BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 339
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 10, 2013

                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

               AB 339 (Dickinson) - As Introduced:  February 13, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                              Public  
          SafetyVote:  6-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          Yes    Reimbursable:              No


          This bill expands the current prohibition on selling or giving  
          away a live animal on a street, highway, parking lot, or  
          carnival, to include swap meets. The offense is punishable as an  
          infraction, with a fine of up to $250, unless the violation  
          causes the animal to be injured or endangered, in which case the  
          offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in  
          county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Subsequent violations  
          are misdemeanors.  

          The bill includes numerous exceptions for such cases as junior  
          farmer clubs, fairs, livestock, public animal agencies, fish on  
          a wharf, and permitted animal shows. 
          FISCAL EFFECT  

          Minor local costs, offset by increased fine revenue. County jail  
          incarceration is unlikely except for the most egregious cases. 


           1)Rationale  . According to the author, "Animals are currently  
            being sold at flea markets and swap meets in often abysmal  
            conditions where there is no legal oversight of the seller and  
            no consumer accountability. AB 339 would prohibit the sale of  
            animals at swap meets and flea markets to alleviate the  
            suffering of these animals, ensure that public health and  
            safety is protected, and safeguard consumers.
             "Laws that apply to pet shop do not apply to the sale of  
            animals at flea markets and swap meets. Swap meets and flea  


                                                                  AB 339
                                                                  Page  2

            markets have also historically been prime outlets for the sale  
            of smuggled birds presenting conservation, welfare and disease  
            risk concerns. The bargain-sales atmosphere of flea markets  
            and swap meets encourages impulse-buying and leads to  
            increased costs to local government for sheltering discarded  

           2)Supporters  include a long list of animal rights organizations.  
            For example, according to the American Society for the  
            Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, "Unregulated animal sales  
            are not only an animal welfare problem; they pose problems for  
            consumers and threaten public health. Many of these animals  
            are bred and raised in poor conditions, drastically increasing  
            the likelihood that the animal is sick at the time of the  
            sale?. Additionally, dogs and cats sold in this manner are  
            usually not spayed or neutered, so they increase the  
            probability of contributing to the pet overpopulation problem  
            that leads to tens of thousands of homeless animals being  
            euthanized in California every year."
           3)Opponents , swap meet operators, contend they should be treated  
            as other retail entities.  According to the California Swap  
            Meet Owners Association, "It is our understanding that the  
            sponsors of the bill want to ensure that the health and  
            welfare of animals are protected and that the proper treatment  
            and care for animals is provided - similar to the regulations  
            California provides for pet stores. We agree with this premise  
            and would be willing to abide by criteria and standards to  
            ensure these protections of animals are met at our  

           4)Current law  makes animal neglect, as specified, an alternate  
            felony/misdemeanor. This bill does not preclude prosecution  
            for animal neglect.  

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Geoff Long / APPR. / (916) 319-2081