BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    







                      SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                             Senator Mark Leno, Chair                S
                             2009-2010 Regular Session               B

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          SB 135 (Florez)                                             
          As Amended April 13, 2009 
          Hearing date:  April 28, 2009
          Penal Code
          MK:br


                         ANIMAL ABUSE:  CATTLE:  TAIL DOCKING  


                                       HISTORY

          Source:  Humane Society of the United States

          Prior Legislation: None

          Support: Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production;  
                   Born Free USA; Animal Protection and Rescue League; Paw  
                   PAC; Farm Sanctuary; Food Empowerment Project; League  
                   of Humane Voters; San Diego Animal Advocates; Humane  
                   Farming Action Fund; Animal Place; United Animal  
                   Nations; California Animal Association; ASPCA;  
                   California Veterinary Medical Association

          Opposition:None known

           NOTE  :  THIS BILL REFLECTS AUTHOR'S AMENDMENTS TO BE TAKEN IN  
          COMMITTEE.  SEE COMMENT #3.


                                        KEY ISSUES
           
          SHOULD THE EXISTING PROHIBITION ON "DOCKING" HORSES BE EXTENDED TO  




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                                                            SB 135 (Florez)
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          APPLY TO CATTLE?

          SHOULD AN EXCEPTION BE MADE TO "DOCKING" PERFORMED BY A LICENSED  
          VETERNARIAN UNDER SPECIFIED CIRCUMSTANCES?




                                       PURPOSE

          The purpose of this bill is to prohibit the docking of cattle  
          and to provide an exception to the prohibition on docking of  
          horses or cattle under specified circumstances.

           Existing law  provides that any person who cuts the solid part  
          of the tail of any horse in the operation known as "docking,"  
          or in any other operation performed for the purpose of  
          shortening the tail of any horse, within the State of  
          California, or procures the same to be done, or imports or  
          brings into this state any docked horse, or horses, or drives,  
          works, uses, races, or deals in any unregistered docked horse,  
          or horses, within the State of California except as provided in  
          Section 597r, is guilty of a misdemeanor.  (Penal Code  597n.)

           This bill  expands the prohibition on docking to include the  
          docking of cattle defined as any animal of the bovine species.

           This bill  ,   as proposed to be amended, provides that the  
          prohibition on docking shall not apply to "docking" where the  
          solid part of an animal's tail must be removed in an emergency  
          for the purpose of saving the animal's life or relieving the  
          animal's pain, provided that such emergency treatment is  
          performed by a veterinarian licensed in compliance with the  
          Veterinary Medicine Practice Act (commencing with Section 4811)  
          of Article 1 of Chapter 11 of Division 2 of the Business and  
          Professions Code.

                    RECEIVERSHIP/OVERCROWDING CRISIS AGGRAVATION
          
          California continues to face a severe prison overcrowding  




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          crisis.  The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR)  
          currently has about 170,000 inmates under its jurisdiction.  Due  
          to a lack of traditional housing space available, the department  
          houses roughly 15,000 inmates in gyms and dayrooms.   
          California's prison population has increased by 125% (an average  
          of 4% annually) over the past 20 years, growing from 76,000  
          inmates to 171,000 inmates, far outpacing the state's population  
          growth rate for the age cohort with the highest risk of  
          incarceration.<1>

          In December of 2006 plaintiffs in two federal lawsuits against  
          CDCR sought a court-ordered limit on the prison population  
          pursuant to the federal Prison Litigation Reform Act.  On  
          February 9, 2009, the three-judge federal court panel issued a  
          tentative ruling that included the following conclusions with  
          respect to overcrowding:


               No party contests that California's prisons are  
               overcrowded, however measured, and whether considered  
               in comparison to prisons in other states or jails  
               within this state.  There are simply too many  
               prisoners for the existing capacity.  The Governor,  
               the principal defendant, declared a state of emergency  
               in 2006 because of the "severe overcrowding" in  
               California's prisons, which has caused "substantial  
               risk to the health and safety of the men and women who  
               work inside these prisons and the inmates housed in  
               them."  . . .  A state appellate court upheld the  
               Governor's proclamation, holding that the evidence  
               supported the existence of conditions of "extreme  
               peril to the safety of persons and property."  
               (citation omitted)  The Governor's declaration of the  
               ----------------------
          <1>  "Between 1987 and 2007, California's population of ages 15  
          through 44 - the age cohort with the highest risk for  
          incarceration - grew by an average of less than 1% annually,  
          which is a pace much slower than the growth in prison  
          admissions."  (2009-2010 Budget Analysis Series, Judicial and  
          Criminal Justice, Legislative Analyst's Office (January 30,  
          2009).)



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               state of emergency remains in effect to this day.

               . . .  the evidence is compelling that there is no  
               relief other than a prisoner release order that will  
               remedy the unconstitutional prison conditions.

               . . .

               Although the evidence may be less than perfectly  
               clear, it appears to the Court that in order to  
               alleviate the constitutional violations California's  
               inmate population must be reduced to at most 120% to  
               145% of design capacity, with some institutions or  
               clinical programs at or below 100%.  We caution the  
               parties, however, that these are not firm figures and  
               that the Court reserves the right - until its final  
               ruling - to determine that a higher or lower figure is  
               appropriate in general or in particular types of  
               facilities.

               . . .

               Under the PLRA, any prisoner release order that we  
               issue will be narrowly drawn, extend no further than  
               necessary to correct the violation of constitutional  
               rights, and be the least intrusive means necessary to  
               correct the violation of those rights.  For this  
               reason, it is our present intention to adopt an order  
               requiring the State to develop a plan to reduce the  
               prison population to 120% or 145% of the prison's  
               design capacity (or somewhere in between) within a  
               period of two or three years.<2>

          The final outcome of the panel's tentative decision, as well as  
          ---------------------------
          <2>  Three Judge Court Tentative Ruling, Coleman v.  
          Schwarzenegger, Plata v. Schwarzenegger, in the United States  
          District Courts for the Eastern District of California and the  
          Northern District of California United States District Court  
          composed of three judges pursuant to Section 2284, Title 28  
          United States Code (Feb. 9, 2009).



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          any appeal that may be in response to the panel's final  
          decision, is unknown at the time of this writing.

           This bill  does not appear to aggravate the prison overcrowding  
          crisis outlined above.





                                      COMMENTS

          1.N eed for This Bill  

          According to the author:

              Developed in New Zealand in the early 1900s, tail  
              docking is the practice of removing part of the solid  
              portion of an animal's tail.  In dairy cattle, tail  
              docking is alleged to improve milking personnel  
              comfort, cow utter cleanliness, and heightened milk  
              quality.  Further, tail docking is alleged to promote  
              milking personnel health through the prevention of  
              leptospirosis a bacterial disease spread by urine  
              from infected animals via contact with skin abrasions  
              or wounds or contact with mucous membranes of the  
              eyes, nose, and mouth.

              The practice of tail docking has varying restrictions  
              around the world.  It is prohibited in Denmark,  
              Germany, Scotland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.   
              Canada recommends that only competent personnel  
              perform the procedure, and Australia has varying  
              degrees of regulation from requiring that  
              veterinarians perform the procedure to outright  
              prohibition.

              In the United States, cattle are docked near weaning,  
              most commonly by rubber band constriction.  The  
              banded tail detaches after 3 to 7 weeks, removing  




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              one-third to two-thirds of the tail.

              California law makes the practice of tail docking  
              horses or the importation of tail-docked horses a  
              misdemeanor.







































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          2.  Prohibition on "Docking" Cattle  

          Existing law currently prohibits the "docking" of horses.  This  
          bill would add to that prohibition the "docking" of cattle.  The  
          bill also creates an exception to the docking prohibition  
          allowing for if it is done in an emergency by a veterinarian for  
          the purposes of saving the animal's life or relieving the  
          animal's pain.

          SHOULD THE LAW PROHIBIT THE DOCKING OF CATTLE AS WELL AS THE  
          DOCKING OF HORSES?

          SHOULD THE LAW CREATE EXCEPTIONS FOR SPECIFIC EMERGENCY  
          SITUATIONS?



          3.  Author's Amendments  

          The author will be taking amendments to delete the current  
          section (b) and insert instead:

              Subdivision (a) shall not apply to "docking" where  
              the solid part of an animal's tail must be removed in  
              an emergency for the purpose of saving the animal's  
              life or relieving the animal's pain, provided that  
              such emergency treatment is performed by a licensed  
              veterinarian and is performed consistently with the  
              Veterinary Medicine Practice Act (commencing with  
              Section 4811) of Article 1 of Chapter 11 of Division  
              2 of the Business and Professions Code.

          4.  Food and Agriculture Committee  

          This bill passed Senate Food and Agriculture Committee on April  
          21 with a 4-1 vote.







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