Victory in Alabama!

Advocates defeat veterinary association's attempt to close low-cost spay/neuter clinics

October 12, 2012

More than 200 animal advocates from every part of Alabama were in Montgomery on October 10 when the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (ASBVME) voted down its own proposed Rule No. 930-X-1-.39. The measure, which would have made it illegal for licensed veterinarians to work for non-veterinarian-owned organizations, would have forced the closure of the state's four low-cost s/n clinics.

ASBVME, along with the Alabama Veterinary Practice Owners Association (ALVPOA) has been taking aim at low-cost s/n clinics for more than a year. Why? Both groups - comprised of vets whose priority should be the well-being of animals - view such providers as unfair competition. In reality the clinics almost exclusively serve at-risk animals with no other access to s/n care, including feral cats and pets belonging to low-income families. Loss of the clinics would have had a devastating effect on the numbers of homeless and unwanted animals in Alabama.

The grassroots group Alabama Voters for Responsible Animal Legislation (AVRAL) spearheaded the fight to save the state's low-cost clinics. Had ASBVME voted in favor of its proposed ruling, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was also prepared to launch an investigation. Senator Bill Holtzclaw, joined by other members of the Alabama Senate, had written to ASBVME, asking that no action be taken until the next legisative session in February could review the matter, and propose a bill amenable to all. Advocates in attendance at the 10/10 vote spoke passionately in defense of the countless animals who would be irrevocably harmed by the measure.  In the end, Lu Moseley, a board member for Saving Animals Volunteer Effort (SAVE), another grassroots group, summed up the prevailing sentiment: "This is a good, good day for people in Alabama who care about animals". 

Read coverage of the October 10, 2012 vote in The Anniston Star.

View additional info on AVRAL's Facebook page.

To read the letter opposing Rule 930-X-1-.39 from Senators Holtzclaw, Marsh, Ward, Blackwell and Fielding, click here.