Assemblymember Bloom and Senator Wilk Team Up to Introduce Bill that will Phase Out Closed-Colonies for California’s Commercial Animal Blood Industry
AB 1282 to bring compassion, transparency and oversight to California’s animal blood banks.
Sacramento, CA – California State Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D- Santa Monica), Senator Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita), and Social Compassion in Legislationjoined today with other passionate advocates to announce the introduction of Assembly Bill 1282, the California Pet Blood Bank Modernization Act, which will allow commercial blood banks to produce blood from community-sourced donor animals and eventually phase out the closed-colony production model, which keeps the canine and feline blood donors captive at a facility where their sole purpose is to give blood.
The bill will also bring transparency and oversight to animal blood banks in California. While animal blood banks help provide veterinarians with products needed for transfusions, current state law limits the supply of these lifesaving products by preventing blood collection from community-sourced animals and leaves the public in the dark about how commercial blood banks operate due to a public document request exemption.
“Today we have new evidence that raises serious questions about the health and welfare of dogs being housed in these closed colony blood banks,” said Assemblymember Richard Bloom. “California is a world leader in its humane policies and treatment of animals. I have every confidence that working together in good faith with California’s veterinarians, we can chart a course to better balance the welfare of donor and recipient dogs and the need for a robust, healthy, safe blood supply.”
“Far too many pets in California die because there is simply no blood to save them. I am introducing AB 1282 to expand the pool of available animal blood donors and to ensure they are treated humanely,” said Senator Wilk. “I have been working with stakeholders to address the concerns expressed by the governor in his veto message of similar legislation (SB 202) I carried in 2019. In it, he stated the bill did not go ‘far enough’ to ensure the safe and humane treatment of donor animals. We can all agree that adequate oversight and enforcement must be in place to meet these goals, so I am optimistic we will find common ground as we continue our dialogue.”
AB 1282 will change current law and allow pet owners to volunteer their pets to give transfusions to animals in need. It will require veterinarians to supervise community blood banks for animals, mandate testing for disease in all donors, and make most records related to commercial blood banks available to the public. The bill will also trigger the phase out of closed-colony blood banks, which keep their animals in cages.
“Animals kept in closed-colonies, the main source of animal blood, are housed in cages for up to 23 hours a day and deprived of companionship, stimulation, and exercise,” said Judie Mancuso, Founder and CEO of Social Compassion in Legislation. “Most animal guardians would be appalled if they knew these circumstances and would gladly have their dogs give blood if it freed other poor dogs kept in captivity and totally deprived of a normal loving home.”
“PETA supports community-based blood banks that allow families to volunteer their happy, healthy dogs for blood donations,” said Dr. Heather Rally, Supervising Veterinarian, PETA Foundation. “As veterinarians, we have an ethical and medical responsibility to provide safe treatments that don’t come at the expense of other animals’ wellbeing, which means blood for transfusions that comes from dogs who live in homes, not cages.”