STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3265
RE: S.B. No. 2985
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Judiciary, to which was referred S.B. No. 2985, S.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO VETERINARIANS,"
begs leave to report as follows:
(1) Provide immunity from civil liability, in the absence of gross negligence, to veterinarians who provide emergency care to an animal;
(2) Provide immunity from civil liability, in the absence of gross negligence, to veterinarians who render emergency treatment when there is no veterinarian-client-patient relationship; and
(3) Require veterinarians to report to law enforcement events of animal injury, death, or abuse where there is reasonable cause to believe that it relates to dog fighting or animal abuse and give veterinarians immunity from civil liability for making the required report.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the Hawaii Board of Veterinary Medicine, Hawaiian Humane Society, Animal Welfare Institute, Hawaii Veterinary Medical Association, Animal Interfaith Alliance, and ten individuals.
Your Committee finds that veterinarians should be permitted to use their skills and expertise to render emergency aid to animals without the fear of civil liability, provided that the aid is rendered in good faith and absent gross negligence. Your Committee further finds that this measure provides appropriate civil immunity to veterinarians while ensuring the protection of animal health and welfare.
Your Committee further finds that a veterinarian should be required to report suspected animal abuse and that they should have civil immunity from making such a report.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Judiciary that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2985, S.D. 1, and recommends that it pass Third Reading.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Judiciary,
KARL RHOADS, Chair