BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                           SENATE COMMITTEE on AGRICULTURE
                          Senator Cathleen Galgiani, Chair

          BILL NO:    AB 1319                   HEARING:  07/02/13
          AUTHOR:   Eggman                      FISCAL:  Yes
          VERSION:  06/26/13                    CONSULTANT:  Anne Megaro
          
                                    Agriculture.

           SUMMARY  :
          This bill would eliminate state indemnity compensation for the  
          slaughter of brucellosis-positive cattle and would provide equal  
          compensation to owners of reacting (diseased) and non-reacting  
          (exposed) cattle slaughtered for the purpose of brucellosis  
          eradication.  This bill would also add the secretary of the  
          California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to the  
          Strategic Growth Council.


           BACKGROUND AND EXISTING LAW  :
          
           Brucellosis  is a contagious bacterial disease that threatens  
          cattle health and wellness.  According to the Animal and Plant  
          Health Inspection Service of the United States Department of  
          Agriculture (APHIS-USDA), brucellosis is one of the most serious  
          diseases in that it affects milk production, induces weight  
          loss, and causes abortion, infertility, and lameness.   
          Brucellosis is rapidly spread throughout a herd and is a  
          zoonotic disease, meaning it can be transmitted across species  
          and infect other livestock (bison, pigs), and even humans.  No  
          cure is known, however a vaccine is available for cattle and  
          bison to prevent the spread of the disease.

          The Cooperative State-Federal Brucellosis Eradication Program  
          was established in 1934 to eradicate brucellosis from the U.S.   
          Animals testing positive or those exposed to brucellosis must be  
          eradicated to prevent further spread of the disease.  According  
          to APHIS-USDA, all 50 states have been officially designated as  
          Class Free for bovine brucellosis, despite detections in the  
          Greater Yellowstone Area where the disease is endemic in wild  
          elk and bison.  However, surveillance continues to ensure no  
          resurgence or reintroduction of the disease in domestic  
          livestock.

          Existing law authorizes CDFA to regulate brucellosis  
          eradication.  CDFA is authorized to establish brucellosis  
          control areas, limit cattle movement, order tests or  
          vaccinations, and prevent brucellosis spread by other means  
          deemed necessary.  Any animal tested positive for brucellosis  




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          must be slaughtered within 30 days.  The owner of such an animal  
          shall receive all proceeds from the sale of the salvage of the  
          animal, indemnity compensation from the federal government, and  
          up to $300 from the state if the appraised value of the animal  
          exceeds the two previously mentioned sources of funds, as  
          specified.  


          For any non-reacting animal within a brucellosis control area  
          that has been determined by the secretary to be sent to  
          slaughter, the owner shall receive the difference between the  
          appraised value of the animal and the proceeds of the sale of  
          the salvage, not to exceed $400 for any grade animal or $500 for  
          any purebred animal, less the indemnity paid by USDA.  The  
          appraisal shall be conducted by a representative of CDFA or USDA  
          and the owner or his/her agent.  If an agreement of valuation is  
          not met, the animal shall be appraised by the chief appraiser of  
          CDFA or his/her representative, and this appraisal shall be  
          final.  

           The Strategic Growth Council  was created in 2008 as a  
          cabinet-level committee that is tasked with coordinating the  
          activities of member state agencies to improve air and water  
          quality, protect natural resources and agricultural lands,  
          increase the availability of affordable housing, promote public  
          health, improve transportation, encourage greater infill and  
          compact development, revitalize community and urban centers, and  
          assist state and local entities in the planning of sustainable  
          communities and meeting AB 32 goals.  Current members include  
          the director of State Planning and Research, the secretary of  
          the Resources Agency, the secretary for Environmental  
          Protection, the secretary of Business, Transportation and  
          Housing, the secretary of California Health and Human Services,  
          and one member of the public appointed by the governor.


           PROPOSED LAW  :

           This bill:  
                 Eliminates state indemnity compensation to owners of  
               cattle slaughtered for the purposes of brucellosis  
               eradication.

                 Clarifies the use of indemnity funds available from the  
               United States Department of Agriculture to assist in the  
               eradication of brucellosis in cattle.






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                 Provides equal indemnity compensation for owners of  
               reacting and non-reacting cattle that are slaughtered for  
               purposes of brucellosis eradication.

                 Adds the secretary of CDFA to the Strategic Growth  
               Council and makes conforming changes to avoid conflict with  
               other bills amending this section.


           COMMENTS  :
          
           Stated need for this bill:   According to the author,  
          "Historically, California had funds to participate in funding  
          (brucellosis) eradication.  In recent years of budget shortfalls  
          and significant reductions to the state's General Fund and the  
          California Department of Food and Agriculture's budget, these  
          funds have been lost.  Due to these facts, the statute needs to  
          be changed to reflect non-state participation in indemnity  
          program funding."  

          According to those in support, "This bill will create a  
          framework for providing compensation for owners whose animals  
          were depopulated even though they were not infected.   
          Depopulating herds if one or more animals are determined to be  
          infected significantly decreases the spread of the disease.   
          This bill provides that an owner of the non-infected animal  
          receive the same compensation as the affected animal."

          Furthermore, according to the author, the secretary of CDFA  
          should be included as a member of the Strategic Growth Council  
          to "ensure communities have access to local and regional food  
          sources."

          In a letter from the California State Board of Food and  
          Agriculture to the governor dated August 10, 2012, the Board  
          presented findings related to a recent board meeting concerning  
          agricultural land preservation and conservation.  As part of its  
          findings, the Board recommended that CDFA be added as a member  
          of the California Strategic Growth Council, given that "CDFA can  
          be a strong contributor to this committee with its expertise and  
          oversight on farming, direct marketing, and protection of  
          agricultural and public lands from invasive species."

           California's Health in All Policies Task Force  (Task Force) was  
          established by Executive Order S-04-10 in February 2010 to  
          advance multiple goals in order to support a healthier and more  
          sustainable California.  Created under the auspices of the  





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          Strategic Growth Council, the Task Force developed a  
          broad-ranging set of recommendations geared toward improving the  
          efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and collaborative nature of  
          state government, while advancing the Strategic Growth Council's  
          goals.  The Department of Food and Agriculture along with 18  
          additional state agencies, departments, and offices participated  
          on the Task Force.


           RELATED LEGISLATION  :
          AB 2605 (Bordonaro/McPherson), Chapter 653, Statutes of 1996.   
          Conforms existing law to federal law for the permanent marking  
          of animals infected or exposed to brucellosis, among other  
          provisions.

          SB 732 (Steinberg), Chapter 729, Statutes of 2008.  Establishes  
          the Strategic Growth Council to coordinate programs of member  
          state agencies.


           PRIOR ACTIONS  :
          Assembly Floor      74-0
          Assembly Appropriations  17-0
          Assembly Agriculture       7-0


           SUPPORT  :
          California Grain and Feed Association


           OPPOSITION  :
          None received