The 2023 state legislative session is over! Here’s an overview of what was accomplished in the Legislature this year for New Mexico’s animals (but still needs the Governor’s signature to become law).
POLICY BILLS PASSED!
SB 215 will make it a fourth-degree felony to commit bestiality; coerce or solicit someone else to commit bestiality; or sell, buy, offer or possess an animal for the purpose of bestiality. It will upgrade the violation to a third-degree felony if done in the presence of a child or involving a child as a participant. Those convicted of these crimes won’t be able to live or work around animals for a period of time and may be ordered to undergo mental health treatment or pay for the cost of caring for animals harmed by their crime.
SB 271 will codify in state law a process where all abused and abandoned horses, donkeys & mules—in the custody of the Livestock Board or law enforcement, or seized after a cruelty conviction—can first be saved by registered equine rescues before having their lives put at risk by being sent to auction. The bill will also simplify the reference to domestic “horses, asses, and mules” in state law as the term “equines.”
HB 184 would change the appointment process and membership qualifications of the State Game Commission, the Governor-appointed body that creates regulations regarding wildlife management. The bill seeks to create a less politically volatile, more equitable Commission in order to better ensure wildlife management decisions rooted in science and diverse input (including at least one Commission member dedicated to conservation of ‘non-game’ wildlife species that aren’t hunted).
HB 384 would, among other things, provide for expedited licensure for veterinarians, thereby potentially increasing the number of veterinarians practicing in New Mexico, providing medical care to our state’s animals.
SB 72 creates a new fund managed by the NM Department of Transportation for wildlife studies, construction, and management of safe road crossings for wildlife.
- More than $3.2 Million in funding for construction and improvements on animal shelters in Albuquerque, Estancia, Gallup, Santa Fe, and Truth or Consequences.
- $150,000 to the Children, Youth & Families Dept. for contract services to help domestic violence survivors and their companion animals (like APNM’s CARE Program Services)
- $250,000 to the NM Livestock Board for the Equine Shelter Rescue Fund to assist state-registered equine shelters
- $75,000 to the NM Livestock Board for rulemaking & administration regarding free-roaming horses
- $100,000 to the Cultural Affairs Department for contract services for wildlife rehabilitation in northern New Mexico
- $300,000 to the Albuquerque Westside animal shelter for a paid internship program for Atrisco Heritage high school students
- $75,000 to the Albuquerque Westside animal shelter for daily operations
- $350,000 for renovation, repairs, fencing and security to benefit the Clovis and Eunice animal shelters
Even though the legislative session is over, there are still important actions you can take to support the progress that we’ve made together and that we can make in the future.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
We at APV are grateful for ALL that you do to help animals in New Mexico. This year’s successes would not have been possible without your determination, advocacy, and continued support. Thank you!