The California State Assembly overwhelmingly approved Assembly Bill 1282, the California Pet Blood Bank Modernization Act, authored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D – Santa Monica) and Senator Scott Wilk (R – Santa Clarita), along with Assemblymembers Kevin Mullin (D – San Mateo), Devon Mathis (R – Visalia), and Chad Mayes (I – Yucca Valley). AB 1282 which seeks to address both the shortage of animal blood for veterinary transfusion medicine and phase out the obsolete, inhumane practice of captive closed colony canine blood banks in our state.

“The legislature made progress in previous sessions to envision a path forward to expanding the supply of blood for dogs through a voluntary model similar to human blood banking,” said Assemblymember Bloom.

“Governor Newsom called on us to work with him and stakeholders to craft a better balance to ensure that we transition away from the outdated and inhumane model into one we can be proud of. We can do so much better for the animals in our state.”

AB 1282 authorizes California licensed veterinarians to operate community blood banks to produce and sell or transfer animal blood and blood products.

Currently, voluntary community-based blood banking isn’t allowed in California. Instead, California is the only state in the country that requires animal blood to come from so-called “closed colony blood banks” that source blood from animals kept, housed, or maintained at a facility for the purpose of collecting their blood. These closed colony blood banks require hundreds of animals to be in cages for years while their blood is routinely harvested with animal blood demands only increasing.

AB 1282 allows for a more humane solution for sourcing animal blood while also establishing conditions to eventually phase out captive close colony canine blood banks.

“I have been working on this issue passionately for three years and I am pleased to have the bi-partisan support and co-authorship from my colleagues in both houses. With the continued thoughtful engagement of stakeholders, I am hopeful that the Senate will share the Assembly’s support, and that Governor Newsom will sign AB 1282 into law this fall,” said Assemblymember Bloom.

AB 1282 now heads to the Senate and will be referred to relevant policy committees.

Submitted by Guy W. Strahl