BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 2431
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          Date of Hearing:   April 29, 2014

                       ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON HIGHER EDUCATION
                                 Das Williams, Chair
                AB 2431 (Dababneh) - As Introduced:  February 21, 2014
           
          SUBJECT  :   Postsecondary education: animal research.

           SUMMARY  :   Requires any public postsecondary educational  
          institution, or independent institution of higher education as  
          defined, that confines dogs or cats for science research, and  
          purposes and intends to destroy the dog or cat used for those  
          purposes, to first offer the dog or cat to an animal adoption or  
          rescue organization, as defined.  Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Requires any public postsecondary educational institution or  
            independent institution of higher education, or employee or  
            student thereof, that confines dogs or cats for the purposes  
            of research (as defined in the Health and Safety Code Section  
            1650), and intends to destroy a dog or cat that has been used  
            for those purposes, to first offer the dog or cat to an animal  
            adoption organization or animal rescue organization.

          2)Defines the following terms:

             a)   "Animal adoption organization" or "animal rescue  
               organization" to mean a not-for-profit entity that is  
               exempt from taxation pursuant to the Internal Revenue Code  
               Section 501(c)(3), or a collaboration of individuals with  
               at least one of its purposes being the sale or placement of  
               animals that have been removed from a public animal control  
               agency or shelter, society for the prevention of cruelty to  
               animals shelter, or humane shelter, or that have been  
               previously owned by any person;

             b)   "Independent institution of higher education" to mean a  
               nonpublic educational institution as defined; and,

             c)   "Public postsecondary educational institution" to mean  
               any campus of the University of California (UC), the  
               California State University (CSU), or the California  
               Community Colleges.

          3)Specifies that animals that are irremediably suffering from a  
            serious illness or severe injury shall not be held for owner  








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            redemption or adoption and that newborn animals that need  
            maternal care and have been impounded without their mothers  
            may be euthanized without being held for owner redemption or  
            adoption.  

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Specifies that public health and welfare depend on the humane  
            use of animals for scientific advancement in the diagnosis and  
            treatment of human and animal diseases, for education, for  
            research in the advancement of veterinary, dental, medical and  
            biologic sciences, for research in animal and human nutrition,  
            and improvement and standardization of laboratory procedures  
            of biologic products, pharmaceuticals, and drugs (Health and  
            Safety Code  1650).

          2)Declares the following policies of the state:

             a)   No adoptable animal should be euthanized if it can be  
               adopted into a suitable home.  Adoptable animals include  
               only those animals eight weeks of age or older that, at or  
               subsequent to the time the animal is impounded or otherwise  
               taken into possession, have manifested no sign of a  
               behavioral or temperamental defect that could pose a health  
               or safety risk or otherwise make the animal unsuitable for  
               placement as a pet, and have manifested no sign of disease,  
               injury, or congenital or hereditary condition that  
               adversely affects the health of the animal or that is  
               likely to adversely affect the animal's health in the  
               future; and,

             b)   No treatable animal should be euthanized.  A treatable  
               animal shall include any animal that is not adoptable but  
               that could become adoptable with reasonable efforts (Food  
               and Agricultural Code (FAC)  17005). 

          3)Specifies that animals that are irremediably suffering from a  
            serious illness or severe injury shall not be held for owner  
            redemption or adoption (FAC  17006).  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :    Background  .  The Animal Welfare Act (AWA; 7 U.S.C.  
          2131 et seq.) is intended to ensure the humane treatment of  
          animals that are intended for research, bred for commercial  








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          sale, exhibited to the public, or commercially transported.   
          Under the AWA, businesses and others with animals covered by the  
          law must be licensed or registered, and they must adhere to  
          minimum standards of care.  The U.S. Department of Agriculture's
          (USDA's) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS)  
          administers the AWA.

          The Act applies to any live or dead dog, cat, nonhuman primate,  
          guinea pig, hamster, rabbit, or other warm-blooded animal  
          determined by the Secretary of Agriculture to be for research or  
          exhibition, or used as a pet.  Additionally, the AWA mandates  
          that all research facilities must be registered with the USDA's  
          APHIS.  To note, research facilities include state and local  
          government-run research institutions, drug firms, universities,  
          diagnostic laboratories, and facilities that study marine  
          mammals.  Lastly, all research universities in the state,  
          (public and private), are accredited by the Association for  
          Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care  
          International (AAALAC) and are subject to additional standards  
          that go above the regulatory requirements.  

           Purpose of this bill  .  According to the author, this measure  
          seeks to provide for an opportunity for Californians to adopt  
          dogs and cats from research, teaching, and veterinary  
          laboratories in California's postsecondary institutions of  
          higher learning.  The bill would facilitate a relationship  
          between these universities and non-profit animal rescue  
          organizations so that when a dog or cat is no longer needed by  
          the laboratory and need not be euthanized to fulfill the objects  
          of the research, that animal be given a chance at adoption  
          instead of being summarily euthanized.  The author contends  
          that, "Current federal, state, and educational-institutional  
          policies and regulations covering animals in research provide  
          for every aspect of the animals life from bedding, water access,  
          enrichment, food, pain management, and method of euthanasia, but  
          there exists no guidelines on what to do with the animals once  
          the research has ended.  When the research test, procedure, or  
          teaching exercise is over it is up to the discretion of the  
          individual laboratory as to whether they will attempt to place  
          the animal up for public adoption.  Current law provides for no  
          standard in identifying opportunities to provide for a humane  
          post-research life and the mechanism to do so."

          To note, it appears that some of the research universities in  
          the state have voluntary internal adoption policies in place,  








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          but it is unclear to the extent that all of the research  
          universities have policies in place.

           California statistics  .  Based on 2013 data from the USDA's  
          APHIS, presently, 59% of the dogs and 67% of cats involved in  
          medical research in California would be covered by this bill.   
          According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in 2013,  
          California received more grant funding from NIH (for animal  
          research), than any other state.  California was awarded grants  
          totaling more than $3.3 billion.  To note, four of the top 15  
          U.S.-wide NIH awardees in 2013 were California universities:   
          University of California (UC) San Francisco; UC San Diego; UCLA;  
          and, Stanford University.

           Efforts by other states  .  Currently, based on information  
          provided by the author, the states of Nevada, Connecticut, and  
          New York have plans to introduce legislation similar to this  
          measure during their 2014 and 2015 Legislative Sessions.   
          Additionally, on March 20, 2014, House File 3234 (State of  
          Minnesota) (which is similar to this measure) was introduced and  
          is currently going through the Legislative Process. 

           Arguments in support  .  According to the Beagle Freedom Project,  
          although some universities have internal adoption polices in  
          place, they are doing so on a voluntary basis.  The Beagle  
          Freedom Project argues, "Giving these animals, if healthy and no  
          longer needed for research or post-research purposes, a chance  
          at a family life, should not be discretionary for tax-payer  
          funded institutions.  The fact that some of these research  
          facilities state that they have an internal policy in place does  
          not negate the need for a unified, standard, and permanent  
          model."  

          The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals  
          contends that this measure takes a logical step in helping to  
          improve the outcomes of theses cats and dogs "subjected to  
          testing".

           Arguments in opposition  .  According to the UC, "The University  
          supports the adoption of dogs and cats used in research when  
          those animals have been deemed suitable for adoption by the  
          expert evaluation of our campus researchers and veterinarians."   
          The UC argues that this measure fails to address the complex  
          human health and safety considerations and related costs that  
          must be contemplated before adoption of research dogs and cats.








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          The California Biomedical Research Association (CBRA) argues  
          that implementation of this bill will not substantially increase  
          the numbers of research animals adopted instead of euthanized.   
          The CBRA contends that this measure will negatively impact the  
          process of medical research and discovery in California.

           Committee consideration  .  California universities that conduct  
          research on dogs and cats have researchers and laboratory  
          veterinarians that use their best judgment in determining if a  
          dog or cat is adoptable.  If the research universities are  
          required to adopt research dogs and cats, that may take away the  
          institutions' ability to use their best judgment, and, therefore  
          create a liability risk for their researchers and universities.

          Staff recommends that the author consider amending the measure  
          to address liability concerns.  The author may wish to specify  
          in the measure that a research university that is required to  
          attempt to adopt out research dogs or cats to an animal adoption  
          or rescue organization, may enter into a binding agreement or  
          contract; specifying that the agreement or contract entered into  
          with the organization, will transfer any liability from the  
          research university to the adoption or rescue organization.

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals  
          (ASPCA)
          Beagle Freedom Project
          Best Friends Animal Society
          Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center
          Molly's Mutts & Meows
          Pasadena Humane Society & Society for the Prevention of Cruelty  
          to Animals
          Sacramento Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals  
          (SPCA)
          Tails of the City Animal Rescue
          The Amanda Foundation
          The Humane Society of the United States
          The Rescue Train
          6094 Individuals

           Opposition 








                                                                 AB 2431
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          Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities
          California Biomedical Research Association
          Stanford University
          University of California
          University of Southern California
          

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Jeanice Warden / HIGHER ED. / (916)  
          319-3960