Legislature(2005 - 2006)BUTROVICH 205
04/05/2006 03:30 PM RESOURCES
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CSHB 380)(FIN)(Title am)-ANIMALS & ANIMAL OR AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS CHAIR WAGONER announced CSHB 380(FIN)(title am) to be up for consideration. 4:51:37 PM MICHAEL PAWLOWSKI, staff to Representative Kevin Meyer, said HB 380 addresses the state's ability to respond to emerging diseases. The dilemma arises because the statute was written prior to statehood when animals were limited to livestock or poultry. Thus the state veterinarian and the state don't have the authority to inspect, quarantine, or deal with animals that fall outside the definition of livestock. HB 380 repeals and reenacts the powers relating to the state veterinarian, updates the powers and defines animals and animal products. It will enable the state to respond in the event that Avian Influenza of another disease comes into Alaska in the animal population. 4:54:03 PM DR. GERLACH, State Veterinarian, Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), said HB 380 is important for controlling the spread of infectious disease because it's recognized that 70 percent of new diseases affecting human health come from animals. Such diseases affect animal health, food production, and human health as well as local and national economies so the impact can be widespread. Currently the State Veterinarian's authority is limited to control of certain types of diseases, but there is no single agency in Alaska that has authority to manage the different categories of animals that are capable of carrying diseases into the state that can severely threaten the state's animal resources as well as public health. 4:57:32 PM DR. LOUISA CASTRODALE, Division of Public Health, Department of Health and Social Services testified on behalf of the director, Dr. Richard Mandsager in full support of HB 380. CHAIR WAGONER closed the public hearing and asked the committee if there were questions or discussion. 4:58:10 PM SENATOR SEEKINS moved to adopt Amendment 1, labeled IA.1. 24-LS1469\IA.1 Bannister 9/25/06 A M E N D M E N T 1 OFFERED IN THE SENATE TO: CSHB 380(FIN)(title am) Page 2, line 28: Delete "and" Insert new paragraphs to read: "(3) enter into agreements with the federal government for controlling disease among animals and match federal payments for animals destroyed under those agreements from any appropriation available for this purpose; (4) pay an owner of an animal destroyed under this section an amount from any appropriation available for this purpose; and" Renumber the following paragraph accordingly. Page 7, line 23, following "03.45.060": Insert ", 03.45.070, 03.45.080" BEN STEVENS objected for discussion purposes. SENATOR SEEKINS explained that the amendment would enable DEC to work with the legislature and the federal government in the event of an emergency to ensure that the agricultural industry isn't decimated by a disease outbreak. It would also provide an updated vehicle for compensation to an owner of an animal that was destroyed to control the spread of disease if funds are made available for that purpose. Finally it inserts AS 03.45.070 and AS 03.45.080 in the repealer section. 5:01:50 PM SENATOR KIM ELTON asked if DEC suggested the amendment. SENATOR SEEKINS replied people in the farming industry in the Delta area who have dairy and beef cattle suggested the amendment. He believes the Farm Bureau and DEC support it. 5:02:36 PM SENATOR ELTON asked if this gives DEC and the legislature the authority to elect to indemnify an owner if the federal government orders an animal to be destroyed. SENATOR SEEKINS replied yes. The legislature would need to appropriate the money, but it would allow a federal funds match if the legislature so elected. It also broadens the scope and increases the flexibility in ways to use federal funds and work with new parameters as they may develop. Current statutes allow just dairy cattle. SENATOR STEVENS removed his objection. CHAIR WAGONER announced that without objection Amendment 1, labeled IA.1, was adopted. 5:04:52 PM SENATOR SEEKINS moved to report SCS CSHB 380(RES) from committee with individual recommendations and attached fiscal note(s). There was no objection and it was so ordered.