BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 316


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          CONCURRENCE IN SENATE AMENDMENTS


          AB  
          316 (Maienschein)


          As Amended  September 1, 2015


          Majority vote


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          |ASSEMBLY:  |77-0  |(May 18, 2015) |SENATE: | 36-2 |(September 2,    |
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          Original Committee Reference:  B. & P.




          SUMMARY:  Permits a veterinarian licensed in another state to be  
          called to California by a law enforcement agency or animal  
          control agency 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 or animal control agency 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 if the law enforcement agency or  
            animal control agency determines that it is necessary to call  
            the veterinarian in order for the agency or officer to conduct  








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            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.


          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)   The temporary shelter exists for not more than 60 days,  








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               unless the law enforcement agency, or animal control agency  
               determines a longer period of time is necessary to complete  
               the investigation; and, 




             e)   Within 30 calendar days upon completion of the provision  
               of veterinary health care services at a temporary shelter  
               facility, the veterinarian called from another state by a  
               law enforcement agency or animal control agency to attend  
               to a case must file a report with the VMB containing the  
               date, place, type, and general description of the care  
               provided, along with a listing of the veterinary health  
               care practitioners who participated in providing that care.




          6)Permits the VMB to inspect temporary facilities. 


          The Senate amendments delete the requirement that a temporary  
          shelter facility place a notice about the use of the facility,  
          delete the authorization for a humane officer to call a  
          veterinarian to California, require within 30 calendar days upon  
          completion of providing veterinary care services at a temporary  
          shelter, the veterinarian called in from another state to report  
          specified information to the VMB, and make other technical and  
          clarifying changes.  


          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee, no significant fiscal impact is anticipated to the  
          Board of Veterinary Medicine.  The amendments delete the  
          requirement for authorization from the Board, which eliminates  
          the need for upgrades to the Board's licensing system.


          COMMENTS:  This bill is sponsored by the American Society for  
          the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).  According to the  
          author, "Large scale animal cruelty cases like animal fighting  








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          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 good standing, 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 a law enforcement agency or an  
          animal control agency 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  








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          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 or an animal control agency 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.  According to the sponsor, large-scale  
          animal cruelty cases can overwhelm the resources of the local  
          authorities responding to these cases.  Resource challenges are  
          not strictly monetary but also become challenges related to  
          caring for the large number of animals that most likely have  
          health concerns and other issues.  


          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  








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          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 a  
          law enforcement agency or an animal control agency would be  
          permitted to call in veterinary assistance from out of state to  
          assist with a cruelty or animal fighting case investigation.  


          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.  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, and the temporary shelter does not exist for  
          longer than 60 days.


          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Elissa Silva / B. & P. / (916) 319-3301  FN:  
          0002003















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