BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 490
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          Date of Hearing:   March 31, 2009

                                 Mary Hayashi, Chair
                     AB 490 (Smyth) - As Amended:  March 23, 2009
          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, and modifies the definition of a pet store,  
          as specified.  Specifically,  this bill  :  

       1)Permits a pet store operator or an employee of a pet store to  
            destroy a rodent or rabbit intended as food for another animal  
            only if the rodent or rabbit 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 2007  
            American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Guidelines on  

       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  
            establishment directly related to an agricultural operation  


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            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 Appendix 2 of 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 for 2 years, unless a longer period is  
            otherwise required under California law.

       4)Defines a pet store as a retail establishment open to the public  
            and selling or offering for sale animals, except that a person  
            who transfers only animals that were bred or raised, or both,  
            by that person, is considered a breeder and not a pet store. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :  

           Purpose of this bill  .  According to the bill's sponsor, "AB 490  
          provides for the minor clean-up of two issues in AB 1347  
          (Caballero), Chapter 703, Statutes of 2007." 

          "The first area of clarification is made at the request of the  
          California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). AB 490  
          places an agricultural establishment exclusion into the text of  
          the law itself (as opposed to simply the intent language of AB  
          1347) by exempting agricultural establishments from the  
          definition of a "pet store" and clarifies that agricultural  
          establishments were not intended to be considered pet stores  
          under AB 1347.  The second clean-up issue is to clarify accepted  
          euthanasia practices for certain animals in pet stores.  Animal  
          protection groups, pet stores and the California Veterinary  
          Medical Association all worked in favor of SB 986 last year  
          which is identical to AB 490."


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           Background  .  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 asserts 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  .  This bill is substantially the same as SB  
          986 (Ridley-Thomas) of 2008 which the Governor vetoed.  The  
          Governor vetoed a substantial number of bills that year with the  
          same message that, due to the delay in passing the 2008-2009  
          State Budget, he would only sign bills that were "the highest  
          priority for California."  SB 986 was vetoed for this reason.  

          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,  



           Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (sponsor)
          Born Free USA
          California Veterinary Medical Association

          None on file. 


                                                                  AB 490
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          Analysis Prepared by  :    Whitney Clark / B. & P. / (916)