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The Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development on July 14 passed AB 1282, which seeks to address both the shortage of animal blood for veterinary transfusion medicine and the practice of captive closed colony canine blood banks in California.
Authored by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), AB 1282 would authorize licensed veterinarians to operate community blood banks to produce and sell animal blood and blood products.
Only two animal blood banks in California currently serve the state in its entirety. Both confine their donor animals – including hundreds of greyhound dogs rescued from the racing industry – to live years in cages where their blood is routinely harvested.
Recent investigations have raised questions about the health and welfare of the animals while the demand for animal blood for dogs and cats outstrips the supply. Currently, voluntary community-based blood banking isn’t allowed in California, and it is the only state in the country that requires animal blood to come from so-called “closed colony blood banks.”
“The ‘closed colony’ model sources blood from animals that are kept in inhumane conditions for the sole purpose of having their blood collected over and over again,” Bloom said. “That’s why AB 1282 is so needed; it authorizes California licensed veterinarians to operate humane community blood banks to produce and sell or transfer animal blood and blood products.”
At its core, AB 1282 lays the groundwork for establishing volunteer-based solutions for sourcing animal blood while also creating the necessary conditions to eventually phase out the captive closed colony canine blood banks altogether.
Additionally, AB 1282 addresses Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2019 veto of SB 202 by providing a transition away from the use of captive closed colony canine blood banks in California – only phasing them out once the amount of dog blood community banks sell equals or exceeds the amount the closed colonies sell for a period of four consecutive quarters.
AB 1282, which is widely supported by groups such as Beagle Freedom Project, Social Compassion in Legislation, United States Humane Society, ASPCA and GREY2K, now heads to the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
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