BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                SB 1162
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        SENATE THIRD READING
        SB 1162 (Runner)
        As Amended  August 22, 2012
        2/3 vote.  Urgency

         SENATE VOTE  :38-0  
         
         PUBLIC SAFETY       4-0         APPROPRIATIONS      17-0        
         
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        |Ayes:|Ammiano, Knight, Hagman,  |Ayes:|Gatto, Harkey,            |
        |     |Skinner                   |     |Blumenfield, Bradford,    |
        |     |                          |     |Charles Calderon, Campos, |
        |     |                          |     |Davis, Donnelly, Fuentes, |
        |     |                          |     |Hall, Hill, Cedillo,      |
        |     |                          |     |Mitchell, Nielsen, Norby, |
        |     |                          |     |Solorio, Wagner           |
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         SUMMARY  :  Authorizes an animal control officer or humane officer to 
        possess and administer a tranquilizer that contains a controlled 
        substance to a wild, stray, or abandoned animal, as specified, with 
        indirect supervision as determined by a licensed veterinarian, 
        provided that the officer meets prescribed training and other 
        requirements.  Specifically,  this bill  states that if an animal 
        control officer or humane officer, when necessary to protect the 
        health and safety of a wild, stray, or abandoned animal or the 
        health and safety of others, seeks to administer a tranquilizer that 
        contains a controlled substance to gain control of that animal, he 
        or she may possess and administer that tranquilizer with direct or 
        indirect supervision as determined by a licensed veterinarian, 
        provided that the officer has met each of the following 
        requirements:

        1)Has received training in the administration of tranquilizers from 
          a licensed veterinarian. The training shall be approved by the 
          California Veterinary Medical Board.

        2)Has successfully completed the firearms component of a course 
          relating to the exercise of police powers, as specified.

        3)Is authorized by his or her agency or organization to possess and 
          administer the tranquilizer in accordance with a policy 
          established by the agency or organization and approved by the 
          veterinarian who obtained the controlled substance.








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        4)Has successfully completed the euthanasia training as specified.

        5)Has completed a state and federal fingerprinting background check 
          and does not have any drug- or alcohol-related convictions.

         EXISTING LAW  :  

        1)Authorizes any peace officer, humane society officer, or animal 
          control officer to take possession of a stray or abandoned animal 
          and to provide care and treatment for the animal until the animal 
          is deemed to be in suitable condition to be returned to the owner 
          and also authorizes the officer to immediately seize the animal, 
          as specified, if the officer has reasonable grounds to believe 
          that very prompt action is required to protect the health or 
          safety of the animal or the health or safety of others.  

        2)Authorizes an officer to take charge of any animal, including a 
          dog or cat, that by reason of lameness, sickness, feebleness, or 
          neglect, is unfit for the labor it is performing, or that in any 
          manner is being cruelly treated, and provide care and treatment 
          for the animal until it is deemed to be in a suitable condition to 
          be returned to the owner.  

        3)Provides that every sick, disabled, infirm, or crippled animal, 
          except a dog or cat, that is abandoned in any city, county, city 
          and county, or judicial district may be killed by the officer if, 
          after a reasonable search, no owner of the animal can be found.  
          However, it shall be the duty of all officers to cause the animal 
          to be killed or rehabilitated and placed in a suitable home on 
          information that the animal is a stray or abandoned.  

        4)Provides that any officer shall convey all injured cats and dogs 
          found without their owners in a public place directly to a 
          veterinarian for a determination of whether the animal shall be 
          immediately and humanely destroyed or shall be hospitalized under 
          proper care and given emergency treatment.  

        5)Provides that any peace officer, humane society officer, or any 
          animal control officer may, with the approval of his or her 
          immediate superior, humanely destroy any stray or abandoned animal 
          in the field in any case where the animal is too severely injured 
          to move or where a veterinarian is not available and it would be 
          more humane to dispose of the animal.  









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        6)Provides that animal control officers are not peace officers but 
          may exercise the powers of arrest, serve warrants, or carry and 
          use firearms if they receive the appropriate training as 
          specified.  "Firearms" includes capture guns, blowguns, carbon 
          dioxide operated rifles and pistols, air guns, handguns, rifles 
          and shotguns.  

        7)Establishes the California Uniform Controlled Substances Act which 
          regulates controlled substances which are classified according to 
          the degrees of medical usefulness and are subject to restrictions 
          on their use and administration.  

        8)Provides that except in the regular practice of his or her 
          profession (as a practitioner), no person shall knowingly 
          prescribe, administer, dispense, or furnish a controlled substance 
          to or for any person or animal, which is not under his or her 
          treatment for a pathology or condition other than addiction to a 
          controlled substance, except as otherwise provided, and that no 
          person shall knowingly solicit, direct, induce, aid, or encourage 
          a practitioner authorized to write a prescription to unlawfully 
          prescribe,  administer, dispense, or furnish a controlled 
          substance.  

        9)Defines a "practitioner" as:

           a)   A physician, dentist, veterinarian, podiatrist, pharmacist, 
             a registered or advanced registered nurse, physician assistant, 
             or optometrist acting within their scope of practice as 
             provided under the Business and Professions Code;

           b)   A pharmacy, hospital, or other institution licensed, 
             registered, or otherwise permitted to distribute, dispense, 
             conduct research with respect to, or to administer, a 
             controlled substance in the course of professional practice or 
             research in California;

           c)   A scientific investigator, or other person licensed, 
             registered,  or otherwise permitted, to distribute, dispense, 
             conduct research with respect to, or administer, a controlled 
             substance in the course of professional practice or research in 
             California; and,

           d)   Specifies that only a practitioner including a naturopathic 
             doctor may write or issue a prescription as permitted under the 
             Business and Professions Code.  








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        10)Provides that a prescription for a controlled substance shall 
          only be issued for a legitimate medical purpose by an individual 
          practitioner acting in the usual course of his or her professional 
          practice.  The responsibility for the proper prescribing and 
          dispensing of controlled substances is upon the prescribing 
          practitioner.    

        11)Makes possession of a controlled substance a felony unless upon 
          the written prescription of a physician, dentist, podiatrist, or 
          veterinarian licensed to practice in California.

         FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, 
        negligible state cost. Any training and background checks will be a 
        local responsibility and do not constitute a mandate, as the bill is 
        permissive.

         COMMENTS  :  According to the author, "When necessary to protect an 
        animal or the safety of the public, animal control officers are 
        required to take possession of any stray or abandoned animal and 
        provide care and treatment for the animal. 

        "Local animal control officers must sometimes use a controlled 
        substance to tranquilize and gain control an animal.  California law 
        requires that such drugs be stored in a central location and 
        officers obtain contemporaneous authorization from a licensed 
        veterinarian prior to administering any drugs.  In practice, 
        however, a licensed veterinarian is not always available and the 
        necessity of having a veterinarian supervise when administering the 
        drugs could jeopardize public safety.

        "A recent Attorney General's decision indicates that prior 
        consultation with a licensed veterinarian is insufficient.  (Opinion 
        08-505, 12/23/11)  Moreover, the AG's opinion finds that 'the duties 
        of local animal control officers, which consist of protecting 
        animals and the public through the enforcement of local animal 
        control laws,' does not fit within the context of current law.

        "Animal control and humane officers must act quickly when there is 
        an emergency situation in the field in order to capture injured 
        animals or to protect the public from dangerous animals.  It is not 
        always possible to immediately determine whether or an animal is 
        stray, abandoned or wild. While animal control officers have general 
        authority to kill an injured animal or one posing an immediate 
        threat to public safety, this is a remedy of last resort.  In the 








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        case of a protected species, like a mountain lion, a depredation 
        permit may be required before killing the animal, which causes 
        further concerns. 

        "Limited authorization to use tranquilizers would be more humane and 
        would better protect public safety."

        Please see the policy committee analysis for a full discussion of 
        this bill.
         

        Analysis Prepared by  :    Gabriel Caswell / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744 


                                                                  FN: 0005322