Bill would increase fees to sell pet food in New Mexico | KOB 4
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Bill would increase fees to sell pet food in New Mexico

Joy Wang
January 08, 2018 06:28 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Every year, New Mexico spends millions of dollars on animal control. On top of that, thousands of pets are euthanized.

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A new bill hopes to lower costs and raise money for spay and neuter programs. It comes down to dog food and increasing the price manufacturers pay every year to raise money for spay and neuter programs.

State Rep. Carl Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, and his colleagues pre-filed a bill aimed to help New Mexico families pay for spays and neuters over the next five years.

Manufacturers currently pay a $2 registration fee every year for each type of pet food they sell in New Mexico. That number would likely go up to a $100 per year.

Trujillo said that probably wouldn't affect the average consumer, but opponents say it could hurt local businesses.

"There are definitely big issues with a lot of ... not only permits licensing but people who have unaltered animals," Roberto Holness at Wild Pet Food Plus said. "We would have to pass those prices on to consumers and that would make it obviously harder on competition.

"There are other ways to try and fix it, but this is not a very business friendly."

Trujillo said businesses making less than half a million would be exempt from the increase. The state makes $16,000 in registration fees and companies sell $110 million in cat and dog food. But Holness said a fee increase for manufacturers wouldn't address the systemic problem of owners refusing to spay or neuter their pets.

"I think there are a lot of programs in place that already help families in need," he said. "I think it would be one of the things that would help it would be to increase the awareness of those programs."

Trujillo said three other states -- Maine, Maryland, and West Virginia -- have passed similar legislation. He said after Maryland passed the legislation in 2013, the state’s shelters have seen a 43 percent reduction in cat euthanasia and 25 percent reduction in dog euthanasia.

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Joy Wang

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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