Pet food fee advances in NM Senate

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Gypsum, a 1-year-old female, was among the cats awaiting adoption two weeks ago at the East Side shelter in Albuquerque.

SANTA FE — A bipartisan proposal to impose a fee on dog and cat food to help fund spay-neuter programs is off to a good start this session.

Senate Bill 51, sponsored by Republican Sen. Gay Kernan of Hobbs, cleared one committee Tuesday and now heads to Senate Finance, potentially its last stop before reaching the floor. Three Democrats in the state House are sponsoring duplicate legislation.

Kernan estimated that the proposed fee would cost the average pet-food-buying family a little over $2 a year, if the entire cost of the fee is passed onto consumers.

Supporters say the bill would raise about $1.4 million a year in new revenue to help fund efforts to fight the overpopulation of homeless pets.

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