BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 1809
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          Date of Hearing:   April 22, 2014

              ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON BUSINESS, PROFESSIONS AND CONSUMER  
                                     PROTECTION
                               Susan A. Bonilla, Chair
                 AB 1809 (Maienschein) - As Amended:  April 10, 2014
           
          SUBJECT  :   Dogs: health certificates.

           SUMMARY  :   Requires a person seeking to bring a dog into  
          California for resale or change of ownership to obtain a health  
          certificate from a licensed veterinarian, dated within ten days  
          prior to the dog's arrival, and submit the certificate to the   
          county health department.   Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Requires a person bringing or importing a dog into California  
            for the purpose of resale or change of ownership, to obtain a  
            health certificate with respect to that dog, which has been  
            completed by a licensed veterinarian and is dated within ten  
            days prior to the date on which the dog is brought into the  
            state.

          2)Requires the person responsible for providing the health  
            certificate to submit it to the county health department by  
            electronic transmission, facsimile, or any other method  
            accepted by the receiving agency.

          3)Accepts a completed United States Department of Agriculture  
            Animal and Plant Inspection Service Form 7001 (APHIS Form  
            7001), known as the United States Interstate and International  
            Certificate of Health Examination for Small Animals, as an  
            acceptable health certificate or a different canine health  
            certificate form determined by the receiving agency.

          4)States that it is the responsibility of the person importing  
            the dog into California to send the health certificate to the  
            county health department where the dog is offered for sale, or  
            to the county of residence of the individual purchasing a dog  
            directly from a source outside of California.

          5)Specifies that the receiving agency may use the information on  
            the health certificate as it deems appropriate.

          6)States that these provisions shall not apply to a person who  
            brings a dog into the state that will not be offered for  








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            resale or if the ownership of the dog will not change. 

          7)Provides that the agency that receives the form, as specified,  
            may charge a fee in a reasonable amount sufficient to cover  
            the costs associated with receiving and processing a health  
            certificate. 

          8)States that no reimbursement is required by this bill pursuant  
            to the California Constitution because a local agency or a  
            school district has the authority to levy service charges,  
            fees, or assessments sufficient to pay for the program or  
            level of service mandated by this act, or changes the  
            definition of a crime. 



           EXISTING LAW  

          1)Requires a breeder to maintain a written record on the health,  
            status, and disposition of each dog for a period of not less  
            than one year after disposition of the dog, as specified.  
            (Health and Safety Code (HSC) Section 122055)

          2)Defines "dog breeder" or "breeder" as a person, firm,  
            partnership, corporation, or other association that has sold,  
            transferred, or given away all or part of three or more  
            litters or 20 or more dogs during the preceding 12 months that  
            were bred and reared on the premises of the person, firm,  
            partnership, corporation, or other association.  (HSC 122045)

          3)Provides that if a licensed veterinarian states in writing  
            that within 15 days after the purchaser has taken physical  
            possession of a dog following the sale, the dog becomes ill,  
            or, if within one year after the purchaser has taken physical  
            possession of the dog after the sale by a breeder or dealer, a  
            licensed veterinarian states in writing that the dog has a  
            congenital or hereditary condition that adversely affects the  
            health of the dog, or that requires, or is likely to require,  
            hospitalization or nonelective surgical procedures, the dog  
            shall be considered unfit for sale, and a breeder or pet  
            dealer must provide the purchaser with specified remedies.  
            (HSC 122070, 122160)

          4)Requires all dogs or cats received by a retail dealer, prior  
            to being placed with other dogs or cats, to be examined for  








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            sickness. Any dog or cat found to be afflicted with a  
            contagious disease shall be kept caged separately from healthy  
            animals. (HSC 122135)

          5)Requires a pet dealer to maintain a written record on the  
            health, status, and disposition of each dog and each cat for a  
            period of not less than one year after disposition of the dog  
            or cat, as specified, and requires the records to be available  
            to humane officers, animal control officers, and law  
            enforcement officers for inspection during normal business  
            hours. (HSC 122145)

          6)Defines "pet dealer" as a person engaging in the business of  
            selling dogs or cats, or both, at retail, and by virtue of the  
            sales of dogs and cats is required to possess a permit, as  
            specified, and does not apply to breeders of dogs, nor to any  
            person, firm, partnership, corporation, or other association,  
            that breeds or rears dogs on the premises of the person, firm,  
            partnership, corporation, or other association, that has sold,  
            transferred, or given away fewer than 50 dogs in the preceding  
            year.  (HSC 122125)

          7)Defines "purchaser" as a person who purchases a dog or cat  
            from a pet dealer without the intent to resell the animal.   
            (HSC 122125(c))

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :   

           1)Purpose of this bill  .  This bill requires individuals  
            importing dogs into California for resale or change of  
            ownership to complete and file a health certificate with the  
            county health department, dated within ten days prior to the  
            dog's arrival, in order to provide local governments, animal  
            control agencies, and consumers with pertinent information  
            regarding the animal's health.  The author's aim is to protect  
            consumers from purchasing or adopting sick animals and help  
            prevent dogs being imported into the state who may unknowingly  
            be carrying contagious diseases.  This bill is sponsored by  
            the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals  
            (ASCPA). 

           2)Author's statement  .  According to the author, "California is  
            currently one of only [two] states that do not require dogs to  








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            be inspected and issued a Certificate of Veterinarian  
            Inspection (CVI) or equivalent, prior to, or upon, entry into  
            the state.  CVIs are legal documents signed by veterinarians  
            who have evaluated the health of dogs and can attest to the  
            accuracy of the information.  These important documents help  
            protect consumers from purchasing sick dogs, and reduce the  
            likelihood that imported dogs bring contagious diseases into  
            California.  

            "With the increase of online sales of puppies direct to  
            consumers in California, there is no official document that  
            notifies local governments to the number of dogs entering  
            their jurisdiction from out of state.  This makes the job of  
            California's animal care and control agencies even more  
            challenging as they do not have a complete picture of the  
            number of dogs entering their municipality from outside  
            California.  Existing law merely requires that imported dogs  
            be healthy and have a current rabies vaccination."  


           3)Animal importation  .  In order to prevent the spread of animal  
            diseases across state lines, state departments of agriculture  
            and other state agencies have created rules and regulations  
            which govern the importation of livestock, companion animals,  
            equines, and other animals.  While all states have set forth  
            stringent requirements for the importation and movement of  
            livestock, not all states have stringent requirements for the  
            importation of companion animals.


            According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the  
            majority of states require some type of "health certificate"  
            be provided for companion animals imported into the state, but  
            some exceptions are made for animals: passing through the  
            state for short periods of time; being transferred to  
            educational, scientific, or research facilities; being  
            transferred to veterinary care facilities; or, entering the  
            state for exhibitions, shows, or fairs.  California only  
            requires that all domestic dogs be healthy, and those over  
            four months of age must have a certificate of current rabies  
            vaccination.  

            While there are no exact numbers on the amount of dogs  
            purchased over the internet or between states, according to  
            the Humane Society of the United States, tens of thousands of  








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            dogs are shipped into the U.S. from "puppy mills" in foreign  
            countries, purchased by people over Internet sites, and many  
            people who have purchased puppies and kittens online find that  
            these pets are sick and often die from their health problems.   
            Some never even knew they were dealing with someone outside of  
            the U.S. or that their puppy was born overseas before being  
            sold to a U.S. broker.  


            When dogs or other animals are exported outside of the state,  
            veterinarians in California typically complete the APHIS Form  
            7001.  Under this bill, California consumers receiving a copy  
            of the certificate will be provided with more accurate  
            information about the health of animals acquired from  
            out-of-state breeders, private sale individuals, or animal  
            re-homers.  This bill will also provide county health agencies  
            with important animal-related health data including a more  
            accurate count of the number of animals imported from other  
            states.  AB 1809 further allows local agencies to charge a  
            reasonable fee to cover the costs associated with receiving  
            the documentation.  




           4)The United States Interstate and International Certificate of  
            Health Examination for Small Animals (APHIS Form 7001  ).  The  
            APHIS Form 7001 is an official document issued and signed by a  
            licensed veterinarian providing verification that an animal,  
            or group of animals, was inspected and found to be healthy and  
            showing no signs of contagious or communicable disease on the  
            date of inspection.  Information provided on the document  
            includes the type of animal, number of animals in the  
            shipment, breed, age, sex, color or distinctive marks, names,  
            address and license number of the signing veterinarian is  
            required.  Each state determines the health requirements for  
            animals being transported into their state. 



            This information is an essential element in a disease outbreak  
            to identify the source of a disease and to locate potentially  
            exposed animals and people.  The veterinary certification  
            section of the form contains specific statements of  
            importance, as well as the veterinarian contact information,  








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            license number and signature.  Certificates are valid for use  
            for 30 days after animal examination.


           5)Regulation of animal sales  .  Under current law, the  
            Polanco-Lockyer Pet Breeder Warranty Act, all dog breeders are  
            required to provide a written disclosure upon the sale of any  
            dog with information such as the breeder's name and address,  
            the dog's birth date, breed, sex, color, a veterinarian  
            record, and a signed statement from the breeder that the dog  
            has no known diseases.  Any breeder who knowingly sells a  
            diseased dog faces a civil penalty and purchasers of dogs with  
            health conditions are afforded the opportunity for remedies  
            such as the return of the dog, compensation or replacement if  
            the dog passes away.  

          Additionally, the Lockyer-Polanco-Farr Pet Protection Act  
            requires pet dealers to have dogs examined by a licensed  
            veterinarian before they are offered for sale, and specifies  
            that exams must occur within five days of the dealer receiving  
            the dog, and every 15 days thereafter until the dog is sold.    


          This bill does not impact California's current law with respect  
            to selling, breeding or rehoming dogs inside of California.   
            This bill only requires that persons importing a dog into  
            California for purchase or change of ownership file a health  
            certificate prior to the dog's arrival to California.  There  
            is no requirement that county health departments do anything  
            with the information, other than collect it.  

            Additionally, this bill does not require individuals who are  
            bringing dogs into California for an extended period or moving  
            into California to file a certificate as long as the dog is  
            not changing ownership. 

           6)Arguments in support  .  The ASPCA writes in support,  
            "California is currently one of only two states that do not  
            require dogs to be inspected and issued a CVI or equivalent  
            prior to or upon entry into the state.  Existing California  
            law merely requires that imported dogs be healthy and have  
            current rabies vaccination.  CVI's are legal documents signed  
            by veterinarians who have evaluated the health of dogs and can  
            attest to the accuracy of the information.  These important  
            documents help protect consumers from purchasing sick dogs,  








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            and reduce the likelihood that imported dogs bring contagious  
            [diseases] into California."

           7)Arguments in opposition  .  The Animal Council writes in  
            opposition, "In a state as large as California, dogs moving  
            intrastate are very similar to dogs coming from outside as to  
            public health risks, yet their movements would not be tracked  
            or recorded.  There is no value to local jurisdictions in  
            collecting or maintaining this data for out of state dogs,  
            especially when compliance would be problematic for those  
            required to report it."

           8)Suggested amendments  .  While the bill specifically exempts  
            people who bring dogs into California that will not be offered  
            for resale or if the ownership will not change, there may be  
            some confusion over the requirements for dogs brought into  
            California as guide dogs, or animals that are transported as a  
            result of natural or manmade disasters from outside of  
            California.  The author may wish to consider the following  
            amendment. 

               On page 3, line 16, after "chapter." insert, "This chapter  
               does not apply to the import of any dog used for police or  
               military work, any guide dog as defined by Section 365.5(d)  
               of the Penal Code, or any dog imported as a result of a  
               declared emergency as established by Section 8558 of the  
               Government Code or an investigation by law enforcement of  
               an alleged violation of federal or state animal fighting or  
               animal cruelty laws".

               On page 3, line 5, after "purchasing" add "or receiving".  

               On page 3, line 12, after "dog" strike "will not" and add  
          "is not expected to".

           9)Question for the Committee  .  This bill currently requires a  
            person seeking to bring a dog into California for sale or  
            change of ownership to obtain and submit to local county  
            health departments a health information form which has been  
            completed and signed by a licensed veterinarian or to meet  
            other requirements.  However, the bill fails to provide an  
            enforcement mechanism for non-compliance.  

          The author may wish to consider adding a provision to enhance  
            the enforcement capability of local county health departments  








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            against those out-of-state individuals who do not comply with  
            the requirements of this bill.  

           10)Related legislation  .  AB 1810 (Maienschein) of 2014, permits  
            a veterinarian or animal care facility to turn over an  
            abandoned animal to a public animal control agency or shelter  
            rather than euthanize it, as long as the shelter has not  
            refused to take the animal, and deletes the requirement that  
            an abandoned animal be euthanized 10 days after abandonment.   
            That bill is pending in Senate Judiciary Committee. 

           11)Previous legislation  .  SB 702 (Lieu) of 2011, would have  
            prohibited any public animal control agency or shelter,  
            society for the prevention of cruelty to animals shelter,  
            humane society shelter, or rescue group from releasing to an  
            owner seeking to reclaim his or her dog or cat, or selling or  
            giving away to a new owner, a dog or cat that has not been  
            microchipped, except under a specified circumstance.  That  
            bill was vetoed by the Governor.

             SB 934 (Vincent) of 2005, would have required an entity  
             selling or giving away of an unspayed or unneutered dog or  
             cat to require the adopter or purchaser to execute a written  
             agreement acknowledging that the dog or cat is not spayed or  
             neutered and agreeing that the adopter or purchaser shall be  
             responsible for ensuring that the dog or cat will be spayed  
             or neutered, as specified.  That measure was referred to the  
             Senate Business, Professions and Economic Development  
             Committee but was never heard.

            AB 1336 (Koretz), Chapter 181, Statutes of 2002, required pet  
            dealers to provide purchasers of dogs and cats written  
            material explaining the benefits of spay and neutering their  
            animals, as well as other user information regarding use of a  
            veterinarian and licensing their dog. 
             

          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals  
          (sponsor)

           Opposition 








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          The Animal Council
           
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Elissa Silva / B.,P. & C.P. / (916)  
          319-3301