Minnesota House File 1137, which is scheduled to be considered by the House Agriculture Finance and Policy Committee on Monday, March 1, seeks to modify the membership of the state’s Board of Animal Health.
The Board of Animal Health is empowered to quarantine domestic animals with contagious or infectious diseases, to regulate or prohibit the arrival of animals exposed to or infected with such diseases, or regulate or prohibit the importation of domestic animals that may injure the health of Minnesota livestock. Currently, the Board is comprised of five members appointed by the governor, three of whom are livestock producers and two who are practicing veterinarians licensed in Minnesota.
HF 1137 would expand the number of members to nine. Seven members would be regional members (with no two regional members residing in the same congressional district) and two would be at-large. The bill also requires that appointments to the board must achieve gender balance, and that members must be knowledgeable in animal agriculture, animal health, or pets and companion animals. Two members must represent the public and not be employed in agriculture, veterinary medicine, the pet industry, or a related field.
Under current law, the commissioners of agriculture, natural resources, and health, and the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and the director of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at the University of Minnesota are permitted to serve as non-voting consultants to the board. HF 1137 would require them to serve as consultants.
Instead of the board, the governor would have the power to appoint a Minnesota veterinarian to be the board’s Executive Director.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Interested parties are encouraged to contact the House Agriculture Finance and Policy Committee to share their opinions on HF 1137, before its remote hearing on Monday, March 1, 2021. Written testimony is encouraged and should be submitted by 9:00 AM, March 1, to ensure it will be posted on the committee website and provided to members in advance of the hearing. Please email email@example.com by 9:00 AM, Monday, March 1, 2021, with written testimony or if you would like to sign up to testify remotely (testimony may be limited to 2 minutes/person).
The remote hearing may be viewed via the House webcast schedule page: https://www.house.leg.state.mn.us/htv/schedule.asp.
For more information, contact AKC’s Government Relations Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.