IVMA taking action to ensure that nonprofits stick to charitable missions

Veterinarians in Idaho are taking action in the face of a perceived growing threat from nonprofit animal groups that might negatively impact their practices, according to the Idaho Statesman.

The Idaho Veterinary Medical Association (IVMA) held its annual meeting June 11-14, where 93 percent of attendees voted to pursue the creation of a law prohibiting nonprofit animal welfare groups from providing veterinary care to people who are not low-income citizens.

The IVMA originally chose to pursue legislation after the city of Boise approved the Idaho Humane Society's request to move to a new centrally located area. The new facility will be four times the size of the old one and is located within a mile of four animal hospitals, the Idaho Statesman reported.

According to Robert Pierce, DVM, IVMA board president, the humane society's move into a more populated area has some local veterinarians concerned for the welfare of their practices.

The IVMA said in a recently released statement that it does support the humane society's mission to help animals and low-income people - as long as the organization is not offering services to people who aren't truly low-income while benefiting from its ability to secure tax-free grants and donations, as well as pay no property taxes.

"The IVMA executive board and the membership feel that the special privileges afforded to nonprofit animal groups, through public tax subsidies, exist for very valid reasons but that there are constraints in the areas in which they operate. We all desperately need the nonprofit animal groups to remain focused on what they do best. This is why these groups were created and why the public subsidizes them. We support, and have always supported their charitable missions," the IVMA wrote in its statement.

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