SACRAMENTO – The California Assembly Committee on Agriculture unanimously approved Senate Bill 202 (SB 202), aka the “Doggy Donor Bill,” on Wednesday, announced Senator Scott Wilk, D-Santa Clarita, who introduced the bill.
The measure would provide more flexibility to the rules on animal blood donation, allowing for more loving and humane treatment of animal blood donors.
“Ironically, my own dog is ill right now, and while she doesn’t need a blood transfusion, it certainly is a chilling reminder of how quickly a pet’s health can change,” said Wilk, who represents California’s 21st Senate District.
“It so important to ensure there is an appropriate supply of blood available when a crisis hits our pets. SB 202 would do just that,” he said. “It addresses California’s shortage of animal blood products and ensures a more robust supply of blood without housing more animals in traditional animal blood donations facilities.”
Ambiguity in existing law has led to a relatively limited regulatory scheme for animal blood banks – leading the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to approve commercial licensure only for closed-colony banks, which house dogs and cats for the specific purpose of taking their blood.
Forty-nine other states already allow for flexibility in this matter, and this bill will bring California in line with the rest of nation.
Animal blood banks serve an important role to California’s veterinary medical community, but have lacked in supply in recent years – leading to a shortage in blood. Opening up the market to community-based blood banks – which allow private pet owners to volunteer their animals for donation – would greatly help to curb this shortage and keep pets around the state healthy and happy.
“My heart goes out to the families who have had an animal in need of blood when none was available. With the Doggy Donor Bill, the supply of available blood will increase, it will continue to be done in a safe and regulated environment, AND our donor animals will get to go home to their own loving human families at the end of the day,” Wilk said. “California is woefully behind the rest of the nation on this matter, which is why I introduced the Doggy Donor Bill.”
SB 202 will now go to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for a hearing later this summer.