HB1627 (2020) Detail

(New Title) creating an animal records database.


HB 1627-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE

 

19Feb2020... 0435h

2020 SESSION

20-2371

08/10

 

HOUSE BILL 1627-FN

 

AN ACT creating an animal records database.

 

SPONSORS: Rep. Bixby, Straf. 17; Sen. Bradley, Dist 3

 

COMMITTEE: Environment and Agriculture

 

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AMENDED ANALYSIS

 

This bill:

 

I.  Creates a database for animal health records.

 

II.  Authorizes the commissioner of the department of agriculture, markets, and foods to transfer money from certain funds.

 

III.  Establishes a fee on the submission of animal health certificates.

 

IV.  Establishes a fee on rabies vaccinations.

 

V.  Requires veterinarians to send a copy of the rabies vaccination certificate to the department of agriculture, markets, and food.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

19Feb2020... 0435h

20-2371

08/10

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty

 

AN ACT creating an animal records database.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  New Sections; Animal Records Database.  Amend RSA 437 by inserting after section 8 the following new sections:

437:8-a  Animal Records Database Established.

I.  The department of agriculture, markets, and food shall design, establish, and contract with a third party for the implementation and operation of an electronic system to facilitate the handling of animal records.  The department shall maintain a statewide database of all health certificates for any dog, cat, or ferret for which it is required; records of all rabies vaccinations; records of quarantine for any animal brought into New Hampshire for transfer under RSA 437:8, IV; any records required of pet vendors for the transfer of any animal that is not a dog, cat, or ferret; license information for pet vendors required to be licensed under RSA 437:3, and the number of individual and group licenses issued each year by each municipality in New Hampshire under RSA 466.

II.  Such database may also be used to record other data relevant to the oversight of pet animal health in the state as the commissioner deems necessary.

III.  The department shall maintain a reporting system capable of receiving electronically transmitted reports from veterinarians, pet vendors, animal shelters, and any other person the department requires by rule to submit animal records.  Authorized users shall be capable of working in offline mode when an Internet connection is not available.  The commissioner shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A to govern methods of obtaining, compiling, and maintaining such information it deems necessary to manage such database including procedures for providing authorized access by licensed veterinarians, municipal clerks, and other persons the commissioner requires to access to the database.  The commissioner shall also adopt rules pursuant to RSA 541-A relative to the collection of fees necessary to maintain the database.  The commissioner shall also ensure that the database is secure from unauthorized access or use.

IV.  There is established a nonlapsing fund to be known as the animal records database fund in the department of agriculture, markets, and food which shall be kept distinct and separate from all other funds.  All moneys in the animal records database fund shall be nonlapsing and continually appropriated to the commissioner for the purpose of administering and maintaining the animal records database established in this section.  When it is anticipated that there will not be sufficient funds in the animal records database fund to administer and maintain the animal records database, the commissioner is authorized to transfer funds from the agricultural product and scale testing fund established under RSA 435:20, IV and the pesticides control fund under RSA 430:34, V.

437:8-b  Confidentiality.

I.  Information contained in the database, information obtained from it, and information contained in the records of requests for information from the database, shall be confidential, and shall not be a public record or otherwise subject to disclosure under RSA 91-A, and shall not be subject to discovery, subpoena, or other means of legal compulsion for release.  Such information shall not be shared with an agency or institution, except as provided in this subdivision.

II.  The department shall establish and maintain procedures to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of animal and animal owner information.

III.  The department may use and release information and reports from the program for program analysis and evaluation, statistical analysis, public research, public policy, and educational purposes, provided that the data are aggregated or otherwise de-identified.

IV.  No database records, information, or lists shall be sold, rented, transferred, or otherwise made available in whole or in part, in any form or format, directly or indirectly, to another person.

V.  Database records, information, or lists may be made available pursuant to a court order on a case-by-case basis.  In a case of potential rabies exposure, rabies vaccination information may be made available in response to a request from the state, a political subdivision of the state, the federal government, or a law enforcement agency solely for use in official business.  Any information, record, or list received pursuant to this paragraph shall not be transferred or otherwise made available to any other person or listed entity not authorized under this paragraph.

VI.  Any person who knowingly accesses, alters, destroys, or discloses program information except as authorized in this subdivision or attempts to obtain such information by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or subterfuge shall be guilty of a class B felony.

2  Transfer Authorized.  The commissioner of the department of agriculture, markets, and food is authorized to transfer funds to and from the following funds in order to establish the animal records database:

I.  The agricultural product and scale testing fund established under RSA 435:20, IV.

II.  The pesticides control fund under RSA 430:34, V.

III.  The animal records database fund under RSA 437:8-a, IV.

3  Health Certificates; Fee.  Amend RSA 437:8 to read as follows:

437:8  Health Certificates for Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets.

I.  For purposes of this chapter, an official health certificate means [a certificate signed] an electronic record electronically submitted to the animal records database by a licensed veterinarian, containing the name and address of the entity transferring ownership of the dog, cat, or ferret, the age, gender, breed, microchip number, tattoo number, ear tag number, or physical description of the dog, cat, or ferret, and the certification of the veterinarian that the dog, cat, or ferret is free from evidence of communicable diseases or internal or external parasites.  A list of all vaccines and medication administered to the dog, cat, or ferret shall be included [on or attached to] in the certificate.  The signing veterinarian shall pay a fee not to exceed $2 for each official health certificate submitted to the department of agriculture, markets, and food in accordance with rules established by the department for the submission of the health certificates for the administration of the animal records database.

II.  The electronically submitted health certificate shall be considered the official health certificate.  A physical copy of the health certificate of [The original of the official health certificate accompanying] the dog, cat, or ferret offered for transfer by a licensee shall be kept on the premises where dogs, cats, and ferrets are displayed, and made available for inspection by the department, local officials, or a member of the public upon request up to one year after the animal has left the facility.  The public shall be informed of their right to inspect the health certificate for each dog, cat, or ferret by a sign prominently displayed in the area where dogs, cats, or ferrets are displayed.  Upon transfer of a dog, cat, or ferret, a physical copy of that animal's health certificate shall be given to the transferee in addition to any other documents which are customarily delivered to the transferee.  [The transferee may accept a dog, cat, or ferret that has a noncontagious illness, or feline leukemia virus or feline immunodeficiency virus, which has caused it to fail its examination by a licensed veterinarian for an official health certificate.  The transferee shall sign a waiver that indicates the transferee has knowledge of such dog, cat, or ferret's noncontagious medical condition and then submit such waiver to the licensee who shall send a copy to the state veterinarian.]  

II-a.  For purposes of this chapter, an official health certificate waiver means an electronic record electronically submitted to the animal records database provided in lieu of an official health certificate for a dog, cat, or ferret that has failed the examination for an official health certificate because of a non-contagious illness, feline leukemia, or feline immunodeficiency virus.  The waiver shall contain the name and address of the entity transferring ownership of the dog, cat, or ferret; the age, gender, breed, microchip number, tattoo number, ear tag number, or physical description of the dog, cat, or ferret; the reason for failure of the examination for the official health certificate; and the signature of the transferee indicating that the transferee has knowledge of the dog’s, cat’s, or ferret’s non-contagious medical condition.  A list of all vaccines and medication administered to the dog, cat, or ferret shall be included in the health certificate waiver.  The waiver shall be submitted electronically to the animal records database by a New Hampshire licensed veterinarian, a New Hampshire licensed pet vendor, or other person authorized to submit to the animal records database.  The person submitting the health certificate waiver shall pay a fee not to exceed $2 for each official health certificate waiver submitted to the department of agriculture, markets, and foods in accordance with rules established by the commissioner for the administration of the animal records database.  Payments shall be made electronically.

III.  No person, firm, corporation, or other entity shall ship or bring into the state of New Hampshire, to offer for transfer in the state of New Hampshire, any cat, dog, or ferret less than 8 weeks of age.  No person, firm, corporation, or other entity shall offer for transfer any cat, dog, or ferret less than 8 weeks of age.

IV.  Once a dog, cat, or ferret intended for transfer has entered the state, it shall be held at least 48 hours at a facility licensed under RSA 437 or at a facility operated by a licensed veterinarian separated from other animals on the premises before being offered for transfer.

V.  Animal shelter facilities, as defined in RSA 437:1, I, are exempt from the requirements of this section relative to transferring dogs, cats, and ferrets except that:

(a)  All animal shelter facilities shall have on premises a microchip scanner and shall maintain a file of recognized pet retrieval agencies, including but not limited to national tattoo or microchip registries.

(b)  Where an owner is not known, all animal shelter facilities shall inspect for tattoos, ear tags, or other permanent forms of positive identification and shall scan for a microchip upon admission of an unclaimed or abandoned animal as defined in RSA 437:18, IV and prior to transferring ownership of an unclaimed or abandoned animal.

VI.  No dog, cat, or ferret shall be offered for transfer by a licensee or by any individual without first being protected against infectious diseases using a vaccine approved by the state veterinarian.  [No dog, cat, or ferret shall be offered for transfer by a licensee or by any individual unless accompanied by an official health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian.  No transfer shall occur unless the transferred animal is accompanied by a health certificate issued within the prior 14 days.  The certificate shall be in triplicate, one copy of which shall be retained by the signing veterinarian, one copy of which shall be for the licensee's records, and one copy of which shall be given to the transferee upon transfer as provided in paragraph III.] No dog, cat, or ferret shall be offered for transfer by a licensee or by any individual unless accompanied by a physical copy of the official health certificate or official health certificate waiver issued by a licensed veterinarian within the prior 14 days.  No transfer shall occur unless the transferred animal is accompanied by a physical copy of the official health certificate or official health certificate waiver.  The official health certificate shall reside in the animal records database in a record which the issuing veterinarian and the licensee shall be authorized to access.  A physical copy, printed by the veterinarian or the licensee shall be provided to the transferee.  The transferor shall retain a physical copy for his or her records.  If an official health certificate is produced, it shall be prima facie evidence of transfer.  [The signing veterinarian shall provide a copy of the health certificate to the department of agriculture, markets, and food upon request.]

4  Duties of Veterinarian; Notification of Administration of Rabies Vaccine.  Amend RSA 436:102 to read as follows:

436:102  Duties of Veterinarian.  It shall be the duty of each veterinarian, at the time of vaccinating any dog, cat, or ferret, to complete a certificate of rabies vaccination [in triplicate] which includes the following information: owner's name and address, description of dog, cat, or ferret (breed, sex, markings, age, name), date of vaccination, rabies vaccination tag number, type of rabies vaccine administered, manufacturer's serial number of vaccine, and the expiration date of the vaccination.  [Distribution of copies of the certificate shall be: the original to the owner, one copy retained by the issuing veterinarian and, within 40 days of the vaccination, one copy to the town or city clerk where the dog, cat, or ferret is kept.  The veterinarian and the owner shall retain their copies for the interval between vaccinations specified in RSA 436:100.] The veterinarian shall enter the rabies vaccine certificate information electronically into the animal records database, and generate a physical copy for the owner, who shall retain that copy for the interval between vaccinations specified in RSA 436:100.  The department shall provide city and town clerks access to database records of vaccination for all dogs, cats, and ferrets within their jurisdiction.  A metal or durable plastic tag, serially numbered, shall be securely attached to the collar or harness of the dog.  Whenever the dog is out-of-doors, off the owner's premises, and not under the control of the owner or handler while working the dog, the collar or harness with the vaccination tag shall be worn.  For the purposes of this section, "working the dog" means a dog doing a defined functional canine activity with its owner or handler such as hunting, field work, drafting, and guarding, working, or herding livestock, as defined in RSA 21:34-a, II(a)(4), or participating in any lawful competitive event, including, but not limited to, conformation shows or obedience trials, field trials, agility events, hunts, sled races, or training activities pertinent to functional canine activities.  Cats and ferrets shall not be required to wear the collar or harness with the tag.

5  Cost; Rabies Vaccination Fee.  Amend RSA 436:103 to read as follows:

436:103  Cost.  The cost of rabies vaccination shall be paid by the owner of the dog, cat, or ferret.  A fee not to exceed $2 shall be included in the cost of such vaccinations and shall be submitted to the department of agriculture, markets, and food in accordance with rules established by the department for submission of the vaccination certificate required in RSA 436:102 for the administration of the animal records database.

6  New Subparagraph; Animal Records Database Fund.  Amend RSA 6:12, I(b) by inserting after subparagraph (358) the following new subparagraph:

(359)  Moneys deposited in the animal records database fund established in RSA 437:8-a, IV.

7  Applicability.  Sections 3-5 of this act shall take effect 90 days after the commissioner of the department of agriculture, markets, and food certifies to the director of the office of legislative services and the secretary of state that the animal records database established in RSA 437:8-a is completed and operational.  

8  Effective Date.  

I.  Sections 3-5 of this act shall take effect as provided in section 7 of this act.

II.  The remainder of this act shall take effect upon its passage.

 

LBAO

20-2371

Amended 2/26/20

 

HB 1627-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE (AMENDMENT #2020-0435h)

 

AN ACT creating an animal records database.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$325,000

   Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Indeterminable Increase

Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [ X ] Other - Agricultural product and scale testing fund, pesticides control fund and fee revenue

 

 

 

 

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill creates a database for animal health records and authorizes the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food to transfer money from the agricultural product and scale testing and pesticide control funds to establish the database.  The bill establishes a fee not to exceed $2 fee on animal health certificates, rabies vaccines and health certificate waivers, and requires veterinarians to submit the certificates electronically to the animal records database at Department of Agriculture, Markets and Foods.  The Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food makes the following assumptions regarding the fiscal impact of this bill:

  • Based on data available from the American Veterinary Medical Association regarding pet ownership, the Department estimates over 45,000 health certificates will be issued annually.
  • Regarding the annual rabies vaccine, the Department estimates 77,733 dogs and 110,400 cats are vaccinated each year, for a total of about 188,000 vaccines annually.  The Department assumes the fee for vaccines will be $1.25.
  • Based on the above, the Department estimates the annual revenue to the animal health records database from the new fees will be $325,000 (45,000 health certificates x $2, plus 188,000 rabies vaccines x $1.25)
  • A maximum of 2.5 existing full-time staff would be committed to this work.  Any work beyond those resources would not get done without additional resources.
  • Collection of all fees will be electronic, as part of the database functionality.
  • The Department assumes the intent is for electronic submission of all files directly into the database since there are no new positions included for data entry or record maintenance and there is no requirement for the Department to retain hard copy records.  
  • Dog licensing and animal control will remain local responsibilities and the submission of rabies vaccines to the health records database is intended to improve efficiency of the process by allowing town clerks to access the records for animals in their town.
  • Based on discussions with possible vendors, the database would cost between $675,000 and $1,000,000 for the initial purchase and $300,000 for annual maintenance. Due to the time required for a public RFP process, approvals of the Department of Information Technology, the Department of Justice, the Governor and Executive Council, and the actual development work, the Department assumes the earliest implementation could occur would be July 1, 2022.
  • Based on communications with the Division of Vital Records, the Department assumes a minimum of one full-time project manager with IT experience will be needed to oversee design and implementation of the animal health certificate database.

 

The bill also provides that any person who knowingly accesses, alters, destroys, or discloses program information except as authorized in this subdivision or attempts to obtain such information by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or subterfuge shall be guilty of a class B felony.  The Judicial Branch has no information on how many additional felony cases may be brought as a result of this bill, but the Branch does have cost estimates for various case types.  The estimated average cost to the Judicial Branch of a simple criminal case is $300 for fiscal year 2021 and $314 for fiscal year 2022.  The estimated average cost for a routine criminal felony case is $484 in fiscal year 2021 and $498 in fiscal year 2022.  These amounts do not include the cost of possible appeals.  It should be noted that average case cost estimates for FY 2021 and FY 2022 are based on data that is more than ten years old and does not reflect changes to the courts over that same period of time or the impact these changes may have on processing the various case types.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food and Judicial Branch

 

Links

HB1627 at GenCourtMobile
HB1627 Discussion

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Jan. 16, 2020 House Hearing
Feb. 4, 2020 House Exec Session
House Floor Vote
Feb. 19, 2020 House Floor Vote
March 5, 2020 House Hearing
March 17, 2020 House Exec Session

Bill Text Revisions

HB1627 Revision: 8173 Date: March 3, 2020, 9:39 a.m.
HB1627 Revision: 7270 Date: Dec. 9, 2019, 2:19 p.m.

Docket

Date Status
Jan. 8, 2020 Introduced 01/08/2020 and referred to Environment and Agriculture HJ 1 P. 29
Jan. 16, 2020 Public Hearing: 01/16/2020 10:30 am LOB 303
Jan. 30, 2020 Full Committee Work Session: 01/30/2020 10:00 am LOB 303
Feb. 4, 2020 Executive Session: 02/04/2020 10:00 am LOB 303
Feb. 19, 2020 Majority Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2020-0435h (NT) for 02/19/2020 (Vote 17-3; RC) HC 7 P. 19
Majority Committee Report: Ought to Pass with Amendment # 2020-0435h (Vote 17-3; RC)
Minority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate
Feb. 19, 2020 Amendment # 2020-0435h (NT): AA VV 02/19/2020
Feb. 19, 2020 Ought to Pass with Amendment 2020-0435h (NT): MA DV 249-106 02/19/2020
Feb. 19, 2020 Referred to Ways and Means 02/19/2020
March 5, 2020 Public Hearing: 03/05/2020 10:00 am LOB 202
March 5, 2020 ==TIME CHANGE== Full Committee Work Session: 03/05/2020 11:00 am LOB 202
March 9, 2020 Full Committee Work Session: 03/09/2020 10:00 am LOB 202
March 16, 2020 ==CANCELLED== Full Committee Work Session: 03/16/2020 10:00 am LOB 202
March 17, 2020 ==CANCELLED== Executive Session: 03/17/2020 01:30 pm LOB 202