Lawmakers have introduced a bill that would allow first responders to treat animals with first aid.
It is currently illegal for emergency workers to provide veterinary treatment to injured animals at crime scenes or vehicle crashes without a license. Under state law anyone caught treating an animal could be charged with a misdemeanor.
Lawmakers are attempting to change that by introducing HB 598, 1st Responder Veterinary Services. The new law would amend the the Veterinary Practice Act, allowing police, firefighters and EMS to give oxygen, administer basic first aid and perform CPR on dogs, cats and livestock at an emergency scene.
The executive director for the New Mexico Board of Veterinary Medicine is opposed to the bill, according to KOB4. The New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association are also reportedly refusing to support the bill on the grounds that it was never consulted before the legislation was written.
The House Judiciary Committee passed the bill last week. It has been referred to the Elections and Indian Affairs Committee for amendments before it moves forward. If the bill makes it into law, the Rio Grande Kennel Club will reportedly be providing animal care training to first responders across New Mexico.
BernCo: Gun Law Sanctuary
Bernalillo County Sheriff Manuel Gonzales told reporters he is taking part in the Second Amendment Sanctuary County movement over safety concerns for citizens.
In an interview last week with NRA-TV, Gonzales said he was joining a number of county officials in four states who are declaring themselves “sanctuaries” where gun laws will not be enforced. Those in the movement claim they are attempting to protect the constitutional right to bear arms.
“Our concern here in Bernalillo County is that we're facing a major crime crisis—maybe one of the most major in the whole country, so we don't want to see any types of laws that cause us more of an issue to protect the citizens of Bernalillo County.”
The Associated Press reports more than 20 county commissions out of 33 across the state have passed resolutions expressing support for law enforcement officials refusing to enforce gun legislation. Four bills attempting to make changes to the state's gun laws are currently advancing in the Legislature.
Gold King Spill Suit Moves Forward
A judge has denied a request to dismiss lawsuits brought against the federal Environmental Protection Agency by the state of New Mexico, the Navajo Nation and others concerning damages caused by the Gold King Mine spill.
According to a press release from the New Mexico Environment Department, the lawsuit is seeking more than $130 million in damages for lost income, taxes, fees and revenue sustained by agricultural and recreational operations in the state. The state also wishes to see the EPA “clean up pollution to its rivers caused by the blowout.”
New Mexico, Utah, the Navajo Nation and about 300 individuals filed the lawsuits, seeking more than $2 billion in damages. Those suits were consolidated. The suits were a response to the 2015 spill of three million gallons of wastewater from the Gold King Mine in Colorado. The spill was reportedly caused by EPA agents.