The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

October 10, 2012

Protesters combat proposed neuter clinic closings

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A protest was held at a public hearing to combat the new rules being considered by a state board that could cause nonprofit spay and neuter animal clinics to close their doors.

Speakers said on Wednesday that the state is already struggling with a severe animal overpopulation problem, and shutting down the clinics would cause an animal explosion. Most of the speakers spoke against the proposed rules at the hearing, which was held by the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

The board expects to reconvene Wednesday afternoon.

If approved, the rules would prohibit non-veterinarians from hiring veterinarians and would prohibit non-veterinarians, including nonprofit groups, from owning veterinarian equipment.

The proposed rules indicate the board wants to make sure veterinarians are making all decisions that could affect animals.

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