Virginia Legislation Could Fund Program with Tax on Pet Food

December 10, 2014

Senate Bill 698 would amend the Code of Virginia to create Section 3.2-6504.1 (“Companion Animal Surgical Sterilization Fund”) and Section 3.2-6504.2 (“Companion Animal Surgical Sterilization Program”).

The newly-created fund would reimburse participating veterinarians for the surgical sterilizations they perform on “eligible” cats or dogs.

The program would be funded by imposing upon every person in the Commonwealth engaged in business as a manufacturer, wholesaler, or distributor of pet food products an annual Companion Animal Surgical Sterilization Fund surcharge of $50 for each ton of pet food distributed.

A companion animal would be eligible for surgical sterilization at no or reduced cost to its owner if it is the companion animal of a low-income owner, a feral or free-roaming cat, or in the possession of an animal shelter, pound, other releasing agency, or nonprofit organization and has not been transferred from a jurisdiction outside Virginia into the Commonwealth.

SB 698 was pre-filed for the 2015 legislative session on Nov. 26. The bill will be considered by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation & Natural Resources after the Virginia General Assembly convenes on January 14, 2015.

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