Why NM Legislators Should Vote for SB 57
Summary: Sponsored by Senator Candelaria and Rep. Ferrary, SB 57 introduces a new solution for creating a sustainable stream of funding for desperately needed and affordable spay/neuter services for dogs and cats that would impact New Mexicans who cannot afford the cost of spaying/ neutering. The bill would enact a reasonable increase in the fee already paid by pet food manufacturers who sell dog and cat food and treat products registered to be sold in New Mexico, in-store and online. Large pet food manufacturers would pay $100/year after a 3-year phase-in for each product (added to their current $2 registration fee).
History: A New Mexico 2012 Senate-requested study showed that the solution to pet overpopulation is to invest significant dollars in statewide spay/neuter programs—and the best, most effective, equitable, and feasible funding source is a pet food manufacturer fee. This study identified a spay/neuter funding mechanism proven to work in Maine, Maryland, and West Virginia. Senate Bill 57 is the same measure that passed in 2018 as SB 367 with substantial bipartisan support in both the House and Senate but was vetoed by former Governor Martinez.
Why This Bill is Good for New Mexico
- It would decrease the number of shelter intakes (currently over 100,000 per year) and result in a decrease in euthanasia rates (currently over 20,000 per year).
- It would help solve New Mexico’s dog and cat overpopulation crisis by offering low-cost, affordable access to spay/neuter services.
- It would reduce the number of homeless animals and shelter pet euthanasia while having little to no impact on consumers, retailers, and the pet food industry. Large dog and cat food manufacturers would pay a small additional fee to sell their products in New Mexico.
- It would help New Mexico struggling families with pets while saving local tax dollars. Animal control and sheltering costs New Mexico communities more than $51 Million—and at least $38 Million of these costs are paid by taxpayer dollars every year.
- The fee is expected to generate $1.47 million per year at the completion of the 3-year phase-in, with $1.3 million going directly to spay/neuter services for communities in the state, especially benefiting rural and low-income areas.
- The revenue is expected to fund 18,000-26,000 dog and cat spay-neuter surgeries per year.
- Other states with this program have shown dramatic reductions in euthanasia, saving tax dollars on the tragic cycle of euthanasia and with no apparent impact on consumers, retail pet food shops, pet food availability, or prices.
Animal Protection of New Mexico (APNM), Animal Protection Voters (APV), NM Association of Counties, NM Veterinary Medical Association, NM Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, and animal shelters, rescue groups, law enforcement and animal control officers, county commissioners, mayors, and other local policymakers across the state.