Amended in Senate August 20, 2013

Amended in Senate July 2, 2013

Amended in Senate May 28, 2013

Amended in Assembly April 19, 2013

Amended in Assembly April 18, 2013

California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 272


Introduced by Assembly Member Gomez

(Coauthor: Senator Anderson)

February 7, 2013


An act to amend Section 121690 of the Health and Safety Code, relating to rabies.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 272, as amended, Gomez. Rabies: vaccinations.

Existing law imposes various requirements upon dog owners in rabies areas designated by the State Public Health Officer. Any person who violates these requirements is guilty of an infraction, and is punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000. Violation of these requirements also results in impounding of the dog by the local jurisdiction. Among the requirements imposed under existing law is that a dog owner, after his or her dog attains 4 months of age, annually procure the dog’s vaccination against rabies by a licensed veterinarian with canine antirabies vaccine approved by, and in a manner prescribed by, the State Department of Public Health, with specified exceptions.

This bill would require that a dog owner,begin delete by the timeend deletebegin insert afterend insert his or her dog isbegin delete 4end deletebegin insert 3end insert months of agebegin insert or olderend insert, procure the dog’s vaccination against rabies by a licensed veterinarian with canine antirabies vaccine approved by the department and in a manner consistent with the vaccine label. By expanding the definition of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 121690 of the Health and Safety Code
2 is amended to read:

3

121690.  

In rabies areas, all of the following shall apply:

4(a) Every dog owner, after his or her dog attains the age of four
5months, shall no less than once every two years secure a license
6for the dog as provided by ordinance of the responsible city, city
7and county, or county. License fees shall be fixed by the
8responsible city, city and county, or county, at an amount not to
9exceed limitations otherwise prescribed by state law or city, city
10and county, or county charter.

11(b) (1) Every dog owner,begin delete by the timeend deletebegin insert afterend insert his or her dog attains
12the age ofbegin delete four monthsend deletebegin insert three months or olderend insert, shall, at intervals of
13time not more often than once a year, as may be prescribed by the
14department, procure its vaccination by a licensed veterinarian with
15a canine antirabies vaccine approved by the department and
16administered according to the vaccine label, unless a licensed
17veterinarian determines, on an annual basis, that a rabies
18vaccination would endanger the dog’s life due to disease or other
19considerations that the veterinarian can verify and document. The
20responsible city, county, or city and county may specify the means
21by which the dog owner is required to provide proof of his or her
22dog’s rabies vaccination, including, but not limited to, by electronic
23transmission or facsimile.

P3    1(2) A request for an exemption from the requirements of this
2subdivision shall be submitted on an approved form developed by
3the department and shall include a signed statement by the
4veterinarian explaining the inadvisability of the vaccination and a
5signed statement by the dog owner affirming that the owner
6understands the consequences and accepts all liability associated
7with owning a dog that has not received the canine antirabies
8vaccine. The request shall be submitted to the local health officer,
9who may issue an exemption from the canine antirabies vaccine.

10(3) The local health officer shall report exemptions issued
11pursuant to this subdivision to the department.

12(4) A dog that is exempt from the vaccination requirements of
13this section shall be considered unvaccinated.

14(5) A dog that is exempt from the vaccination requirements of
15this section shall, at the discretion of the local health officer or the
16officer’s designee, be confined to the premises of the owner,
17keeper, or harborer and, when off the premises, shall be on a leash
18the length of which shall not exceed six feet and shall be under
19the direct physical control of an adult. A dog that is exempt from
20the provisions of this section shall not have contact with a dog or
21cat that is not currently vaccinated against rabies.

22(c) All dogs under four months of age shall be confined to the
23premises of, or kept under physical restraint by, the owner, keeper,
24or harborer. Nothing in this chapter and Section 120435 shall be
25construed to prevent the sale or transportation of a puppy four
26months old or younger.

27(d) A dog in violation of this chapter and any additional
28provisions that may be prescribed by a local governing body shall
29be impounded, as provided by local ordinance.

30(e) The governing body of each city, city and county, or county
31shall maintain or provide for the maintenance of a pound system
32and a rabies control program for the purpose of carrying out and
33enforcing this section.

34(f) (1) Each city, county, or city and county shall provide dog
35vaccination clinics, or arrange for dog vaccination at clinics
36operated by veterinary groups or associations, held at strategic
37locations throughout each city, city and county, or county. The
38vaccination and licensing procedures may be combined as a single
39 operation in the clinics. No charge in excess of the actual cost shall
40be made for any one vaccination at a clinic. No owner of a dog
P4    1shall be required to have his or her dog vaccinated at a public clinic
2if the owner elects to have the dog vaccinated by a licensed
3veterinarian of the owner’s choice.

4(2) All public clinics shall be required to operate under antiseptic
5immunization conditions comparable to those used in the
6vaccination of human beings.

7(g) In addition to the authority provided in subdivision (a), the
8ordinance of the responsible city, city and county, or county may
9provide for the issuance of a license for a period not to exceed
10three years for dogs that have attained the age of 12 months or
11older and have been vaccinated against rabies or one year for dogs
12exempted from the vaccination requirement pursuant to subdivision
13(b). The person to whom the license is issued pursuant to this
14subdivision may choose a license period as established by the
15governing body of up to one, two, or three years. However, when
16issuing a license pursuant to this subdivision, the license period
17shall not extend beyond the remaining period of validity for the
18current rabies vaccination and, if a dog is exempted from the
19vaccination requirement pursuant to subdivision (b), the license
20period shall not extend beyond one year. A dog owner who
21complies with this subdivision shall be deemed to have complied
22with the requirements of subdivision (a).

23(h) All information obtained from a dog owner by compliance
24with this chapter is confidential to the dog owner and proprietary
25to the veterinarian. This information shall not be used, distributed,
26or released for any purpose, except to ensure compliance with
27existing federal, state, county, or city laws or regulations.

28

SEC. 2.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
29Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
30the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
31district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
32infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
33for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
34the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
35the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
36Constitution.



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