BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 490
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   May 13, 2009

                                Kevin De Leon, Chair

                      AB 490 (Smyth) - As Amended:  May 4, 2009 

          Policy Committee:                              Business and  
          Professions  Vote:                            11 - 0
                        Agriculture                             8 - 0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          Yes    Reimbursable:              No


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

          1)Permits a pet store operator or 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  
            humane, appropriate for the species, authorized by state law,  
            and in compliance with the 2007 American Veterinary Medical  
            Association (AVMA) Guidelines on Euthanasia. 

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

          3)Specifies that the certification shall be valid for three  
            years and may be recertified for an additional three years.

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

          5)Excludes from the definition of a "pet store" retail  
            establishments open to the public and selling animals to be  
            used in commercial or agricultural operations or for  
            commercial or agricultural purposes, for student or youth  
            projects, or for educational purposes. 


                                                                  AB 490
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           FISCAL EFFECT  

          Minor, if any, nonreimbursable local prosecution costs, offset  
          by fine revenue, as this bill expands an existing crime. 


           1)Purpose  . According to the author this bill is intended as a  
            minor clean-up bill to AB 1347 (Caballero; Chapter 703,  
            Statutes of 2007), the Pet Store Animal Care Act. Two changes  
            are being requested.  The first is at the request of the  
            California Department of Food and Agriculture to ensure that  
            agricultural establishments are not considered pet stores for  
            the purposes of this act.  The second is at the request of  
            AVMA, animal protection groups and the Pet Industry Joint  
            Advisory Council, all who worked in favor of AB 1347, and  
            realized that the euthanasia section of code was technical,  
            ambiguous, and needed to be clarified.

           2)American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Guidelines on  
            Euthanasia  . 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.

           3)Related 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  


                                                                  AB 490
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            "the highest priority for California."  SB 986 was vetoed for  
            this reason.  

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Julie Salley-Gray / APPR. / (916)