SB 0511 Revises the Animal Care Facilities Act
LR Number:1783S.05I Fiscal Note:1783-05
Committee:Pensions and General Laws
Last Action:03/28/01 - SCS Voted Do Pass S Pensions & General Laws Journal page:
Committee (1783S.12C)
Effective Date:August 28, 2001
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Current Bill Summary

SCS/SB 511 - This act substantially revises the Animal Care Facilities Act (ACFA).

LICENSURE REQUIREMENTS AND FEES - Animal distributor premises, auctions, and intermediate handlers are added to the list of facilities required to be licensed. Any premises where activities required to be licensed take place and the names of all owners must be shown on the application. Any ownership change will require an application for a new license. The fees for licensure are changed to $100 per year plus a $1 per capita fee. Fees for new facilities will be determined based on the capacity of the facility 6 months after the license is issued and will be due at that time. Pounds and animal shelters will not be subject to these fees. (Section 273.327)

DISCIPLINARY PROCEEDINGS INVOLVING A LICENSEE - The licensing authority may refuse to issue or renew or may revoke a license on certain grounds. Licenses shall be revoked when the licensee has been convicted of a violation of law involving mistreatment, cruelty, neglect or abuse of animals or is fined by the USDA. If a license is affected due to a fine by the USDA the licensee may request an administrative hearing. If a license is revoked, denied or not renewed the licensing authority must inspect the facility within 90 days after the action to determine if activities have ceased. (Section 273.329)

INSPECTIONS - Additional inspections are required upon the filing of a complaint unless there are at least 2 or more documented instances of unsubstantiated complaints. No notice is necessary for inspection or re-inspection. The licensing authority must inspect facilities at least once every 12 month period and 1/4 of the facilities will be re-inspected. Persons who perform inspections must meet certain requirements and the training must be completed within the first 12 months of employment. The licensing authority is given authority to promulgate rules for uniform and consistent inspections. If a memorandum of understanding is entered with the USDA to ensure thorough and efficient inspections, the licensing authority will retain primary enforcement responsibility. ACFA compliance officials are required to report any violations discovered. Records of violations will be created and a copy will be provided to the facility and political subdivision in the case of a publicly owned pound or shelter. The licensing authority will promulgate rules to track reporting, monitor repeat violations and increase inspections for repeat violations. (Section 273.331)

CONFLICTS OF INTEREST - Conflicts of interest and how they are handled are addressed. (Section 273.332)

ENFORCEMENT - Inspections will be mandatory upon complaint except in instances of at least 2 documented unsubstantiated complaints. If there is a substantial risk to animals the licensing authority shall immediately suspend a license and direct remedial action for animals. Under certain circumstances the animals may be taken into custody. ACFA compliance officers have a mandatory duty to report animal abuse or neglect of adult dogs and cats. Failure to report will be a Class A misdemeanor and may subject the employee to suspension or dismissal. However intentional failure to report shall subject the employee to suspension or dismissal. The licensing authority shall publish a listing of enforcement activity. A $100 reinspection fee will be charged for facilities which fail two consecutive reinspections. Animal shelters will also be subject to reinspection fees. (Sections 273.333 - 273.338)

PROHIBITED ACTS - The element of knowingly was added to the penalty for a person who purchases animals from someone whose license is suspended or revoked. A person who intentionally provides false information on a registration form will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor. (Sections 273.340 - 273.342)

MISCELLANEOUS - The licensing authority will establish additional standards for health and veterinary care. Facilities with infectious animals must be reported to the Department of Health. An infectious disease which is dangerous or communicable will be determined by the licensing authority by rule. (Sections 273.334 - 273.348)

ADVISORY COMMITTEE - Appointments to the advisory committee are made by the Governor with advice and consent of the Senate. The members will serve 3 year terms with a maximum of two consecutive complete terms. The committee will meet quarterly. The committee is reduced to eleven members. The Animal Care Reserve Fund may accept gifts, grants, etc. Moneys in the fund shall be invested and income retained in the fund. (Sections 273.352 - 273.357)