New Mexico Legislature backs pet food fee for sterilizations

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Bills to expand dog and cat sterilizations across New Mexico by collecting a new annual fee from pet food manufacturers have cleared the New Mexico House and Senate.

The Senate voted 31-8 Friday in approval of a $100 fee on each registered label of pet food distributed in New Mexico. The fee would be phased in over the next three years, starting at $50. It was unclear whether the governor supports the measure.

Sen. Gay Kernan says the initiative is designed to reduce the number of unwanted pets that are euthanized and save related taxpayer dollars. It was unclear whether Gov. Susana Martinez supports the fee.

The $100 fee would raise an estimated $1.3 million annually. Legislative analysts say the financial impact on pet owners would be negligible.

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