BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  SB 986
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   June 24, 2008

                                   Mike Eng, Chair
                  SB 986 (Ridley-Thomas) - As Amended:  June 9, 2008

           SENATE VOTE  :   34-1
          SUBJECT  :   Pet stores.

           SUMMARY  :   Revises the guidelines by which a pet store operator  
          or employee may euthanize rodents and rabbits intended as food  
          for another animal, as specified.  Specifically,  this bill  :   

       1)Specifies that a rodent or rabbit intended as food for another  
            animal may be destroyed by a pet store operator or an employee  
            of a pet store only if the animal is euthanized by a method  
            that is performed in a humane manner, appropriate for the  
            species, authorized by state law, and in compliance with the  
            American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Guidelines on  
            Euthanasia dated June 2007.

       2)Specifies that the euthanasia shall be performed by the pet store  
            operator or employee only if a California-licensed  
            veterinarian has certified in writing that the pet store  
            operator or employee is properly trained and proficient in  
            performing euthanasia on that particular species.

       3)Specifies that the certification shall be valid for a period of  
            not more than three years, and may be recertified for  
            additional three-year periods.

       4)Specifies that the certification of a pet store operator or  
            employee shall be retained by the pet store for three years,  
            unless a longer period is otherwise required under California  

       5)Specifies that the certification shall be made available upon  
            request to appropriate law enforcement officers, as specified.

       6)Specifies that it is the responsibility of the pet store operator  
            to ensure that euthanasia is performed in compliance with this  

       7)Excludes from the definition of "pet store" a retail  


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            establishment directly related to an agricultural operation  
            for the commercial growing and harvesting of crops or the  
            raising of livestock or poultry on a farm or a ranch.

           EXISTING LAW  :

       1)Establishes the Pet Store Animal Care Act (Act), which regulates  
            the care and maintenance of animals in the custody of a pet  
            store, and provides limits on the sale or transfer of those  

       2)Permits euthanasia of an animal intended as food for another  
            animal using humane methods, as specified in the AVMA 2000  
            Report of the AVMA Panel on Euthanasia.

       3)Specifies that each employee who performs euthanasia shall  
            receive adequate training and proof of successful completion  
            of such training shall be documented in writing and retained  
            by the pet store, as specified.

       4)Provides for the licensing of veterinarians by the Veterinary  
            Medical Board under the Department of Consumer Affairs.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown.  This bill is keyed non-fiscal.

           COMMENTS  :   

           Purpose of this bill  .  According to the author's office, "SB 986  
          is a minor clean-up bill of last year's AB 1347 (Caballero),  
          which was signed into law last year by the Governor, but does  
          not go into affect until January 1, 2009....This bill makes two  
          minor technical changes in the Act. 

          "First, SB 986 addresses a request made by the California  
          Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to ensure that  
          agricultural establishments are not considered pet stores for  
          purposes of the new Act.  AB 1347 included that exemption in  
          'intent' language, but did not include that agricultural  
          exclusion in the text of the law itself.  As a condition of  
          CDFA's support for signature of the bill, CDFA requested that  
          the agricultural exclusion language be placed in the substantive  
          text of the law itself.  SB 986 takes care of that issue in the  
          way that 'pet store' is defined in the new bill.

          "Second, the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA),  


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          the animal groups (Animal Protection Institute, State Human  
          Association of California, the California Animal Care Director's  
          Association) and other animal protection groups, as well as  
          PIJAC [Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council], all worked in favor  
          of AB 1347 in its final version of last year.  This year all of  
          the supporters realized that the euthanasia section of the bill  
          was ambiguous and contained technical language that needed to be  
          clarified and slightly changed in the best interest of animal  
          care in pet stores before the bill goes into effect in January  

           Background  .  Established in 1863, the AVMA is a not-for-profit  
          association representing more than 76,000 veterinarians working  
          in private and corporate practice, government, industry,  
          academia, and uniformed services.  The AVMA is fully committed  
          to the concept that, whenever it becomes necessary to kill any  
          animal for any reason whatsoever, death should be induced as  
          painlessly and quickly as possible.  

          In 2006, the AVMA convened a panel of scientists to produce the  
          "AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia".  These guidelines summarize  
          contemporary scientific knowledge on euthanasia in animals and  
          call attention to the lack of scientific reports assessing pain,  
          discomfort, and distress in animals being euthanized, and are  
          intended for use by members of the veterinary profession who  
          carry out or oversee the euthanasia of animals.  They also  
          include instructions on proper euthanasia techniques.

           Previous legislation  .  AB 1347 (Caballero, Chapter 703, Statutes  
          of 2007) created the Act, established procedures for the care  
          and maintenance of animals in the custody of a pet store, and  
          placed limitations on the sale or transfer of those animals,  
          effective January 1, 2009.


          Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (sponsor)
          California Veterinary Medical Association
          PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc.


                                                                  SB 986
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          Los Angeles District Attorney's Office

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Rebecca May / B. & P. / (916) 319-3301