The California Senate has approved Assembly Bill 1282, the California Pet Blood Bank Modernization Act, written by Rep. Richard Bloom (D – Santa Monica) and Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk (R – Santa Clarita) , along with Congregation members Kevin Mullin (D – San Mateo), Devon Mathis (R – Visalia), and Chad Mayes (I – Yucca Valley). AB 1282 seeks to address both the shortage of animal blood for veterinary transfusion medicine and the outdated, inhumane practice of soliciting blood from captive colonies in California.
AB 1282 authorizes California licensed veterinarians to operate blood banks in the community to manufacture, sell or transfer animal blood and blood products.
Currently, voluntary blood banks are not allowed in the California community. Instead, California is the only state in the country that requires animal blood to come from what are known as “closed colony blood banks,” which obtain blood from animals kept, housed, or kept in a facility for blood collection purposes. These closed colony blood banks require hundreds of animals to remain in cages for years while their blood is routinely drawn, with the demand for animal blood increasing.
“This was a three year reform of animal welfare policy that is now only one step away from implementation. I am pleased that we are finally on the verge of replacing a longstanding inhumane practice and ensuring the safe treatment of animal blood donors in California with a model program, ”said Congregation Member Bloom. “I am optimistic that Governor Newsom AB 1282 will soon be signing.”
“As they say, the third time is a spell. This is a long overdue and necessary reform for commercial animal blood banks, ”said Senator Wilk. “I’m excited to see this change – one that will save pets’ lives – finally become law.”
Supporters praised today’s 37-1 preliminary vote, which AB 1282 is sending back to the congregation for one final approval vote before going to Governor Newsom’s desk.
“With the leadership of Assemblymember Bloom and the broad support of the state legislature, California stands ready to demonstrate its ethical and humane treatment of animals by allowing community-based animal blood donation and releasing caged dogs,” said Shannon Keith , California attorney and President of the Beagle Freedom Project. “Every other state in the US allows this volunteer model, and it has proven not only successful, but also efficient and wonderful at strengthening the human-animal relationship.”
“I am very excited that California is taking this step,” said Dr. Jeannine Berger, veterinarian and senior vice president of the San Francisco SPCA. “Veterinarians regularly face shortages of life-saving blood and blood products to respond to emergencies, leaving animals and families in deep – and preventable – need. With Governor Newsom’s signature on AB 1282, California will reduce the suffering of many animals and the people they love. “
“After working three years to open community blood banks to animals and to end the warehousing of caged dog blood slaves in the state of California, we are delighted that the Senate voted today to pass this bill,” said Judie Mancuso, Founder and President of Social Compassion in Legislation. “We thank Rep. Bloom and Senator Wilk for their tireless guidance on this matter and look forward to Governor Newsom signing this and opening new business in our state while treating animals humanely.”
Other AB 1282 supporters include the California Veterinary Medical Board, the California Animal Welfare Association, Best Friends Animal Society, San Diego Humane Society, ASPCA, Valley Humane Society, Cruelty Free International, Animal Legal Defense Fund, In Defense of Animals, Project Minnie , and GRAY2K USA.
Submitted by Melissa Kaufler, Bloom’s office