President of Bikini Beach Cat Rescue
There was extensive discussion on March 20th with the SCAV (SC Association of Veterinarians) and representatives from the animal community about H Bill 3492. The primary issues that seem to be of the greatest concern as stated during the meeting by the private vets and the Representatives are: Subsidizing cost of medical care for pets that belong to affluent people; cutting into the revenue stream for private veterinarians and offering medical care to animals after their adoption.
The opposing groups made it very clear that they have no intentions of compromising on this aspect of the Bill, and will never sacrifice the care of a privately owned animal or a homeless pet in order to protect the profits of private veterinarians.
This Bill will limit access to care for thousands of pet owners in South Carolina and create additional regulations that are not necessary since laws already exist to address most of the concerns expressed by the SCAV.
Representative Hiott and Representative Finlay are encouraging a compromise. If you speak with one of the Representatives, they will tell you we had a very productive meeting. However, the core aspect of the Bill, limiting competing services with for profit veterinarians, was not even discussed.
We have suggested that the private veterinarians lower their fees or create a better marketing strategy for capturing the market share that they so desire to have.
These are a few more of our concerns:
•It is not the State’s responsibility to protect the profits of private veterinarians
•Neither the State nor SCAV should define the mission or role of a animal organization or a not for profit.
•The State should not mandate how local tax dollars are spent on local issues.
•Placing limitations on revenue generating services for animal organizations that are not for profits yet those limitations do not exist for other not for profits.
If you have not already done so, we urge you to contact members of the House and Senate to voice your opposition. Please go to http://www.scstatehouse.gov/member.php?chamber=H to find your Senator or Representative.
This Bill is scheduled to be brought up again in January 2014. Please sign to protect the animals and the rescue groups in South Carolina.