BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   AB 258|
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                                 THIRD READING

          Bill No:  AB 258
          Author:   Hagman (R), et al
          Amended:  6/20/11 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           SENATE HEALTH COMMITTEE  :  9-0, 6/8/11
          AYES:  Hernandez, Strickland, Alquist, Anderson, Blakeslee, 
            De León, DeSaulnier, Rubio, Wolk

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  9-0, 8/25/11
          AYES:  Kehoe, Walters, Alquist, Emmerson, Lieu, Pavley, 
            Price, Runner, Steinberg

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  70-0, 5/12/11 (Consent) - See last page 
            for vote

           SUBJECT  :    Rabies:  vaccinations

           SOURCE  :     Concerned Dog owners of California
                      Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association

           DIGEST  :    This bill exempts from the rabies vaccination 
          requirement a dog that a licensed veterinarian determines, 
          on an annual basis, will be endangered from the vaccine due 
          to disease or other conditions that the veterinarian can 
          verify and document.

           ANALYSIS  :   

          Existing law


                                                                AB 258

          1. Requires every dog owner to, once the dog is older than 
             four months, obtain a dog license from the responsible 
             local government at least every two years, and obtain a 
             the canine antirabies vaccination (CAV) every year.

          2. Allows local governments to pass ordinances for the 
             issuance of a dog license, for a period not to exceed 
             three years for dogs older than 12 months, which have 
             been vaccinated against rabies.  The person to whom the 
             license is issued may choose a license period as 
             established by the governing body, except that the 
             license shall not extend beyond the validity for the 
             current antirabies vaccination.

          This bill:

          1. Provides an exception to the rabies vaccination 
             requirement if a licensed veterinarian determines, on an 
             annual basis, that a rabies vaccination would endanger a 
             dog's life due to disease or other considerations that 
             the veterinarian can verify and document.

          2. Requires that dogs exempt from the vaccination 
             requirement be confined to the premises of the owner, 
             and requires a leash when off of the premises of the 

          3. Prohibits dogs exempt from the vaccination requirement 
             from having contact with other unvaccinated dogs or 

          4. Requires a dog owner to sign a statement affirming they 
             understand the consequences of the exemption and accepts 
             all liability associated with owning a dog that has not 
             received the canine rabies vaccine. 

          5. Requires the Department of Public Health (DPH) to 
             develop a form for exemption applications. 

          6. Stipulates that the form must include the statement from 
             the owner and be submitted on an approved form and will 
             include a signed statement by the veterinarian, as 
             specified..  Requires the form to be submitted to the 



                                                                AB 258

             local health officer.

          7. Allows an local health officer to issue an exemption 
             from CAV.

          8. Requires the LHO to report exemptions to DPH.

          9. Prohibits the local jurisdiction issuing dog licenses 
             from extending the license period beyond one year for 
             dogs exempted from the vaccination requirement.

          The primary components of the California Rabies Control 
          Program include companion animal immunization and 
          licensing; stray animal control; animal bite reporting, 
          investigation, and animal isolation; and public education. 
          The program works to control stray domestic animals and 
          follow-up on potential human exposures.  The program also 
          keeps track of animal rabies throughout the state.  
          Existing statutes require vaccination and licensing of all 
          dogs, but because cats are the most frequently reported 
          rabid domestic animal in the U.S., vaccination of all cats 
          is also strongly advised.  There are vaccines for other 
          domestic animals as well.

          The California Health and Safety Code mandates that the 
          governing body of each city, city and county, or county 
          maintain or provide local rabies control program.  Rabies 
          control programs must include an animal shelter system, 
          provide for animal bite reporting and investigations, stray 
          animal control, animal rabies case investigation, 
          quarantine of biting dogs and cats, quarantine of domestic 
          animals potentially exposed to rabies, and include other 
          activities for the purpose of carrying out and enforcing 
          the provisions of the California Rabies Control Program.  
          The county and/or city must also provide or arrange for 
          canine rabies vaccination clinics.  All counties in the 
          state are declared "rabies areas" due to the ongoing cycles 
          of rabies in California's wildlife, and the resulting 
          threat of exposure to domestic animals, livestock and 

          According to DPH's California's Compendium of Rabies 



                                                                AB 258

          Control and Prevention, 2004, a local health officer may, 
          upon a written recommendation of a veterinarian, issue a 
          rabies immunization exemption where an illness or 
          veterinary medical condition in a dog warrants it.  The 
          exempted animal must be kept under strict rabies isolation 
          conditions, which are at the discretion of the local health 
          officer, until the medical condition is resolved and the 
          animal can obtain a canine rabies vaccine.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes   
          Local:  Yes

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:

                          Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions                2011-12     2012-13    
           2013-14   Fund  

          DPH staff for            $40       $80       $0   General

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/23/11)

          Concerned Dog Owners of California (co-source)
          Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (co-source)
          California Veterinary Medical Association
          California Federation of Dog Clubs
          Health Officer Association of California
          Paw PAC
          San Lorenzo Dog Training Club, Inc.
          Sacramento Council of Dog Clubs, Inc.

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  8/23/11)

          Department of Finance

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The Humane Society Veterinary 
          Medical Association (HSVMA) claims veterinary professionals 
          know that vaccinations should only be administered to 
          animals for which the medical benefits outweigh the 
          potential medical risks.  HSVMA claims that a small but 
          significant number of companion animals have medical 
          conditions for whom vaccination is contraindicated, 



                                                                AB 258

          including those with terminal diseases like cancer, 
          immune-mediated diseases, severe endocrine disorders, and 
          other conditions.  HSVMA believes that this bill provides a 
          safe and medically sound mechanism to protect dogs in 
          California whose health could be seriously compromised by 

          The California Federation of Dog Clubs (Dog Clubs) claims 
          there is much scientific documentation regarding acute or 
          chronic adverse reactions to the rabies vaccine in dogs, 
          and that the current rabies risk to the community is low 
          and is overwhelmingly related to wildlife.  The Dog Clubs 
          also claim that recent studies show that duration of 
          immunity from an initial rabies vaccination can range up to 
          seven years, making frequent re-vaccination unnecessary.

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    In opposition of this bill, the 
          Department of Finance states that, "this bill would result 
          in General Fund costs and would increase the size of the 
          state's workforce.  Finance confirmed with the Office of 
          Administrative Law (OAL) that the bill would require DPH to 
          change existing regulations.  We explored the option of 
          having DPH go through a more expedited rulemaking process 
          that would be shorter, less expensive, and avoid a number 
          of the regulations hearings and public comment.  However, 
          the OAL confirmed that the provision in the bill that would 
          require DPH to develop a form the locals would use to 
          report rabies vaccine exemptions requires DPH to go through 
          the lengthier regulations process."  
           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  : 
          AYES: Achadjian, Allen, Ammiano, Atkins, Beall, Bill 
            Berryhill, Block, Blumenfield, Bonilla, Bradford, 
            Brownley, Buchanan, Butler, Charles Calderon, Campos, 
            Carter, Chesbro, Cook, Davis, Dickinson, Donnelly, Eng, 
            Feuer, Fletcher, Fong, Fuentes, Furutani, Beth Gaines, 
            Galgiani, Gatto, Gordon, Grove, Hagman, Halderman, Hall, 
            Harkey, Hayashi, Hill, Huber, Hueso, Huffman, Jeffries, 
            Jones, Knight, Lara, Logue, Ma, Mansoor, Mendoza, Miller, 
            Monning, Morrell, Nestande, Nielsen, Norby, Olsen, Pan, 
            Perea, V. Manuel Pérez, Silva, Skinner, Smyth, Solorio, 
            Swanson, Valadao, Wagner, Wieckowski, Williams, Yamada, 
            John A. Pérez
          NO VOTE RECORDED: Alejo, Cedillo, Conway, Garrick, Gorell, 



                                                                AB 258

            Roger Hernández, Bonnie Lowenthal, Mitchell, Portantino, 

          CTW:do  8/26/11   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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