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SB 1959 would create a new category of peace officer in Texas; veterinary police. This bill would add to the already lengthy list of different types of peace officers under the Occupations Code "officers commissioned by the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners".
The bill goes on to provide that "An employee commissioned as a peace officer under this chapter has the powers, privileges, and immunities of a peace officer while carrying out duties as a peace officer under this chapter."
The Occupations Code already lists 35 different types of peace officer in Texas, many of whom are already fully empowered to enforce the laws that would ostensibly be enforced by the new veterinary peace officer that this legislation would authorize. Texas does not need a new animal police unit to enforce laws already enforceable by existing police. Also, it is ill-advised to allow the board of veterinary medical examiners to commission peace officers who have the "powers, privileges, and immunities" of other peace officers in the state.
This bill would violate our limited government principle, therefore we oppose SB 1959.