(SACRAMENTO) – Today, Governor Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 1282, the California Pet Blood Bank Modernization Act, authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D – Santa Monica) and Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk (R - Santa Clarita), along with Assemblymembers Kevin Mullin (D – San Mateo), Devon Mathis (R – Visalia), and Chad Mayes (I – Yucca Valley). AB 1282 addresses both the shortage of animal blood for veterinary transfusion medicine and the obsolete, inhumane practice of requiring blood to come from captive “closed colony blood banks” in California.
AB 1282 authorizes California licensed veterinarians to operate community blood banks that will function much like voluntary human blood banks: dog owners will bring their pets to vetrinarians who will draw blood and store it for future use. California is the only state in the country that mandates animal blood to come from so-called “closed colony blood banks” that source blood from animals kept solely for the purpose of collecting their blood. These closed colony blood banks maintain animals in cages while their blood is routinely harvested over the course of several years.
“A three-year animal welfare reform effort will now be implemented. I am elated that we are finally on the verge of replacing a long-standing inhumane practice and with a model program that will ensure the proper treatment of animal blood donors in California.” said Assemblymember Bloom.
“This is a long overdue and needed reform for commercial animal blood banks,” said Senator Wilk. “I am glad to see this change - that will save pets’ lives - finally become law.”
“Thanks to Assemblymember Bloom’s leadership and the broad support of the state legislature, California is poised to showcase its ethical and humane treatment of animals by allowing community-based animal blood donations and freeing dogs who are held captive in cages,” said Shannon Keith, California attorney and president of Beagle Freedom Project. “Every other state in the U.S. allows this volunteer model, and it has proven not only successful, but efficient and a wonderful way to enhance the human-animal bond.”
“I am very excited to see California take this step,” said Dr. Jeannine Berger, a veterinarian and a senior vice president with the San Francisco SPCA. “Veterinarians regularly face a lack of lifesaving blood and blood products to respond to emergencies, leaving animals and families in deep – and avoidable – distress. With Governor Newsom’s signature on AB 1282, California will reduce the suffering of many animals and the people who love them.”
“Animals kept in closed colonies, which is currently the only source of animal blood, are housed in cages for up to 23 hours a day and deprived of companionship, stimulation, and exercise all for the purpose of being bled on a regular basis which is why these animals are rightly referred to as ‘blood slaves’,” said Judie Mancuso, Founder and CEO of Social Compassion in Legislation. “We thank Governor Newsom for bringing California into the 21st century by modernizing this antiquated and barbaric decades old law. We also thank the authors of the bill, Assemblymember Bloom and Senator Wilk, for making AB 1282 a priority and hanging in there until the finish line.”
Other supporters of AB 1282 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 GREY2K USA.
AB 1282 goes into effect on January 1, 2022.