BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                       AB 317


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          ASSEMBLY THIRD READING


          AB  
          317 (Maienschein)


          As Amended  April 27, 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         |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
          |                |      |                    |                      |
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                                                                       AB 317


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          SUMMARY:  Exempts an organization, that establishes a temporary  
          shelter facility for the purpose of providing veterinary medical  
          care, shelter and food and water during a state of emergency by a  
          veterinarian licensed in another state, from a premises  
          registration permit if the shelter meets certain conditions,  
          including posting a notice about the use of a temporary shelter,  
          complying with sanitary standards and ceasing operation within 60  
          days of establishment.  Specifically, this bill:


          1)Exempts an organization that establishes a temporary shelter  
            facility, in order to provide veterinary medical care, shelter,  
            and food and water during a state of emergency by a  
            veterinarian, who is regularly licensed from another state, from  
            a premises registration requirement if the following conditions  
            are met:


             a)   A notice is posted in a conspicuous location stating that  
               the temporary shelter facility is being used for the  
               diagnosis and treatment of animals affected by the state of  
               emergency and that the diagnosis and treatment is provided by  
               a veterinarian who is licensed in another state or territory  
               of the United States;


             b)   The temporary shelter facility complies with sanitary  
               requirements, as specified; and,


             c)   The temporary shelter ceases operations within 60 days  
               after its establishment unless the Veterinary Medical Board  
               (VMB) grants an extension of this date to protect the public  
               health and safety of the animals within the temporary  
               shelter.  










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          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  
          Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).  According to the  
          author, "? an overwhelming number of Americans reported on a  
          recent poll that they would not evacuate their homes during a  
          disaster if it means leaving their pets behind.  It is important  
          that we authorize animal welfare responders to establish temporary  
          facilities to ensure the health and safety of Californians as well  
          as their animals. 


          "Mid-disaster is no time to try to grapple with these logistical  
          issues - [this bill] will make California prepared to evacuate  
          every person and every pet when confronted by our next wildfire,  
          flood, mudslide or other major disaster."


          Background.  The author notes that 2015 marks the 10th anniversary  
          of Hurricane Katrina.  The disaster highlighted awareness across  
          the nation about the need to deploy resources to provide services  
          for displaced or lost animals including proper care and shelter  
          during an emergency.  According to the sponsor, in the event of  
          Hurricane Sandy, many individuals had to move to temporary  
          shelters which did not always allow animals.  The ASPCA reports  
          that it established temporary shelters to house those animals  
          along with stray animals.  


          This bill aims to make it clear that an organization seeking to  
          establish a temporary shelter facility, for the purpose of animal  
          care during a state of emergency, as determined by the appropriate  
          authority, will be exempt from the current premises requirements  
          for veterinary care facilities as long as specific conditions are  








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          met.  


          Veterinary Medical Board.  The VMB's mission is to protect  
          consumers and animals through development and maintenance of  
          professional standards, licensing of veterinarians, registered  
          veterinary technicians and premises, and diligent enforcement of  
          the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.  To that end, the VMB  
          licenses and regulates veterinarians, registered veterinary  
          technicians, veterinary hospitals and mobile practices.  


          Under current law, Business and Professions Code Section 4853  
          requires all premises where veterinary medicine is practiced to  
          obtain a premises permit from the VMB.  There are currently over  
          3000 licensed premises in California and more than 11,000 licensed  
          veterinarians.  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, business  
          owner information and a $200 registration fee.  The VMB reports  
          that the application process for a premises permit takes between  
          three and four weeks.  In the case of a declared state of  
          emergency, this process could be viewed as prohibitive for  
          organizations to apply for and receive the appropriate premises  
          license currently required to provide veterinary services.  


          In order to alleviate the potential barrier for organizations to  
          establish temporary shelters for the sole purpose of veterinary  
          medical care, shelter, food and water for emergency animal  
          assistance, this bill would exempt organizations from having a  
          premises permit as long as they post a notice that the shelter is  
          temporary, it complies with the sanitation standards under  
          existing law and the shelter ceases to exist within 60 days after  
          its establishment unless the VMB grants a specific exemption.  


          As highlighted on the Web site,  
           http://www.ready.gov/caring-animals , most shelters for people do  








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          not allow animals due to public health reasons; therefore, pet  
          emergency planning is necessary.  As written, in order for a  
          temporary shelter to be established without the proper premises  
          permit, this bill would require a declaration of a state of  
          emergency order as defined in Government Code Section 8858.  


          Emergency Declarations.  The Governor has the authority to issue  
          emergency declarations for state of emergencies and state of war  
          emergencies.  Local emergencies are declared by the local  
          governing body of a city, county or city and county.  Under  
          current law, emergencies may be declared for multiple reasons,  
          including fires, floods, earthquakes, and storms or riots, among  
          others.  Under the provisions of this bill, an organization would  
          be authorized to establish a temporary shelter and be exempt from  
          the premises requirement for any state of emergency declaration  
          ordered as defined in Government Code Section 8558.  


          Disasters and Animals.  As noted, the Hurricane Katrine disaster  
          of 2005 heightened the awareness and need for effective emergency  
          plans at the local, state and federal level, including emergency  
          plans for pets.  As a result, the Federal Pets Evacuation and  
          Transportation Standards Act of 2006 was passed, which amended the  
          Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act to include  
          that state and local emergency preparedness planning address the  
          needs of individuals with household pets and service animals  
          following a major disaster or emergency.  In addition, the need  
          for pet care in the event of emergencies led several animal  
          welfare and animal care organizations to establish disaster  
          response teams to provide emergency assistance including the ASCPA  
          and the VMB among others.  


          In the event of a declared state of emergency, this bill would  
          authorize temporary shelter facilities for the purpose of  
          providing veterinary medical care, shelter and food and water to  
          operate in California for a limited period of time without a  
          premises permit as required for all other animal veterinary care  








                                                                       AB 317


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          services.  


          Policy Issue:  As currently written, this bill will exempt  
          organizations that establish a temporary shelter facility to  
          provide veterinary medical care, shelter, food and water during a  
          state declared emergency by a veterinarian licensed in another  
          state to be exempt from the premises permit required by existing  
          law.  


          However, it is unclear if an organization that establishes a  
          temporary facility for veterinary medical care after a declared  
          emergency would be exempt from the premises requirement if the  
          organization used California-licensed veterinarians.  The author  
          may wish to consider clarifying that a temporary shelter  
          established after a declaration of an emergency could be exempt  
          from the premises permit if they used a California-licensed  
          veterinarian as well.  




          Analysis Prepared by:                                               
                          Elissa Silva / B. & P. / (916) 319-3301  FN:  
          0000423