BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                       AB 316


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          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING


          AB  
          316 (Maienschein)


          As Amended  April 23, 2015


          Majority vote


           ------------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Committee       |Votes |Ayes                |Noes                  |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |----------------+------+--------------------+----------------------|
          |Business &      |14-0  |Bonilla, Jones,     |                      |
          |Professions     |      |Baker, Bloom,       |                      |
          |                |      |Campos, Chang,      |                      |
          |                |      |Dodd, Eggman,       |                      |
          |                |      |Gatto, Holden,      |                      |
          |                |      |Mullin, Ting, Wilk, |                      |
          |                |      |Wood                |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |----------------+------+--------------------+----------------------|
          |Appropriations  |17-0  |Gomez, Bigelow,     |                      |
          |                |      |Bloom, Bonta,       |                      |
          |                |      |Calderon, Chang,    |                      |
          |                |      |Daly, Eggman,       |                      |
          |                |      |Gallagher, Eduardo  |                      |
          |                |      |Garcia, Holden,     |                      |
          |                |      |Jones, Quirk,       |                      |
          |                |      |Rendon, Wagner,     |                      |
          |                |      |Weber, Wood         |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
           ------------------------------------------------------------------- 








                                                                       AB 316


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          SUMMARY:  Permits a veterinarian licensed in another state to be  
          called to California by law enforcement, animal control, or a  
          humane officer, to attend to cases of animal cruelty or animal  
          fighting as requested, and permits the establishment of temporary  
          shelters for the purpose of assisting in the investigation.   
          Specifically, this bill:


          1)Exempts, from licensure requirements, a regularly licensed  
            veterinarian who is called from another state by a law  
            enforcement agency, animal control department, as specified, or  
            a humane officer to attend to cases that are a part of an  
            investigation of an alleged violation of federal or state animal  
            fighting or animal cruelty laws within a single geographic  
            location when the law enforcement agency, animal control  
            department, or humane officer determines that it is necessary to  
            call the veterinarian in order for the agency or officer to  
            conduct the investigation in a timely manner.


          2)Provides that when determining whether it is necessary to call a  
            veterinarian from another state, consideration must be given to  
            the availability of veterinarians in California to attend to  
            these cases.


          3)Requires the agency, department or officer that calls a  
            veterinarian to this state to notify the VMB (Veterinarian  
            Medical Board).  


          4)Permits a regularly licensed veterinarian who is called from  
            another state to attend to cases that are a part of  
            investigation, described in 1) above, to provide veterinary  
            medical care for animals that are affected by the investigation  
            within a temporary shelter facility, as specified.









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          5)Exempts a temporary shelter or facility from premise  
            requirements if all of the following conditions are met:


             a)   The temporary shelter facility is established solely for  
               the purpose of investigation;


             b)   The temporary shelter facility provides veterinary medical  
               care, shelter, food and water only to animals that are  
               affected by the investigation;


             c)   The temporary shelter complies with specified sanitary  
               requirements;


             d)   A notice is posted in a conspicuous location near the  
               temporary shelter facility to indicate that the facility is  
               in use for the veterinary medical care of animals affected by  
               an investigation into alleged violations of federal or state  
               laws; and, 


             e)   The temporary shelter exists for not more than 60 days,  
               unless the law enforcement agency, animal control agency, or  
               humane officer determines a longer period of time is  
               necessary to complete the investigation.  


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, any costs to the VMB are minor and absorbable.


          COMMENTS:


          Purpose.  This bill is sponsored by the American Society for the  








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          Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).  According to the  
          author, "Large scale animal cruelty cases like animal fighting  
          busts, hoarding arrests and puppy mill raids can quickly overwhelm  
          a local government's resources.  These cases are hard to predict  
          and can occur in a diverse range of locations, making planning and  
          budgeting very difficult.  The average cruelty case lasts about 45  
          to 50 days and consists of an average of 461 animals at a cost of  
          $28 per animal per day.  At 45 days, the average cost of caring  
          for these animals is nearly $600,000.  


          "Additionally, these cases can also overwhelm the local veterinary  
          resources. Local veterinarians play a key role in assisting with  
          the care of seized animals, but local veterinarians typically have  
          paying jobs or practices that they must return to.  This limits  
          the amount of time they can commit to cases like these.  The  
          combination of huge costs of care for seized animals and the  
          potential to deplete local veterinary resources can be a huge  
          deterrent for agencies wishing to investigate a case of large  
          scale animal cruelty in their community."


          Background.  Under current law, there are a limited number of  
          persons who are exempt from California's veterinary licensure  
          requirements when practicing veterinary services in California.   
          Exempt individuals include persons such as veterinarians providing  
          services in the military, licensed veterinarians who have been  
          called in from out of state to assist with certain cases,  
          veterinarians or persons employed at the University of California  
          for teaching purposes or other education research and persons  
          employed by federal and state agencies such as the United States  
          Department of Agriculture and the California Department of Food  
          and Agriculture.  Without one of these specific exemptions, any  
          other person practicing veterinary medicine in California is  
          required to have a California-issued veterinary license.  This  
          bill seeks to add veterinarians licensed in another state who are  
          called to California to assist in the event of a large-scale  
          animal cruelty or animal fighting case to be exempt from  
          California's licensure requirement.  Only law enforcement, an  








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          animal control department or a humane officer would be permitted  
          to call a veterinarian into California for these purposes.  In  
          addition, this bill would permit the veterinarian licensed outside  
          of California to treat animals in a temporary shelter, as long as  
          the shelter has only been established as a part of the  
          investigation and abides by specific requirements.  


          Consultants from Out-of-State.  The exemption under Business and  
          Professions Code Section 4830(a)(3) governing out-of-state  
          veterinarians acting as consultants in California was designed to  
          provide California-licensed veterinarians with the flexibility to  
          utilize the experience of an out-of-state veterinarian with a  
          particular skill.  According to the VMB, the intent of the  
          authorization to allow veterinarians from outside of California  
          was to enhance the practice of veterinary medicine while limiting  
          unlicensed practice.  Veterinarians who are called into California  
          are not permitted to establish a practice in state or practice on  
          animals outside of the consultation request without obtaining the  
          appropriate license to practice in California.  This bill would  
          specifically exempt from California licensure requirements  
          veterinarians called in by a law enforcement agency, an animal  
          control department, or a humane officer in the event of a  
          large-scale animal cruelty or animal fighting case.  However, this  
          bill would require those entities to consider the availability of  
          a local veterinarian when determining when outside assistance is  
          warranted.  In addition, if those entities called-in a  
          veterinarian from another state, they would be required to notify  
          the VMB.


          Animal Cruelty Cases.  Animal cruelty cases can take a variety of  
          shapes and forms, from small, one-animal incidents, such as a  
          recent case in Sacramento, where a man was accused of burning an  
          animal alive in an animal carrier, to large-scale dog fighting  
          raids or hoarding incidents that involve a large number of  
          animals.  The 2007 arrest and subsequent prosecution of Michael  
          Vick, for his role in a large-scale dog fighting ring, highlighted  
          issues of cruelty but also raised the issues about the resources  








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          needed to care for and treat animals when such events occur.  


          According to the sponsor, large-scale animal cruelty cases can  
          overwhelm the resources of the local authorities responding to  
          these cases.  The resource challenges are not strictly monetary  
          but also become resource challenges related to caring for the  
          large number of animals that most likely have health concerns and  
          other issues.  The sponsors note that local veterinarians  
          typically provide services in these types of cases, but, at times,  
          additional resources may be necessary.  According to the ASPCA,  
          the average cruelty case lasts about 45 to 50 days and consists of  
          an average of 461 animals at a cost of caring for the animals  
          close to $600,000.  The sponsor notes that the large cost and  
          potential lack of resources could be a deterrent in prosecuting  
          such cases.  


          In addition, animal welfare organizations like the ASPCA, among  
          others, have response teams in place, including veterinarians, to  
          assist local agencies in cruelty cases or emergency disaster  
          situations in other states, but often, the veterinarians are only  
          licensed in their home state.  This bill would provide a specific  
          exemption to allow those veterinarians to be called to California  
          in the event of a large-scale cruelty case to practice in  
          California without a California-issued license. 


          Calling-in Veterinarians.  In the event of an animal cruelty or  
          abuse case, the entities responsible for handling these cases are  
          local law enforcement, animal control directors and other local  
          resources.  These entities typically work together to determine  
          the appropriate steps and process for dealing with animal cruelty  
          or abuse cases.  This bill proposes that only law enforcement, a  
          humane officer or an animal control department would be permitted  
          to call in veterinary assistance from out of state to assist with  
          a cruelty or animal fighting case investigation.  










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          Temporary Shelters.  Under current law, Business and Professions  
          Code Section 4853 requires all premises where veterinary medicine  
          is being practiced to obtain a premises permit from the VMB.   
          There are currently over 3,000 licensed premises in California.   
          In order to obtain the premises permit, applicants must submit an  
          application which needs to include the type of practice, the  
          number of employees, the business model, and business owner  
          information, along with a $200 registration fee.  The VMB reports  
          that the application process for a premises permit takes between  
          three and four weeks.  This bill will exempt temporary animal care  
          shelter facilities from premises requirements as long as the  
          shelter provides veterinary medical care, shelter, food and water  
          only to the animals affected by the investigation, the temporary  
          shelter complies with sanitary requirements, a notice is posted  
          about the purpose and use of the shelter and the temporary shelter  
          does not exist for longer than 60 days unless law enforcement,  
          animal control or a humane officer determines a longer period is  
          necessary.  


          The sponsor notes that animal cruelty cases such as animal  
          abandonment issues or puppy mill raids can happen rather quickly  
          which makes planning and budgeting difficult.  This bill aims to  
          assist local authorities with options for veterinary care and  
          assistance in the event of a large-scale animal cruelty or animal  
          fighting case by allowing law enforcement, a humane officer or an  
          animal control department to call a veterinarian licensed in  
          another state for assistance with veterinary animal care as part  
          of an investigation.  


          Policy Issues:  As currently drafted, this bill requires the  
          agency responsible for calling a veterinarian to California, for  
          the purpose of assisting with a large-scale cruelty or abuse case,  
          to report to the VMB that they have called in a veterinarian from  
          another state to assist with veterinary care or services as a  
          result of the investigation.  In the event of such a case, local  
          resources may be so consumed with the case they are unable to  
          report the event to the VMB.  The author may wish to require the  








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          organization or veterinarian that has been called to California to  
          also notify the VMB to ensure that the information is relayed to  
          the appropriate regulatory authority.  




          Analysis Prepared by:                                               
                          Elissa Silva / B. & P. / (916) 319-3301  FN:  
          0000422