JUNEAU (AP) -- Animal control officers would be able to administer euthanasia drugs to some animals under a bill passed Monday in the House.
The bill changes a state law that requires a veterinarian to administer such drugs to humanely put an animal down.
Rep. Ken Lancaster, R-Soldotna, said some rural areas do not have immediate access to veterinarians and, because of the expense, harsher methods are often used. Lancaster said he introduced the bill at the request of animal control officers in his district.
The Matanuska-Susitna Borough spends $34,000 each year to retain a veterinarian to administer such drugs, Lancaster said.
''Not only would this bill make euthanasia more convenient and humane, it would also save municipalities a great deal of money,'' Lancaster said in a statement.
The bill allows the state Department of Community and Economic Development to license some animal control officers to administer such drugs.
House Bill 306 allows the state Department of Community and Economic Development to issue licenses to animal control officers who pass a euthanasia technician course.
The bill passed the House by a vote of 36-1. Rep. Scott Ogan, R-Palmer, voted against it. It now goes to the Senate for consideration.
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