BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 147


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          Date of Hearing:  March 25, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          AB  
          147 (Dababneh) - As Amended March 16, 2015


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


          SUMMARY: 


          This bill:










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             1)   Requires any public postsecondary educational  
               institution or independent institution of higher education  
               (institution) that confines dogs or cats for the purposes  
               of research, if the institution determines, after the  
               completion of any testing or research, that an animal's  
               destruction is not required and the animal is no longer  
               needed, and if the institution's existing procedures for  
               adopting the animal do not result in adoption, to offer the  
               animal to an animal adoption organization or animal rescue  
               organization prior to euthanasia.


             2)   Authorizes an institution that is required to offer dogs  
               or cats to an animal adoption organization or animal rescue  
               organization to enter into an agreement with these  
               entities, as specified. 


             3)   Specifies that the requirements in (1) do not apply to  
               animals irremediably suffering from a serious illness or  
               severe injury and newborn animals that need maternal care  
               and have been impounded without their mothers.  


          FISCAL EFFECT:  Since all universities affected by the bill  
          appear to have existing policies and procedures in place for  
          adoption of research animals, costs to offer animals to an  
          adoption or rescue organization are likely minor. 


          COMMENTS:


          1)Purpose. According to the author, 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  








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            has ended. This bill is intended to facilitate a relationship  
            between 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. 

          2)Background. The federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA) is intended  
            to ensure the humane treatment of animals intended for  
            research, bred for commercial 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.  
            In addition, 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.  
             
             The majority of institutions of higher education appear to  
            have policies and procedures in place with regard to the  
            adoption of research animals. The University of California  
            (UC) issued systemwide guidance on the adoption of research  
            dogs and cats in August of 2014. The UC notes that several  
            campuses also have "direct adoption" policies where the  
            individual campus manages the adoption process. The California  
            State University (CSU) does not currently have any research  
            activities involving dogs and cats on any of its campuses, but  
            several of its campuses have adoption policies in place. Most  
            of the 112 California Community Colleges (CCCs) that have  
            animals on its campuses are used for teaching, not research  
            purposes and have adoption policies in place.  The few CCCs  
            that are involved in animal research also have adoption  
            policies in place and adhere to the strict USDA guidelines.  
            The Association of Independent California Colleges and  
            Universities (AICCU) indicates  independent California  
            institutions of higher learning that have research dogs and  
            cats have individual adoption policies in place and have been  
            successful in their adoptions of approved dogs and cats.  









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          3)Opposition. The AICCU, the California Biomedical Research  
            Association, Stanford University, and the University of  
            Southern California (USC) oppose the bill and note the federal  
            government has established an extensive regulatory framework,  
            administered by the USDA, that highly regulates the use and  
            role of animals in research.  
            
            The University of California also raises concerns of legal  
            cause of action against scientists, veterinarians and UC if  
            determinations of adoptability are later disputed.  It should  
            be noted, however, that the bill's only mandate - to contact  
            an adoption organization if an institution's existing  
            procedures fail to result in adoption - is in effect following  
            the institution's determination that euthanasia is not  
            required.

          4)Prior Legislation. AB 2431 (Dababneh) of 2014 was similar to  
            this bill.  AB 2431 was never heard by this committee.









          Analysis Prepared by:Misty Feusahrens / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081


















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