Enacts "Sir Henry's law" to require the informed consent of the owner of a companion animal prior to euthanizing such animal.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to informed consent of owners for euthanasia of a pet
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL:
This bill would require Owner informed consent prior to euthanasia of a companion animal.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Adds a new section 353-f to the agriculture and markets law regarding informed consent of owners for euthanasia of a pet. The new section includes the following provisions:
1) Veterinarian administering euthanasia procedure shall explain to companion animal owner in truthful and easy to understand manner: a. various methods of humane euthanasia b. benefits and risks of each method c. negative impacts on the animal of each method; and d. fully answer any questions the companion animal owner has with regard to euthanasia of the owner's pet
2) Prohibits euthanasia by means of intracardiac injection unless the animal is heavily sedated, anesthetized or comatose. However, allows for intracardiac injection on animals that are not heavily sedated, anesthetized or comatose only when intracardiac injection is the most humane option available.
3) Allows owners of a companion animal that is euthanized to remain with pet during entirety of euthanasia procedure.
4) Requires both the veterinarian and companion animal owner to sign a form acknowledging the provisions of the law have been fully complied with.
The loss of a beloved companion animal can be a traumatic experience for pet owners, particularly when circumstances force the pet owner to have a veterinarian.euthanize the animal. Full knowledge of the various humane euthanasia methods, effects of each euthanasia procedure on a companion animal, as well as having an opportunity to ask questions and receive answers from the veterinarian performing the procedure can help the owner get through-the traumatic experience.
The American Veterinarian Medical Association (AVMA) provides guidelines for the euthanasia of animals. In situations of euthanasia for companion animals the AVMA recommends that, "Owners should be fully informed about the process they are about to observe including the potential for excitation during anesthesia and other possible complications" (AVMA Guidelines for Euthanasia of Animals: 2013 Edition). However, since these are only guidelines, veterinarians are not required by law to follow them in order to ensure companion animal owners are fully informed about the euthanasia procedure.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law, with provisions.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6218 IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 8, 2014 ___________Introduced by Sen. SERRANO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Agriculture AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to informed consent of owners for euthanasia of a pet THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as "Sir Henry's law". S 2. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new section 353-f to read as follows: S 353-F. HUMANE EUTHANASIA OF COMPANION ANIMALS; OWNER INFORMED CONSENT. 1. PRIOR TO THE HUMANE EUTHANASIA OF A COMPANION ANIMAL WHICH IS NOT LOST, STRAYED, HOMELESS OR ABANDONED, THE VETERINARIAN, WHO WILL PERFORM SUCH PROCEDURE UPON THE ANIMAL, SHALL EXPLAIN TO THE COMPANION ANIMAL OWNER, WHO GRANTS CONSENT TO HAVING THE COMPANION ANIMAL EUTHAN- IZED, IN A TRUTHFUL AND EASY TO UNDERSTAND MANNER: (A) THE VARIOUS METHODS WHICH CAN BE UTILIZED TO HUMANELY EUTHANIZE THE COMPANION ANIMAL; (B) THE BENEFITS AND RISKS OF EACH SUCH METHOD; (C) THE NEGATIVE IMPACTS UPON THE ANIMAL OF EACH SUCH METHOD; (D) THE ALTERNATIVE METHOD OF HUMANE EUTHANASIA TO BE UTILIZED IF THE PREFERRED METHOD CANNOT BE HUMANELY UTILIZED, AND THE NEGATIVE IMPACTS AND RISKS OF THE ALTERNATIVE METHOD; AND (E) FULLY ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS THE COMPANION ANIMAL OWNER HAS WITH REGARD TO EUTHANIZING THE OWNER'S PET. 2. NO COMPANION ANIMAL WHICH IS NOT LOST, STRAYED, HOMELESS OR ABAN- DONED SHALL BE EUTHANIZED BY MEANS OF INTRACARDIAC INJECTION UNLESS THE ANIMAL IS HEAVILY SEDATED, ANESTHETIZED OR COMATOSE. HOWEVER, A LICENSED VETERINARIAN MAY PERFORM EUTHANASIA BY INTRACARDIAC INJECTION UPON ANIMALS THAT ARE NOT HEAVILY SEDATED, ANESTHETIZED OR COMATOSE ONLY WHEN SUCH LICENSED VETERINARIAN DETERMINES THAT SUCH INTRACARDIAC INJECTION IS THE MOST HUMANE OPTION AVAILABLE. WHENEVER A CARDIAC INJECTION IS ADMINISTERED BY A LICENSED VETERINARIAN UPON AN ANIMAL THAT IS NOT HEAV-EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD10023-03-3 S. 6218 2
ILY SEDATED, ANESTHETIZED OR COMATOSE, SUCH VETERINARIAN SHALL DOCUMENT, IN WRITING, THE ADMINISTRATION OF SUCH INJECTION AND THE REASON FOR ITS ADMINISTRATION. SUCH DOCUMENTATION SHALL BE RETAINED FOR AT LEAST THREE YEARS. 3. THE OWNER OF A COMPANION ANIMAL THAT IS HUMANELY EUTHANIZED SHALL BE ALLOWED TO REMAIN WITH HIS OR HER PET DURING THE ENTIRE PROCESS OF EUTHANASIA, INCLUDING WHEN DEATH IS CONFIRMED. 4. BOTH THE VETERINARIAN, WHO HUMANELY EUTHANIZES A COMPANION ANIMAL, AND THE OWNER OF SUCH ANIMAL SHALL SIGN A FORM, ESTABLISHED BY THE DEPARTMENT, STATING THAT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION HAVE BEEN FULLY COMPLIED WITH, THAT ALL HUMANE EUTHANASIA METHODS HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED AND EXPLAINED, AND ALL QUESTIONS RELATING TO THE EUTHANASIA PROCESS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED TO THE OWNER'S SATISFACTION. 5. THE DEPARTMENT MAY PROMULGATE ANY RULES AND REGULATIONS NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION. S 3. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law; provided, however, that, effective immediately, any actions necessary to implement the provisions of this act on its effective date are authorized and directed to be completed on or before such date.