Two bills (SB 5329 and HB 1406) were introduced Wednesday in Washington state that would impose a fee on petfood of $57.50 per ton to fund spay/neuter programs.
This fee would be unprecedented in both its size (the highest tonnage fee is $1 in Louisiana right now) and intended use (to fund spay/neuter programs rather than inspections).The bills would establish a companion animal spay/neuter assistance program within the Department of Agriculture.
The program would provide assistance to low-income residents as well as “caretakers of feral and free-roaming cats.” (Sec. 3(2)(b))
The bill requires that “each initial distributor or responsible buyer of petfood must pay to the department a companion animal spay/neuter fee on all petfood distributed by such person during the reporting period.” (Sec. 7 (2)(b))The digest on both bills asserts that “the program should be funded through a fee that is practical, administratively feasible, and targeted at the class of Washington residents that is most responsible for companion animals and their impact on our communities: Owners of cats and dogs.”
The Pet Food Institute is currently attempting to stop the bills' progress