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Spay and neuter clinic bill heads to Senate Health Committee

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If passed, the bill would cement protections for Alabama's four low-cost, non-profit spay and neuter clinics to operate. If passed, the bill would cement protections for Alabama's four low-cost, non-profit spay and neuter clinics to operate.
HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) -

A bill that further protects Alabama's non-profit spay and neuter clinics is on the agenda for the Senate Health Committee on Wednesday.

House Bill 188 passed in the state house but now faces a vote in the senate.

Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Jefferson), the bill's sponsor, said she hopes the senate lawmakers will vote on HB-188 by Thursday.

If passed, the bill would cement protections for Alabama's four low-cost, non-profit spay and neuter clinics to operate.

Staff at North Alabama Spay Neuter Clinic in Huntsville said HB-188 serves as a compromise between spay and neuter clinics and full service veterinarian businesses.

The clinic's veterinarian, Dr. Joy Baird, said the bill would enable veterinarians like herself to operate non-profit clinics and ensure the best care for pets.

"It allows me to practice the same amount of medicine as every other vet clinic. Basically, it states that a veterinarian has to be on the premises but they are allowed to choose whatever medicines, treatments; whatever they feel necessary to treat their patients," Dr. Baird said.

Last year, the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners proposed a set of rules that would have prevented non-profit spay and neuter clinics from hiring vets or owning their own equipment for the procedures.

Vets and staff at non-profit clinics throughout the state said the proposals would have ultimately shut them down.

The proposals were rejected in October after protests and public hearings in Montgomery.

Todd said HB-188 also clarifies standards required for quality of care at non-profit spay-neuter clinics. She said it would also officially put these requirements in statute.

A separate bill, Senate Bill 25, sponsored by Sen. Paul Bussman (R-Cullman), also lays out standards for non-profit spay-neuter clinics.

Todd said SB-25 and would not allow non-profit clinics to administer rabies vaccines and would not permit pets to stay at non-profit spay-neuter clinics longer than 36 hours.

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