PA 13-236—sHB 6591

Public Health Committee

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT REQUIRING THE EUTHANIZATION OF ANY CAT OR DOG TO BE PERFORMED BY A LICENSED VETERINARIAN IN CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES

SUMMARY: With certain exceptions, this act requires that the euthanization of dogs or cats be performed only by licensed veterinarians in a humane manner. The act subjects violators to up to a year in prison, up to a $1,000 fine, or both.

The act does not prohibit the killing of a cat or dog that is attacking a person or another animal if, under the circumstances, a reasonable person would consider the attack to threaten the life of, or likely cause serious injury to, the person or animal.

The act also does not apply to the euthanization of:

1. farm animals or livestock;

2. cats or dogs by law enforcement officers in the course of their duties;

3. dogs by hospitals, educational institutions, or laboratories licensed to use living dogs in medical or biological teaching, research, or study, in accordance with the law's requirements for such activities; and

4. animals in facilities subject to regulation by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare.

Presumably, the act also does not apply to the euthanization of dogs or cats by the Connecticut Humane Society. As one of its exceptions, the act refers to an existing provision which, among other things, provides that the euthanization of animals by the Connecticut Humane Society, in accordance with applicable state and federal drug laws, is not deemed to be the practice of veterinary medicine. (Other provisions of existing law allow Connecticut Humane Society agents or officers, even if they are not licensed veterinarians, to humanely destroy animals under certain conditions. )

Under the act, it is a defense to prosecution if a person euthanized a dog or cat to prevent the animal's further suffering from a life-threatening injury or condition.

EFFECTIVE DATE: Upon passage

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