STAND. COM. REP. NO. 120-20
RE: H.B. No. 2528
Honorable Scott K. Saiki
Speaker, House of Representatives
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Agriculture, to which was referred H.B. No. 2528 entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO VETERINARIANS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
(1) Limit the civil liability of a licensed veterinarian who renders care to a sick or injured animal in an emergency or outside of a veterinarian-client-patient relationship;
(2) Require a veterinarian to make an appropriate record of the circumstances that would limit the veterinarian's liability; and
(3) Require a veterinarian to report to appropriate county law enforcement authorities, where there is reasonable belief, that animals were injured or killed in a staged animal fight or an animal under the care of the veterinarian is believed to be a victim of animal abuse or cruelty.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association, Hawaiian Humane Society, Animal Welfare Institute, and four individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Hawaii Cattlemen's Council and one individual. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Hawaii Board of Veterinary Medicine.
Your Committee believes that this measure will encourage veterinarians to provide care to injured or sick animals in situations where a clear veterinarian-client-patient relationship may be lacking, without fear of civil liability if in the absence of the veterinarian's gross negligence or wanton acts or omissions. Your Committee finds that this measure, through its reporting requirements, will also serve as a means to curtail staged animal fights and animal abuse and cruelty and relieve veterinarians of the responsibility of judgment regarding client confidentiality and animal protection.
Your Committee has amended this measure by changing its effective date to July 1, 2150, to encourage further discussion.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2528, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2528, H.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture,
RICHARD P. CREAGAN, Chair