Honolulu, Hawaii


RE: S.B. No. 2512

S.D. 1




Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi

President of the Senate

Thirtieth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2020

State of Hawaii




Your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health, to which was referred S.B. No. 2512 entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


The purpose and intent of this measure is to:


(1) Prohibit the owner of an animal, and the owner's employees, from performing any surgical procedure, including but not limited to surgical birth, ear cropping, tail docking, and debarking on the animal without being licensed as a veterinarian;


(2) Make intentionally or knowingly performing any surgical procedure on a pet animal by any person not licensed as a veterinarian guilty of a class C felony; and


(3) Specify that accepted veterinary practices and cropping or docking as customarily practiced, shall not be considered cruelty to animals in the first degree if performed by a licensed veterinarian.


Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Board of Veterinary Medicine, Maui Humane Society, Hawaiian Humane Society, Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association, Animal Rights Hawaii, Animal Welfare Institute, Poi Dogs and Popoki, and twenty individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the American Kennel Club, Pacific Pet Alliance, and two individuals. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Hawaii Cattlemen's Council and one individual.


Your Committee finds that there are serious dangers and health risks to animals when certain surgical procedures, like ear cropping or caesarian sections, are performed by individuals who have not received appropriate education and training. Veterinarians are often called upon to treat serious problems caused by these "backyard procedures" and many veterinarians feel obligated to help treat and heal animals that have been victimized by these procedures. However, some veterinarians often feel that by fixing these complications, they are unintentionally enabling the continued inappropriate practice of surgery by non-veterinarians. This measure imposes criminal penalties for non-licensed veterinarians who perform certain surgical procedures and helps to protect animals from harm and suffering that often results from such procedures being performed at substandard levels.


Your Committee has amended this measure by making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of clarity and consistency.


As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2512, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2512, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Judiciary.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health,