BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                              Senator Jerry Hill, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:            AB 317          Hearing Date:    July 6,  
          |Author:   |Maienschein                                           |
          |Version:  |June 30, 2015    Amended                              |
          |Urgency:  |No                     |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
          |Consultant|Bill Gage                                             |
          |:         |                                                      |
                  Subject:  Veterinary medicine: temporary shelter.

          SUMMARY:  Exempts a temporary shelter which is operated either by a  
          licensed veterinarian from another state, or a state licensed  
          veterinarian, that is providing care and shelter to animals  
          during a declared state of emergency, from having to obtain a  
          premises registration from the Veterinary Medical Board.

          Existing law, the Business and Professions Code (BPC):
         1)Establishes the Veterinary Medical Board (VMB) within the  
            Department of Consumer Affairs for the purpose of  
            administering the Veterinary Practice Act (Act).  

         (BPC  4800 et seq.) 
         2)States that it is unlawful for any person to practice  
            veterinary medicine in California without a valid, unexpired  
            or unrevoked license, as specified.  (BPC  4825)

         3)Requires all veterinarians, actually engaged and employed by  
            the state, or a county, city, corporation, firm or individual  
            practicing veterinary medicine, to secure a license issued by  
            the VMB.  (BPC  4828)

         4)Exempts the following from the provisions of the Act:  


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             a)   Veterinarians while serving in any armed branch of the  
               military service of the United States or the U.S.  
               Department of Agriculture (USDA) while actually engaged and  
               employed in their official capacity;

             b)   Regularly licensed veterinarians in actual consultation  
               from other states;

             c)   Regularly licensed veterinarians actually called from  
               other states to attend cases in this state, but do not open  
               an office or appoint a place to do business;

             d)   Veterinarians employed by the University of California,  
               as specified;

             e)   Students in the school of veterinary medicine of the  
               University of California or the College of Western  
               University of Health Sciences, as specified;

             f)   A veterinarian who is employed by the Meat and Poultry  
               Inspection Branch of the California Department of Food and  
               Agriculture (CDFA) while actually engaged and employed in  
               his or her official capacity; or,

             g)   Unlicensed personnel employed by the CDFA or the USDA,  
               as specified.

             (BPC  4830)
         5)Requires the VMB to establish a regular inspection program that  
            will provide for random, unannounced inspections and that the  
            VMB shall make every effort to inspect at least 20 percent of  
            veterinary premises on an annual basis.  
         (BPC  4809.7)

         6)Requires that all premises where veterinary medicine,  


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            veterinary dentistry, veterinary surgery and the various  
            branches thereof is being practiced shall be registered with  
            the VMB.  (BPC  4853 (a))

         7)Defines "premises" as including a building, kennel, mobile unit  
            or vehicle, as specified.  (BPC  4853 (b))

         8)Requires that all premises where veterinary medicine,  
            veterinary dentistry, or veterinary surgery is being  
            practiced, and all instruments, apparatus and apparel used in  
            connection with those practices, shall be kept clean and  
            sanitary at all times, and shall conform to those minimum  
            standards established by the VMB.  
         (BPC  4854)

         9)Provides that the requirements of licensure for health care  
            practitioners in California shall not apply in a state of  
            emergency, as defined under Section 8558 of the Government  
            Code, for a health care practitioner licensed from another  
            state who offers or provides health care for which he or she  
            is licensed, if the emergency overwhelms the response  
            capabilities of California health care practitioners and only  
            upon the request of the Director of the Emergency Medical  
            Services Authority (Director).  (BPC  900 (a))

         10) Specifies that the Director shall be the medical control and  
            shall designate the licensure and specialty health care  
            practitioners required for the specific emergency and shall  
            designate the areas to which they may be deployed.  (BPC  900  

         11)Requires health care practitioners from another state to  
            provide, upon request, a valid copy of a professional license  
            and a photographic identification issue by the state in which  
            the practitioner holds a license before being deployed by the  
         (BPC  900 (c))

         12)Requires health care practitioners from another state to also  
            provide to the appropriate California licensing authority  
            verification of licensure upon request.
         (BPC  900 (d))

          13)Provides that health care practitioners from another state  


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             providing health care shall have immunity from liability for  
             services rendered as provided in Section 8659 of the  
             Government Code. (BPC  900 (e))

          Existing law, the Government Code (GC):

          1)Specifies that any veterinarian or registered veterinary  
            technician who renders services during any state of war  
            emergency, a state of emergency, or a local emergency at the  
            express or implied request of any responsible state or local  
            official or agency shall have no liability for any injury  
            sustained by any animal by reason of those services,  
            regardless of how or under what circumstances or by what cause  
            those injuries are sustained; provided, however, that the  
            immunity herein granted shall not apply in the event of a  
            willful act or omission.  (GC  8659)

          2)Defines a "state of war emergency" as a condition which exists  
            immediately, with or without a proclamation by the Governor,  
            whenever this state or nation is attacked by an enemy of the  
            U.S., or upon receipt by the state of a warning by the federal  
            government indicating that such an enemy attack is probable.   
            (GC  8558 (a))
          3)Defines "state of emergency" as a duly proclaimed existence of  
            conditions of disaster or extreme peril to the safety of  
            persons and property within the state caused by such  
            conditions as fire, flood, earthquake, drought, etc., which by  
            reasons of their magnitude are likely to be beyond the control  
            of services, personnel, equipment and facilities of any single  
            county, city, city and county and requires combined forces of  
            mutual aid region or regions to combat such emergency.  (GC   
            8558 (b))

          4)Defines "local emergency" as a duly proclaimed existence of  
            conditions or disaster or of extreme peril to the safety of  
            persons and property within the territorial limits of a  
            county, city, city and county caused by such conditions as  
            specified above. (GC  8558 (c))
          This bill:

         1)Provides that a temporary shelter shall be exempt from the  
            registration requirements of Veterinary Medicine Act if all of  


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            the following requirements are met:

             a)   The temporary shelter is established to provide care and  
               shelter to animals displaced by a state of emergency, as  
               defined, and only provides care and shelter to those  
               animals, and, if possible, is located near an American Red  
               Cross shelter, or other equivalent shelter, that houses  
               persons displaced by the state of emergency.

             b)   The temporary shelter is operated by either of the  

               i)     A veterinary health care practitioner licensed or  
                 certified by, and in good standing in another state,  
                 district or territory who is deployed to the state  
                 pursuant to the state of emergency.

               ii)         A veterinary health care practitioner licensed  
                 or certified by, and in good standing in this state who  
                 responds to a state of emergency, as defined.

             c)   The temporary shelter complies with the requirements for  
               veterinary premises to maintain sanitary conditions, as  

             d)   The temporary shelter does not operate beyond a  
               60-calendar-day period, however, the Director of Emergency  
               Medical Services Authority may grant an extension of that  
               period in 30-calendar-day increments until the state of  
               emergency is concluded.

             e)   Requires that within 30 calendar days after a temporary  
               shelter exempt for premises registration requirements  
               ceases operation, that the party responsible for the  
               temporary shelter file a report with the VMB containing  
               specified information.

          EFFECT:  This bill has been keyed "fiscal" by Legislative  
          Counsel.  According to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations  
          analysis dated May 6, 2015, this bill will result in minor and  
          absorbable costs to the VMB.



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          1. Purpose.  This measure is sponsored by the  American Society  
             for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals  (ASPCA).  According  
             to the Sponsors, "Hurricane Katrina and polls have clearly  
             shown that ensuring that pets have a safe place to go during  
             a disaster is imperative to ensuring that people evacuate out  
             of harm's way.  In the wake of Katrina a poll conducted by  
             the Fritz Institute showed that 44% of New Orleans' residents  
             did not initially evacuate because they would not leave their  
             pets.  Similarly, a Lake Research Partners poll commissioned  
             by the ASPCA found that 42% of Americans would not evacuate  
             without their pets and an American Humane Association poll  
             found that 47% of Americans said they would refuse assistance  
             during a disaster if it meant leaving their pet.  Clearly,  
             having the ability to ensure that veterinary responders can  
             establish temporary shelters when they are called upon by the  
             Director of the Emergency Medical Services Authority is  
             critical to ensuring that all Californians evacuate out of  
             impacted areas.  This is extremely important for emergency  
             responders who are put at more peril when they have to rescue  
             individuals who did not initially evacuate due to a desire  
             not to abandon their pets.  Current CA law clearly authorizes  
             veterinarians to respond from out of state when called upon,  
             but it does not authorize temporary shelters.  According to  
             the AVMA, in 2013 roughly 53% of Californians owned pets  
             making the need for shelters even more paramount.  From  
             Hurricane Katrina, to the devastating tornadoes in Missouri,  
             to Hurricane Sandy, we have found that temporary shelters are  
             critical in ensuring not only the maximum number of animals  
             can be saved, but also ensuring the public safety of pet  
             owners.  This is why disaster responders like the American  
             Red Cross and the CA Professional Firefighters, among others,  
             are supporting AB 317."

          2. Use of Temporary Shelters.  Under Section 4853 of the BPC, it  
             is required that 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 to four  


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             weeks.  This bill will exempt temporary animal care shelter  
             facilities from premises requirements as long as the shelter  
             provides care and shelter to animals displaced by a state of  
             emergency, the shelter is operated by a licensed veterinarian  
             from another state who is deployed to the state pursuant to  
             the state of emergency, or by a state licensed veterinarian  
             who is responding the state of emergency, provides clean and  
             sanitary conditions as required by the VMB, and meets other  
             requirements as specified.  The temporary shelter shall not  
             be allowed to exist for longer than 60 days unless it is  
             determined that a longer period is necessary by Director of  
             the Emergency Medical Services Authority.     

          It should be noted, that any requirement for the VMB to inspect  
             these temporary shelters would be difficult.  Currently, the  
             VMB can only inspect, or is required to make every effort to  
             inspect, about 20 per cent of veterinary premises on an  
             annual basis.  Also, during two of the major floods that hit  
             Sacramento in the 80's and 90's, temporary shelters (many of  
             them on city or county fairgrounds) were usually established  
             over-night to house animals without any oversight considered  
             necessary by the VMB, and were kept open for at least 60 to  
             90 days to allow animal owners the opportunity to claim their  

          3. ASPCA Involvement and Other Animal Welfare Responders to  
             Natural Disasters.  As stated by the ASPCA, "[a]s we mark the  
             10th anniversary this August of Hurricane Katrina and the  
             devastation it wrought on the Gulf States, there is one  
             lesson from that disaster that is very clear: temporary  
             animal shelters are extremely important to the success of a  
             disaster deployment.  The Louisiana SPCA estimates that  
             roughly 8,500 animals were housed and treated at the  
             temporary shelter facility located at the Lamar Dixon Expo  
             Center, where many animal welfare groups, including the  
             ASPCA, converged to assist with rescue efforts.  Every  
             morning at 5:30am the welfare groups would mobilize and head  
             out into the disaster area to rescue stranded animals,  
             returning at dark with animals ranging from companion animals  
             to livestock.  Rescuers were required to don heavy protective  
             gear in order to wade through potentially hazardous waters  
             and endure an historical stretch of 100+ degree days and  
             equally high humidity.  Overall, the Louisiana SPCA estimates  
             that a total of 15,500 animals were rescued, when including  


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             animals that did not enter the Lamar-Dixon facility, and it  
             is likely that well over a quarter of a million animals were  
             impacted but not treated throughout the Gulf State impact  

          In New Orleans alone, as noted by the ASPCA, it is estimated  
             that 104,000 pets were left behind to weather the storm -  
             only 15%-20% of rescued animals were reunited with their  
             owners.  "The difficulty of re-uniting animals with their  
             owners demonstrates the need to co-locate animal shelters  
             with human shelters as much as possible.  This is why the  
             American Red Cross, a supporter of AB 317, and the ASPCA are  
             working diligently in California to ensure that disaster  
             response plans include the ability to co-locate whenever  
             possible and it is why recent amendments to AB 317 include a  
             directive to co-locate whenever feasible."

          Additionally, as the ASPCA states, "Katrina and subsequent polls  
             have taught us that most Americans simply will not evacuate  
             unless their animals can come with them, increasing the risk  
             to emergency responders.  A poll conducted by the Fritz  
             Institute found that 44% of New Orleans' residents did not  
             initially evacuate because they would not leave their pets.   
             Similarly, a Lake Research Partners poll commissioned by the  
             ASPCA found that 42% of Americans would not evacuate without  
             their pets and an American Humane Association poll found that  
             47% of Americans said they would refuse assistance during a  
             disaster if it meant leaving their pet. According to the  
             American Veterinary Medical Association, roughly 53% of  
             Californians own pets - clearly, having the ability to ensure  
             that veterinary responders can establish temporary shelters  
             when they are called upon by the State is critical to  
             ensuring the safety of not only Californians but California's  
             brave emergency responders."

          Katrina, as indicated by the ASPCA, also resulted in passage of  
             the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act, which  
             requires states seeking FEMA assistance to accommodate pets  
             and service animals in their plans for evacuation residents  
             facing disasters. Clearly, temporary shelters are a critical  
             component of disaster response. 

          Since Katrina, the ASPCA and other animal welfare responders  
             have assisted in other major disasters around the country,  


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                     Hurricane Gustav (2008).  In August 2008, the  
                 Louisiana State Animal Response Team contacted the ASPCA  
                 to assist in pre-storm evacuation and sheltering of  
                 animals in the wake of Tropical Storm Gustav. The state  
                 declared a pre-storm state of emergency and asked the  
                 ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Team to deploy to  
                 the site of their Mega shelter in Shreveport, LA.  In  
                 just the first 2 days of the ASPCA's deployment to  
                 Shreveport, the ASPCA had checked more than 800 animals  
                 into the shelter. Team members from the ASPCA and the  
                 American Humane Association took turns pulling 12 hour  
                 shifts to care for evacuated animals. The ASPCA also  
                 deployed one of our Disaster Response Trailers to the  
                 area and in total distributed more than $50,000 in  
                 emergency grants to responders for assistance with the  

                     EF5 Tornado - Joplin, MO (2011).  The Joplin tornado  
                 cut a mile wide swath of destruction that ultimately left  
                 150 people dead and destroyed many more homes and  
                 livelihoods. As the Joplin Humane Society's shelter space  
                 was maxed out, the ASPCA assisted and created more  
                 housing space by establishing a temporary shelter  
                 facility to care for lost animals.  In total, nearly 1300  
                 animals came through the temporary shelter, many of which  
                 were reunited with their families. To aid in recovery,  
                 the ASPCA granted the Joplin Humane Society $100,000 as  
                 well as continued to assist in placing animals in new  
                 homes.  In addition to the ASPCA and Joplin Humane  
                 Society, responders from across the country assisted  
                 including many from California like: the CA Veterinary  
                 Medical Reserve Corps, Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society,  
                 Sacramento SPCA, Riverside County Animal Services, Tony  
                 LaRussa's ARF (Walnut Creek) to name a few.

                     Hurricane Sandy (2012).  Seven years after Katrina,  
                 the Northeast was devastated by the category 3 Hurricane  
                 Sandy, which impacted 24 states and caused widespread  
                 damage to homes, public infrastructure and even left  
                 portions of Manhattan in the dark.  The ASPCA worked in  
                 collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and  
                 Human Services National Veterinary Response Team, the NYC  


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                 Veterinary Emergency Response Team, Animal Care and  
                 Control of NYC and the Mayor's Alliance for NYC's Animals  
                 to establish and manage a temporary housing facility for  
                 animals impacted by the storm.  Hundreds of animals were  
                 housed at the facility - animals ranged from strays where  
                 the owner was unknown to animals whose owners were known  
                 but who had to evacuate their homes. Many of the animals  
                 were ultimately re-united with owners while others were  
                 transferred to the ASPCA adoption center and other rescue  
                 partners.  Through the ASPCA Emergency Grant Program, the  
                 ASPCA provided over 40 grants totaling over $350,000 to  
                 organizations responding to, or impacted by Hurricane  

               As further stated by ASPCA, California is prone to  
                 disaster, and in the wake of Katrina many reports  
                 circulated about the devastating impact a similar  
                 collapse of our levee system would have on Sacramento and  
                 the Delta region.  Robert Bea, professor of engineering  
                 at U.C. Berkeley was quoted in a NY Times article as  
                 recently as 2011 stating that "[i]n terms of damage,  
                 death and long-term cost, a rupture of the delta levees  
                 would be far more destructive than what happened in  
                 Hurricane Katrina."  Animals would be among the  
                 casualties, and with polls indicating a strong desire of  
                 Americans to shelter in place unless their pets can  
                 evacuate with them, temporary shelters are critically  

               This past May, FEMA's National Response Coordination Center  
                 ran a disaster response exercise focused on a large  
                 magnitude earthquake centered in the Los Angeles region,  
                 as noted by the ASPCA.  Early findings demonstrate that  
                 the earthquake would result in more than 300,000 animals  
                 needing care and shelter.

          4.Current Related Legislation.   AB 316  (Maienschein)  Exempts  
            from state licensure veterinary health care practitioners who  
                                                                             are licensed or certified in good standing from another state  
            and who offer veterinary services in the event of a "cruelty  
            incident," as defined, and allows the sponsoring entity to  
            operate a temporary shelter in order to provide care to  
            animals seized as a result of a cruelty incident. 
          (  Status  :  The bill is also set for a hearing before this  


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            Committee on July 6.)

          5.Prior Related Legislation.   AB 1810  (Hayashi, Chapter 538,  
            Statutes of 2010) exempted from liability veterinarians or  
            registered veterinarian technicians who provide services  
            during any state of way emergency, as state of emergency, or  
            local emergency, among numerous other provisions.

          6.Arguments in Support.  According to the Sponsors the  ASPCA  ,  
            this measure "clarifies existing disaster response law to  
            ensure that veterinarians licensed in another state that have  
            been called on by California to respond to a declared  
            emergency have the ability to establish temporary animal  
            shelters.  Business and Professions Code 900 currently  
            authorizes the State Emergency Medical Services Authority to  
            request health professionals, including veterinarians, from  
            other states to assist during a declared emergency.  However,  
            existing law is unclear whether those veterinarians called  
            into assist during a declared state of emergency can establish  
            temporary shelters to house displaced animals.  In fact,  
            existing law is unclear whether even California licensed  
            veterinarians can establish shelters during a disaster  
            deployment - AB 317 will clarify that both in state and out of  
            state veterinary responders can utilize temporary shelters  
            during a declared state of emergency.
          The  Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation  (ARF), the  
             California Animal Control Directors Association  , the  
             California Professional Firefighters  and other supporters of  
            this measure indicate that one of the most significant natural  
            disasters in our nation's history was Katrina and one that  
            presented many difficulties for responders.  The challenges  
            faced in the Gulf States ten years ago would appear again when  
            Hurricane Sandy made landfall in the Northeast in 2012.  Sandy  
            displaced thousands of people and pets, caused nearly 300  
            deaths, and plunged parts of the U.S. into darkness for weeks.  
             Both events, in addition to other disasters across the  
            country have also demonstrated the need to deploy resources to  
            provide displaced or lost animals with proper care and  
            shelter.  Temporary shelters are critical for the health and  
            welfare of Californians since many people will not evacuate  
            during a natural disaster without their beloved animals and  
            some actually to go back to try and retrieve their pet.   
            Temporary shelters are critical to ensuring that people will  
            feel safe about evacuating when they need to evacuate.  Also,  


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            many shelters cannot handle all the animals impacted; this  
            measure will ensure that both veterinarians in California and  
            those from another state, if requested by State Emergency  
            Medical Services Authority, can establish temporary shelters  
            to house and treat displaced animals and assist in their  
            return to their rightful owners.

          7.Arguments in Opposition.  The  California Veterinary Medical  
            Association  (CVMA) is opposed to this measure and believes  
            that exemption from a California veterinary premises permit  
            should only be used when there is no other alternative. "After  
            careful deliberation and several meetings with the bill's  
            sponsors, the CVMA believe the need for out-of-state  
            veterinarians to provide veterinary medical care in a  
            temporary shelter facility established by an organization  
            during a state of emergency has not been demonstrated.   
            Further, we think AB 317 does not provide sufficient  
            protection for animals and consumers."  CVMA is concerned that  
            there is no provision for the VMB to take disciplinary action  
            against the veterinarian or inspect the temporary facility.   
            CVMA goes on to state that "[t]here are more than 9,200  
            licensed veterinarians in California.  The California  
            Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps (CAVMRC) has more than 750  
            members and is integrated into the California Emergency  
            Management System.  The CAVMRC provides training and resources  
            for veterinary professionals to respond to the needs of  
            animals during a disaster.  Additionally, the California  
            Animal Response Emergency System (CARES), which operates under  
            the California Governor's Office of Emergency Services  
            (Cal-OES) and the California Department of Food and  
            Agriculture, is a state emergency for animals.  These two  
            systems along with private practice and shelter veterinarians  
            in California have historically met the shelter and housing  
            needs of animals displaced during a disaster through private  
            veterinary facilities, animal control, and SPCA facilities or  
            temporary facilities."

          The  VMB  is also opposed to this measure and argues that "AB 317  
            restricts the Board's ability to ensure that any organization  
            entering California to provide veterinary care during a  
            declared emergency is qualified to do so by meeting even the  
            basic minimum facility standards."  The VMB further states  
            that exempting a facility from registration and further  
            inspection by the Board, potentially exposes animals and the  


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            public to unsanitary conditions where serious harm may come to  
            the very animals the temporary shelter is designed to protect.  
             The VMB is also concerned that this measure would seriously  
            limit the Board's enforcement ability to respond to an adverse  
            situation if a temporary shelter failed to provide safe and  
            efficacious veterinary care.  Since current law restricts the  
            Board's inspection authority to only those premises that are  
            registered with the Board, there would be little to no  
            recourse through the state should an animal be injured or  
            harmed at an unregistered shelter.


          American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals  
          American Red Cross
          California Animal Control Directors Association
          California Professional Firefighters
          County Health Executives Association of California
          Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation


          California Veterinary Medical Association
          California Veterinary Medical Board

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