SACRAMENTO – Today, the Senate Committee on Business, Professions and Economic Development passed AB 1282 with broad bipartisan support after unanimously passing the Senate Agriculture Committee earlier this month. Authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica), AB 1282 seeks to address both the shortage of animal blood for veterinary transfusion medicine and the obsolete, inhumane practice of captive closed colony canine blood banks in California by authorizing licensed veterinarians to operate community blood banks to produce and sell animal blood and blood products.
As of today, there are only two animal blood banks in California to serve the state in its entirety. Both of these blood banks confine their donor animals – including hundreds of greyhound dogs rescued from the misery of the racing industry – to live years in cages where their blood is routinely harvested. Recent investigations have raised serious questions about the health and welfare of these 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.”
Assemblymember Richard Bloom explained, “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. 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 solution for sourcing animal blood while also creating the necessary conditions to eventually phase out the captive closed colony canine blood banks. Additionally, AB 1282 addresses the Governor’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, San Diego Humane Society, San Francisco SPCA, and GREY2K, now heads to the Senate Committee on Appropriations.