Hearing Date Set for Two California Pet Bills

Early next month, a state Senate committee will consider a spay/neuter bill as well as additional regulations for pet stores.

Posted: June 30, 2007, 5 a.m. EDT

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New Pet Bill
The Pet Store Act overwhelmingly passed the state Assembly, while The California Healthy Pets Act faces more opposition. The hearing will take place at the California state Capitol on July 9.
California’s Senate Business, Professions & Economic Development Committee will hear testimony regarding the California Pet Store Act (AB 1347) and the California Healthy Pets Act (AB 1634) on July 9 at 1:30 p.m. in room 3191 at the state Capitol.

The Pet Store Act overwhelmingly passed the state Assembly with a 75 to 1 vote in late May. It would establish specific care criteria standards that retailers, not breeders, would have to adhere to or face penalties. The Pet Industry Joint Council (PIJAC) supports the bill and plans to submit testimony in favor of it at the July hearing.

The California Healthy Pets Act, however, is facing more opposition. Introduced by Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys), the bill narrowly passed through the Assembly in early June. It has the support of many of the state’s animal rescues and shelters as well as the California Veterinary Medical Assn., but PIJAC, the American Kennel Club (AKC), several dog clubs and the North American Police Work Dog Association have all voiced opposition.

The proposal would mandate all of the state’s dogs and cats—with some exceptions—older than 4 months old be spayed or neutered. Those exceptions include service animals and those raised specifically for showing.

Opponents say the law is too broad and does not leave room for pets raised in hobby situations that might not fit into a specific show category, but are bred for a specific look, nonetheless.

The International Cat Association (TICA) opposes the bill. According to a statement on the organization’s website: “Surgical procedures should be an individual decision between a veterinarian and their client, not mandated by the state. Mandatory spay/neuter laws are proven failures for reducing shelter issues and costly to implement. Each jurisdiction should be entitled to determine what works in its locality and what the locality can afford. The ‘exemptions’ in AB 1634 to obtain an intact license demonstrate a decided lack of understanding regarding hobby cat breeding and would be impossible for breeders to meet.”

In a letter addressed to Mike Eng, Chair, Assembly Committee on Business and Professions, TICA Legislative Committee Chair, Kelly Crouch writes: “… all surgery involves risk including the mundane, every day surgeries. When to perform any surgery should be a decision made between the pet owner and their veterinarian. AB 1634 eliminates every pet owners right to decide on how to best proceed with their pet’s well being.
 
“Eliminating local sources of quality, pedigreed cats will not eliminate the demand for pedigreed cats, it only moves the source outside the state or country boundaries. It will not increase demand for other cats.”

Those in support of the bill say it would save the lives of hundreds of thousands of unwanted pets euthanized each year, as well as reduce taxpayer costs associated with strays.

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Hearing Date Set for Two California Pet Bills

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Reader Comments

Nikki    Chicago, IL

7/2/2007 8:14:32 AM

Go California ... seems they set the standard for animal rights, sometimes.

Glynnis    Baton Rouge, LA

7/1/2007 6:53:29 PM

Mandatory spay/neuter is only going to push backyard breeders to become illegal breeders and raise the costs of purely bred animals, who may or may not be "purely bred," as illegal breeders are not going to be able to keep records with kennel/cattery clubs. A better idea would be mandatory spay/neuter for mixed breed dogs and cats whose sire and dam are not registered as purely bred, or something along those lines. While I support the Pet Store Act, I sincerly hope this bill does not pass.

Alaina    Tucson, AZ

6/30/2007 10:54:39 PM

The California Healthy Pets Act is on the right track. More pets should be sterilized. There are too many animals who need homes and too many "backyard breeders" with mixed litters not to sterilize more. I agree with exceptions, but there should be stricter guidelines to help decrease the number of overcrowding issues. Overall the bill seems to be heading in the right direction.

Sara    Atlanta, GA

6/30/2007 2:08:37 PM

I think mandatory spay/neuter would be great.

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