BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 1122
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 21, 2009

                                 Mary Hayashi, Chair
                     AB 1122 (Lieu) - As Amended:  April 13, 2009
          SUBJECT  :   Animal abuse: sale of live animals: flea markets.

           SUMMARY  :   Prohibits the sale of pet animals on roadsides or in  
          other outdoor venues, as specified.  Specifically,  this bill  :

          1)Prohibits a commercial transaction involving a live animal on  
            any street, highway, public right-of-way, commercial parking  
            lot, or at any outdoor special sale, swap meet, flea market,  
            parking lot sale, carnival, or boardwalk. 

          2)Makes such a sale an infraction punishable by a fine not to  
            exceed $250.  

          3)Does not apply to events held by specified farmers clubs,  
            state or county fairs, livestock consignment sales, public  
            animal control agencies or shelters, rescue groups, federally  
            regulated stockyards, or regulated live animal markets as  

           EXISTING LAW  proscribes animal abuse, as specified, including  
          the failure to maintain and care for the premises and animals at  
          pet shops, and generally provides that a pet store shall not  
          sell any dog or cat under 8 weeks of age, but may sell a dog or  
          cat over 8 weeks of age if the animal is weaned.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :   

           Purpose of the bill  .  According to the author's office, "There  
          is a growing concern with the sale of pets along streets and at  
          flea markets, swap meets, and other outdoor venues.  Numerous  
          local governments have enacted ordinances addressing this issue  
          - Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Jose Counties all currently  
          restrict the sale of animals at flea markets, swap meets, and  

          "In California, backyard breeding and puppy mills present a  
          significant problem with ensuring the health and safety of our  


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          animal population.  Currently the result of these unregulated  
          and irresponsible breeding practices is the sale of young  
          animals on roadsides and store fronts.

          "California law provides that pet stores that sell animals must  
          abide by animal welfare standards to protect the health and  
          safety of the animals.  These regulations promote proper care  
          and treatment and reduce the risk of disease outbreaks.  This  
          law does not apply to the sale of animals at flea markets, swap  
          meets, and/or roadside venues.

          "Unfortunately, roadside pet sales offer low prices for designer  
          breeds, presenting deals that are too good to be true.  Often  
          times these animals are sick which can result in significant  
          financial costs for treatment and sometimes death of the animal.  
           Consumers have no recourse if the animal is sick or it dies  
          because there is no way to track the seller."

           Support  .  The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to  
          Animals writes in support, "There is growing evidence that pet  
          animals are increasingly being sold at flea markets, swap meets,  
          and other outdoor venues.  The absence of effective regulations  
          has resulted in puppies, kittens and other pet animals being  
          sold in terrible conditions - including unsanitary crowded pens  
          or cages, without food and/or water, in extreme heat.  This bill  
          would alleviate the suffering of these animals while they are  
          awaiting sale. 

          "There are also public health and safety issues posed by the  
          sale of animals at temporary retail venues.  The Centers for  
          Disease Control estimates that 93,000 salmonella cases caused by  
          exposure to reptiles are reported each year in the U.S.  And it  
          takes only one undetected bird, infected with psittacosis, for  
          example, to start an outbreak or epidemic."

           Opposition  .  The California Swap Meet Owners Association writes  
          in opposition, "The Swap Meet Owners have continually argued to  
          be treated as other retail entities would, to create a set of  
          standards that we are given the opportunity to meet in order to  
          sell certain items, rather than a blanket prohibition of selling  
          an item.  

          "Some counties in California have already set standards and  
          criteria for the sale of certain items at flea markets and swap  
          meets, which our vendors abide by.  It is our understanding that  


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          the sponsors of the bill want to ensure that the health and  
          welfare of animals are protected and that the proper treatment  
          and care for animals is provided - similar to the new  
          regulations California provides for pet stores.  We agree with  
          this premise and would be willing to abide by criteria and  
          standards to ensure these protections of animals are met at our  

          The Northern California Samoyed Fanciers and numerous  
          individuals in opposition have objected to the language of AB  
          1122 that makes it unlawful to display or offer for sale live  
          animals on streets and other specified outdoor venues stating,  
          "This is clearly a restraint of trade.  The offer or display  
          could include notices being posted in grocery stores or on any  
          place where offers for sale or free to a good home may be  
          placed?.  Display could mean anything from placing the animal's  
          picture someplace in public or placing the animal in a favorable  
          pose while people are watching. 

           Suggested technical amemdments  .  AB 1122 currently states, "It  
          shall be unlawful for any person to willfully sell, display, or  
          offer for sale or give away as part of a commercial transaction  
          a live animal on any street, highway, public right-of-way,  
          commercial parking lot, or at any outdoor special sale, swap  
          meet, flea market, parking lot sale, carnival, or boardwalk."   
          As written, only an offer for sale that is part of a commercial  
          transaction is prohibited.  However, "display" could be broadly  
          construed and the committee suggests the following technical  
          amendments to clarify that only a display of a live animal as  
          part of a commercial transaction is prohibited. 

          Amendment 1
          On page 2, line 3, strike out "," after display  

          Amendment 2
          On page 2, line 4, insert "," after transaction

           Related legislation  .  AB 241 (Nava) of 2009 makes it a  
          misdemeanor for an individual or business that buys or sells  
          dogs or cats to have more than a combined total of 50  
          unsterilized dogs and cats, as specified.

           Previous legislation  .  AB 1347 (Caballero) Chapter 703, Statutes  
          of 2007 enacts the Pet Store Animal Care Act, which establishes  
          procedures for the care and maintenance of animals in the  


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          custody of a pet store, and places limitations on the sale or  
          transfer of those animals.


          California Animal Association (sponsor)
          American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals  
          Animal Place
          Born Free USA
          East Bay Animal Advocates
          House Rabbit Society
          The Human Society
          League of Humane Voters 
          Orange County People for Animals
          Parrots First
          Paw Pac

          American Herding Breed Association
          California Swap Meet Owners Association
          Feline Friends Internationale
          Northern California Samoyed Fanciers
          Numerous individuals
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Whitney Clark / B. & P. / (916)