BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  SB 135
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          SB 135 (Florez)
          As Amended  July 6, 2009
          Majority vote 

           SENATE VOTE  :27-12  
           PUBLIC SAFETY       4-1         AGRICULTURE         6-1         
          |Ayes:|Ammiano, Furutani, Hill,  |Ayes:|Galgiani, Tom Berryhill,  |
          |     |Ma                        |     |Ma, Mendoza, Yamada,      |
          |     |                          |     |Monning                   |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
          |Nays:|Gilmore                   |Nays:|Conway                    |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
           APPROPRIATIONS      13-2                                        
          |Ayes:|De Leon, Ammiano, Charles    | |                          |
          |     |Calderon, Coto, Davis,       | |                          |
          |     |Fuentes, Hall, John A.       | |                          |
          |     |Perez, Skinner, Solorio,     | |                          |
          |     |Audra Strickland, Torlakson, | |                          |
          |     |Hill                         | |                          |
          |     |                             | |                          |
          |Nays:|Conway, Miller            |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |

           SUMMARY  :  Prohibits tail "docking" of cattle, as specified.   
          Specifically,  this bill  :   

          1)Provides the prohibition on tail "docking" of cattle shall not  
            apply when 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 the emergency  
            treatment is performed consistent with the Veterinary Medicine  
            Practice Act, as specified. 


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          2)Defines "cattle" as any animal of a bovine species. 

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Provides that is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one  
            year in the county jail and a fine of not more than $20,000 to  
            maim, mutilate, torture, or wound a living animal or  
            maliciously or intentionally kill an animal.  

          2)States that every person having charge or custody of an animal  
            who overdrives; overloads; overworks; tortures; torments;  
            deprives of necessary sustenance, drink, or shelter; cruelly  
            beats, mutilates, or cruelly kills; or causes or procures any  
            animal to be so overdriven; overloaded; driven when  
            overloaded; overworked; tortured; tormented; deprived of  
            necessary sustenance, drink, shelter; or to be cruelly beaten,  
            mutilated, or cruelly killed is, for every such offense,  
            guilty of a crime punishable as an alternate  
            misdemeanor/felony and by a fine of not more than $20,000.  

          3)States 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, is guilty of a  

          4)Provides that any person or persons violating any of the  
            provisions related to tail docking, however, shall not be  
            applied to persons owning or possessing any docked purebred  
            stallions and mares imported from foreign countries for  
            breeding or exhibition purposes only, as provided by an act of  
            Congress entitled "An Act Regulating the Importation of  
            Breeding Animals" and approved March 3, 1903, and to docked  
            native-bred stallions and mares brought into California and  
            used for breeding or exhibition purposes only; and provided  
            further, that a description of each such animal so brought  
            into California, together with the date of importation and  
            name and address of importer, be filed with the county clerk  
            of the county where such animal is kept, within 30 days after  
            the importation of such animal.  


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           FISCAL EFFECT  :   According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee:  1) negligible state costs; 2) unknown, likely minor,  
          nonreimburseable local law enforcement and incarceration costs,  
          offset to an unknown degree by increased fine revenue.

           COMMENTS  :   According to the author, "Scientific studies have  
          shown that the mutilation of tail causes serious welfare  
          problems for animals, including distress, pain, and increased  
          fly attacks.  SB 135 would ban the inhumane practice of tail  
          docking.  This practice is simply inhumane and unnecessary.   
          Tail docking is performed on some dairy cattle in this state,  
          and results in removing more than one-half of a dairy cow's tail  
          without anesthesia.  Even more troubling is the fact that there  
          is no scientific justification for engaging in this inhuman  
          practice.  This practice is cruel, plain and simple.  This is  
          why California law already prohibits tail docking on horses." 

          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 udder 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.  Tail docking  
          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 three to seven  
          weeks, removing 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. 

          Please see the policy committee for a full discussion of this  

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Kimberly Horiuchi / PUB. S. / (916)  


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