Veterinarian group won’t fight nonprofit clinic

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The Idaho Veterinary Medical Association won’t put its backing behind proposed legislation that would limit the kind of veterinary care offered by the Idaho Human Society’s hospital.

The Idaho Statesman (http://bit.ly/1jnL0F1) reports that the industry group voted last month on whether the organization would support the campaign for a new state law, but only half of the 409 members voted, and of those, only a slim majority of members were in favor of the new law. The group’s bylaws require a vote of 80 percent of members to take action.

Some veterinarians in the Boise region fear the Idaho Humane Society’s planned hospital expansion would hurt their business by offering more affordable services than the for-profit clinics nearby.

In November, a group of veterinarians said it would pursue a new law to limit the Boise shelter’s hospital services. Vicki Smith, the veterinary association’s executive director, said she was unsure if the private veterinarians would continue to pursue legislation without the backing of the industry group.

Though other states have considered such legislation, only Washington has actually passed a law restricting the veterinary care provided to animals at nonprofit shelters across the state.

The Washington law is extremely restrictive, limiting animal welfare agencies and groups to performing only a few services — electronic identification, surgical sterilization, vaccinations and some emergency care — for pets in low-income households.

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Information from: Idaho Statesman, http://www.idahostatesman.com

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