California Senate Committee to Hear Amended Spay-Neuter Bill

Opponents still concerned about government intrusion into pet health decisions.

Posted: July 11, 2007, 5 a.m. EST

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The California Senate’s local government committee is scheduled to hear an amended version of California Assembly Bill 1634 on July 11 at 8 a.m. Opponents contend the revised bill remains intrusive, as both supporters and opponents of the bill attempt to muster support for or against the legislation.

The bill, which would essentially mandate the spaying or neutering of most dogs and cats in the state, was introduced in an effort to reduce the number of unwanted animals that are abandoned and euthanized in the state.

The amended bill raises the age of mandatory sterilization from 4 months to 6 months or 9 months with a letter from a licensed veterinarian that a specific cat or dog should not be sterilized before 9 months. A second letter from the veterinarian issued within 30 days of the animal turning 9 months old could delay the procedure until the animal turned 12 months old.

The previous version of the bill allowed a 75-day waiting period after the 4-month mark for delaying the procedure for health reasons.

The new version also adds a clause stating that veterinarians were neither obligated to enforce the mandatory spay-neuter law, nor would they be required to report non-compliant pet owners to authorities. Despite that, the California Veterinary Medical Association quietly withdrew its support of the legislation in a letter to author Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, according to the San Diego Union Tribune, because its members were divided on the bill’s merits.

Among other changes is a provision that would allow, until 2012, local jurisdictions to issue a permit, and charge a permit fee, to allow one male and one female dog per household to remain intact for producing a single litter of dogs. This provision does not apply to cat owners.

This provision would be automatically repealed on Jan. 1, 2012, unless future legislation extends it. Local jurisdictions also could decide not to issue any such permits.

In addition, in order for a dog owner to qualify for the “intact” permit, the dog owner must maintain records on the litter’s dispersal and provide them to authorities upon request. Dog owners would not be allowed to sell or give away any offspring until they were 8 weeks old.

Intact dog owners would also need to provide “sufficient quantity of good and wholesome food and water,” the amended legislation states. However, the legislation does not define what is sufficient, good or wholesome.

The amended bill allows pet owners cited for owning intact animals in violation of the act with 30 days to comply with the regulations to avoid a $500 civil penalty.

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California Senate Committee to Hear Amended Spay-Neuter Bill

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Reader Comments

Michele    Pal, CA

11/6/2007 8:23:03 AM

Please, California, there is such a need for this, I volunteer at city shelter, feed feral colonies,take many felines out of city kill shelter, and see so much needless suffering. We must put an end to all this suffering. There are many people who do not beleive in fixing the animals, they are ignorant, and usually from another country, and California is rampant with these people

Derek    Perrysburg, OH

8/23/2007 8:36:36 AM

Alot more cities are doing this.

Alaina    Tucson, AZ

7/11/2007 2:12:08 PM

If the Veterinary Medical Association pulled it's backing of the bill, then I would reconsider voting for it myself!

andrea    miami, FL

7/11/2007 11:59:41 AM

I think its an excellent idea because there's a lot of animals on the streets and they need a home

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