California has eliminated the use of blood from confined dogs

California will eliminate the controversial use of blood from confined dogs to pets under a bill signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on Saturday.

Under the new law, veterinarians in the state will be able to operate canine blood banks similar to the voluntary model used for humans, which is expected to help increase the amount of life-saving supplies needed to cure injured or sick pets.

A national shortage of dog blood has left veterinarians revolting for limited supplies.

California currently requires that all animal blood purchased by veterinarians come from two private-owned companies that place hundreds of donor dogs at their facilities for the sole purpose of collecting their blood. . Animal rights groups have accused these facilities of mistreating donor dogs, but substantiating those claims is difficult because companies have extensive exceptions from public record laws, including stamping on their state inspection records.

Record exceptions will no longer exist under Assembly Bill 1282 beginning January 1. Under the bill, the phase-out of closed colony dog ​​donor facility will begin after the voluntary donation system meets veterinary needs, a timeline meant to ensure the transition does not exacerbate current shortages.

“This community’s blood banks for animals are similar to human models in that they collect blood from pets whose owners have voluntarily consented to the donation,” Assemblyman Richard said. Bloom (D-Santa Monica), the author of the bill, at a legislative hearing in July. “California is the only state in the country that requires animal blood to come from so-called closed colonies that keep hundreds of animals confined for years for the sole purpose of harvesting their blood.”

Newsom vetoed the bill in 2019 band state Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) who will allow dog owners to volunteer their pets to donate blood while continuing to allow two private companies with closed colonies to operate. At the time, Newsom said he wanted lawmakers to send him a bill that would end the use of dogs that have been “kept in cages for months and years to harvest sold blood.”

That approach is included in this year’s bill.

The bill requires the California Department of Food and Agriculture to eliminate the use of blood from captive dogs within 18 months to determine that community blood banks sell large amounts of dog blood to veterinarians as private companies with closed colonies. It is not clear when voluntary donations were higher than the volume of blood products coming from closed colonies.

Operators of two animal blood banks in California – Hemopet and Animal Blood Bank Resources International – say closed -colony blood banks ensure a consistent and safe blood supply with minimal exposure to pathogens and diseases.

The owner of Hemopet, which is in Garden Grove, previously said there are more than 200 greyhounds contained as blood donors at the facility. Greyhounds are usually chosen because of their overall obedient temperament and their “universal” blood type, which can be used to treat any breed.

Dixon -based Animal Blood Bank Resources, which disclosed little about its operations, is raising opposition to the bill, saying that when the captive colony’s operations are over, the “dog’s blood supply will be fall into a ravine. “

“We remain concerned that California pets and their owners don’t have the blood products they need after pulling the trigger,” company lobbyist Jeffrey Leacox said, at a hearing in July .

However, Dr. said. Jeannine Berger, a veterinarian and a former vice president of the San Francisco SPCA, said the bill signed by Newsom balances the needs of today’s pets with the needs of captured donor dogs.

“I’m excited to see California take this step,” Berger said in a statement after the law was passed by the Legislature. “Veterinarians are regularly faced with a shortage of stored blood and blood products to respond to emergencies, leaving animals and families in deep – and avoidable – distress. In Gov. Newsom’s signature on AB 1282, California will reduce the suffering of many animals and the people they love. “

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