New Mexico Lawmakers Consider Pet Food Tax For Spay and Neuter Program

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
Lawmakers in New Mexico just endorsed a $100 fee to brand-name pet food manufacturers in an effort to help pay for spay and neutering costs for dogs and cats.

It’s no secret that spay and neuter programs help the problem of pet overpopulation. In a day and age where on feral cat colonies are anywhere between two and fifteen cats, when you multiply that number with being un-neutered or spayed, it’s easy to see how fast the problem grows.

Related: 5 Awesome Spay and Neuter Feral Cat Programs

So lawmakers look for innovative ways to help. In an effort to prevent the need for euthanasia because of overpopulation, programs are created to fund spay and neuter costs–through community groups and legislation.

Such is the case in Sante Fe, New Mexico, where lawmakers are supporting a proposal that would help fund dog and cat sterilizations by imposing an annual fee on pet food manufacturers that retail in their state.

New Mexico lawmakers unanimously endorsed the proposal, which would impose a $100 fee on the parent company of each name brand of pet food distributed in New Mexico.

Currently, over 13,000 pet food and treat labels are registered with state offices in New Mexico. The fee could make a tremendous difference in the ability to spay and neuter dogs, and in turn, reduce the number of pets euthanized each year. It is estimated that 55,000 dogs and cats were put down in 2011 simply because they were unable to find forever homes.

Related: Scientists Propose New Non-Invasive Spay and Neuter Procedure

Some suggest the fees would be given to consumers, but lawmakers and analysts say that $100 is a drop in the bucket for pet food manufacturers, but when combined, a big difference maker to homeless animals.

New Mexico follows the suit of states like Maine and Maryland, who have also imposed surcharges or fees on pet food suppliers to help pay for state spay and neuter programs.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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