objectives for this legislative session.

SB 127 CUSTODY & CARE OF MISTREATED ANIMALS : Wirth : OPPOSE UNTIL AMENDED
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=B&legno=%20127&year=09
Our position requesting removal of the animal indemnity language of this bill (sections C through F) is unchanged. This bill will be heard by the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, March 11. More information on this bill is available at the current legislative update and open letter to the House Judiciary Committee.

SB 391 LANDOWNER TAKINGS OF CERTAIN ANIMALS : Sanchez : OPPOSE UNTIL AMENDED
http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/_session.aspx?chamber=S&legtype=B&legno=%20391&year=09
It is our understanding that Senate floor amendments were introduced that eliminate most concerns about this bill. Our position regarding this bill is unchanged until those amendments can be reviewed as they are not available on the state legislative website. More information on this bill is available at the current legislative update and open letter to the Senate.

HB 159 EXPAND CRUELTY TO ANIMALS – Senator Harden Letter

March 11, 2009

Following is our recommended thank you letter to Senator Clinton Harden regarding the subject bill. You are welcome to copy and paste and customize it for your own email or use it for talking points when calling the Senator.

Contact Information:
Senator Clinton D. Harden : Member : charden@theosogroup.com : 505-986-4369

SUBJECT: HB 159 EXPAND CRUELTY TO ANIMALS – OPPOSE UNTIL AMENDED
EMAIL TO: charden@theosogroup.com

Dear Senator Harden,

Many thanks for your service to our state!

I am writing to extend my thanks for the consideration you are giving to amending HB 159 Expand Cruelty To Animals, introduced by Representative Park. Much in the bill is positive regarding the increased penalties and expansion of what is defined as cruelty to animals. However, I agree that there is a need for the legislature to address the issue of providing a framework for statewide interpretation of the exemption for “other commonly accepted activities not otherwise prohibited by law,” section H.(7). As worded, that exemption could easily result in inconsistent and overly constraining or broad interpretation throughout the state. Contrary to Special Counsel Suttle’s position, I do NOT believe this is an issue that should be left for the courts to have complete latitude to decide.

The state does have some problems with animal cruelty, but generally has a rich legacy of responsible animal use, some of which could be jeopardized by such nebulous language. I find Special Counsel Suttle’s position on section H.(7) to be inconsistent considering the “need” to define sustenance as food, water and shelter in section A.(6) and ignoring the other needs of animals (e.g., adequate space, exercise). And, the “need” to provide specific language regarding penalties for causing injury to an animal left in a car in section B.(5), which is actually an inadequate sustenance issue (i.e., inadequate shelter).

Consistent with CNMAO’s request, following is the amendment I respectfully request that you introduce in the Senate Judiciary Committee for HB 159:

(H)The provisions of this section do not apply to:
(7) other commonly accepted activities not otherwise prohibited by law including husbandry, training and competition associated with use of animals in performance and working events or in activities including hunting, working, herding, guardianship, predator control and vermin control.

As I understand it, the specific items stated are NOT limiting language. When legislation states “including …” it is intended as examples (i.e. a framework) and not restricted exclusively to those activities.

It is my understanding the following additional organizations are in support of the above amendment: American Saluki Association, Coursing Conservancy (NM), National Animal Interest Alliance, New Mexico Council of Outfitters and Guides, New Mexico Houndsmen’s Association, New Mexico Toy Group, Rio Grande Kennel Club, Saluki Club of America, Southwest Coursing Club (NM), United States Sportsmen’s Alliance and Valencia Valley Kennel Club of New Mexico, Inc.

Best regards,
YOUR NAME
YOUR TOWN

HB 159 EXPAND CRUELTY TO ANIMALS – Senate Judiciary Letter

March 11, 2009

Following is our recommended letter to the New Mexico Senate Judicary Committee regarding the subject bill. You are welcome to copy and paste and customize it for your own email or use it for talking points when calling the Senators. Don’t forget to contact your own Senator. You can locate your Senator at http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/legislatorsearch.aspx

Senate Judiciary Committee Contact Information:
Senator Cisco McSorley : Chair : cisco.mcsorley@nmlegis.gov : 505-986-4485
Senator Richard C. Martinez : Vice-Chair : richard.martinez@nmlegis.gov : 505-986-4389
Senator Tim Eichenberg : Member : tim.eichenberg@nmlegis.gov : 505-986-4859
Senator Clinton D. Harden : Member : charden@theosogroup.com : 505-986-4369
Senator Linda M. Lopez : Member : 505-986-4737
Senator Sander Rue : Member : sanderrue@comcast.net : 505-986-4375
Senator John C. Ryan : Member : johnchrisryan@yahoo.com : 505-986-4373
Senator Bernadette M. Sanchez : Member : senb26@yahoo.com : 505-986-4267
Senator Michael S. Sanchez : Member : senatormssanchez@aol.com : 505-986-4727
Senator Peter Wirth : Member : peter.wirth@nmlegis.gov : 505-986-4276
Senator William H. Payne : Ranking Member : william.payne@nmlegis.gov : 505-986-4703

SUBJECT: HB 159 EXPAND CRUELTY TO ANIMALS – OPPOSE UNTIL AMENDED
EMAIL TO: cisco.mcsorley@nmlegis.gov; richard.martinez@nmlegis.gov; tim.eichenberg@nmlegis.gov;charden@theosogroup.com; sanderrue@comcast.net; johnchrisryan@yahoo.com; senb26@yahoo.com; senatormssanchez@aol.com; peter.wirth@nmlegis.gov; william.payne@nmlegis.gov

Dear Chairman and Members of the New Mexico Senate Judiciary Committee,

Many thanks for your service to our state!

I am writing because I am concerned about HB 159 Expand Cruelty To Animals, introduced by Representative Park. I am in support of Concerned New Mexico Animal Owners (CNMAO) position on the bill and oppose it until it is amended. Changes to existing law regarding the increased penalties and expansion of what is defined as cruelty to animals are generally good. However, I ask that the legislature address the issue of providing a framework for statewide interpretation of the exemption for “other commonly accepted activities not otherwise prohibited by law,” section H.(7). As worded, that exemption could easily result in inconsistent and overly constraining or broad interpretation throughout the state. Contrary to Special Counsel Suttle’s position, I do NOT believe this is an issue that should be left for the courts to have complete latitude to decide.

The state does have some problems with animal cruelty, but generally has a rich legacy of responsible animal use, some of which could be jeopardized by such nebulous language. I find Special Counsel Suttle’s position on section H.(7) to be inconsistent considering the “need” to define sustenance as food, water and shelter in section A.(6) and ignoring the other needs of animals (e.g., adequate space, exercise). And, the “need” to provide specific language regarding penalties for causing injury to an animal left in a car in section B.(5), which is actually an inadequate sustenance issue (i.e., inadequate shelter).

I understand Senator Clinton Harden has been approached to introduce an amendment that will address the noted concern. Consistent with CNMAO’s request, following is the amendment I respectfully request that you support for HB 159:

(H)The provisions of this section do not apply to:
(7) other commonly accepted activities not otherwise prohibited by law including husbandry, training and competition associated with use of animals in performance and working events or in activities including hunting, working, herding, guardianship, predator control and vermin control.

As I understand it, the specific items stated are NOT limiting language. When legislation states “including …” it is intended as examples (i.e. a framework) and not restricted exclusively to those activities.

It is my understanding the following additional organizations are in support of the above amendment: American Saluki Association, Coursing Conservancy (NM), National Animal Interest Alliance, New Mexico Council of Outfitters and Guides, New Mexico Houndsmen’s Association, New Mexico Toy Group, Rio Grande Kennel Club, Saluki Club of America, Southwest Coursing Club (NM), United States Sportsmen’s Alliance and Valencia Valley Kennel Club of New Mexico, Inc.

Also, CNMAO estimates state sales tax revenues generated by expenditures for the care of dogs alone is over $40 million annually. That estimate excludes sales tax revenues generated at a county/city level. On that basis, in future legislative sessions, I respectfully suggest the legislature take up the proactive cause of providing more support for low cost voluntary sterilization programs, education programs and temporary financial assistance to animal owners in need to reduce the necessity for reactive punitive measures.

For more information, CNMAO’s current position on all 48 animal interest bills of the 2009 New Mexico Legislative Session can be found in the NM Legislative Updates category of the CNMAO blog (https://cnmao.wordpress.com).

Best regards,
YOUR NAME
YOUR TOWN

Legislative Calendar Update – March 10, 2009

March 10, 2009

OK TO CROSSPOST JUDICIOUSLY! Don’t assume everyone will want to know about the 48 NM animal interest bills.

NOTICES
Refer to today’s legislative update for more information on a specific bill.

Passed House: HB11, HB68, HB143, HB159, HB204, HB265, HB434, HB456, HB593, HB594, HJM4, HJM15, HM49
Passed Senate: SB127, SB313, SB492, SB504, SB553, SM32, SM68
Passed House and Senate: HJM56, SJM43
Signed into law:
Vetoed:
Killed:

HOUSE VOTE : Wednesday, March 11, 10:30am
None

HOUSE TABLE
None

HOUSE TEMPORARY CALENDAR (i.e., Vote Following Work Day)
HB 667 DANGEROUS DOG DEFINITIONS & PROSECUTION

HOUSE BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY : Thursday, March 12, 1:30pm, Room 309
HB 467 AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES CONTROL

HOUSE JUDICIARY : Wednesday, March 11, 30 minutes after House floor session ends, Room 309
SB 127 CUSTODY & CARE OF MISTREATED ANIMALS

SENATE VOTE : Wednesday, March 11, 10:30am
SB 391 LANDOWNER TAKINGS OF CERTAIN ANIMALS
HJM 4 WILDLIFE CORRIDOR INFO SHARING

SENATE TABLE
SJM 42 DAY OF THE ROADRUNNER

SENATE TEMPORARY CALENDAR (i.e., Vote Following Work Day)
None