BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                      



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          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   SB 702|
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                                 THIRD READING


          Bill No:  SB 702
          Author:   Lieu (D)
          Amended:  4/27/11
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE BUSINESS, PROF. & ECON. DEV. COMMITTEE  :  7-1, 5/2/11
          AYES:  Price, Emmerson, Corbett, Correa, Hernandez, Vargas, 
            Walters
          NOES:  Wyland
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Negrete McLeod

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8


           SUBJECT  :    Dog licensing:  microchip implants

           SOURCE  :     Social Compassion in Legislation 


           DIGEST  :    This bill requires owners of an animal that is 
          claimed or adopted from a shelter to implant a microchip in 
          their animal upon release. 

           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:

          1. Prohibits a public animal control agency or shelter, 
             Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal's 
             shelter, Humane Society shelter or rescue group from 
             selling or giving away a dog or cat that has not been 
             spayed or neutered.  
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          2. Imposes fines or civil penalties against the owner of a 
             dog or cat that is impounded by a public pound or 
             private shelter. 

          3. Requires public and private shelters to scan a dog or 
             cat for microchips to identify the owner of the dog or 
             cat.  Where a microchip is found, the public and private 
             shelter shall make reasonable efforts to contact the 
             owner and notify him/her that his/her animal is 
             impounded and available for redemption during the 
             holding period and prior to adoption or euthanasia of an 
             impounded animal. 

          This bill:

          1. Requires an owner of an animal that is adopted or 
             impounded and claimed by the owner from a local animal 
             shelter to implant an identifying microchip in the 
             animal upon release, if a microchip is available.  

          2. States that if a microchip is not available for 
             implantation, the owner must do so within 30 days of 
             release of their animal from the shelter. 

           Background  

          According to the American Animal Welfare Society, a 
          microchip is a computer chip that is programmed with a 
          unique identification number.  The whole device is small 
          enough to fit into a hypodermic needle and is injected 
          under the skin of the animal, where it will stay for the 
          lifetime of the pet.   According to the author's office, 
          implementing the microchip is essentially the same as 
          administering a vaccine.  A pet may feel a little pinch, 
          and any pain should be over very quickly.  Due to the 
          simple nature of implanting a microchip, a veterinarian is 
          not required; rather a veterinarian technician or a 
          registered veterinarian technician may perform the 
          procedure. 

          When a pet is found by an animal shelter or a veterinarian, 
          a scanner is used to detect the pet's microchip.  The 
          scanner will read the unique number associated with the 

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          chip which is linked to the owner's contact information in 
          a database.  Opponents have stated that the varying types 
          of scanners make it difficult to ensure that the microchip 
          can be read when the pet is found.  The American Veterinary 
          Medical Association states that there are three different 
          types of frequencies that are emitted by microchips.  
          However, international standards for microchips have 
          recently been implemented and universal scanners have been 
          developed which read all types of frequencies.  The 
          microchip is not an active pet tracking device and 
          therefore it is essential for the owner to keep their 
          contact information current with the microchip's 
          manufacturer. 

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

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  5/17/11)

          Social Compassion in Legislation (source) 
          Animal Legal Defense Fund  
          California Animal Control Directors Association
          City of Long Beach 
          Human Society of the United States
          Santa Cruz Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 

          Take Me Home Animal Rescue 

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  5/16/11)

          California Responsible Pet Owners' Coalition 

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    Social Compassion in Legislation 
          supports this bill stating that microchipping is a safe and 
          effective way to ensure that animals are returned to their 
          owners. 

          In support, the bill's sponsor cites the American 
          Veterinary Medical Association's Web site, which gives 
          reasons why other methods of identifying lost animals are 
          not as effective.  According to the Web site, "tattooing 
          animals is undesirable because it can produce discomfort 
          and also fade with time or can be altered.  Ear tags are 
          effective and visible means of identification, but can be 

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          removed intentionally or by trauma.  Hot branding provides 
          permanent identification of livestock, but it elicits a 
          marked pain response followed by local inflammation and 
          increased skin sensitivity for one week."  Additionally, 
          studies have shown that where an animal was microchipped, 
          it was successfully returned to its owner 74.1 percent of 
          the time. 

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    California Responsible Pet 
          Owners' Coalition states that owners are reluctant to 
          microchip their dogs because studies have shown, "When a 
          dog is mircochipped, the site of implantation may become 
          swollen or infected; the chip may fail or migrate in the 
          animal's body; and tumors and cancers have developed at the 
          site of implanted chips, necessitating amputation or 
          worse."  Additionally, they state that competitors often 
          make their own scanners, which will not read another 
          competitor's chips.  
           

          JJA:mw  5/17/11   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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