Victory for Animals: San Francisco SPCA Announces the Modernization of California’s Animal Blood Banking

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The passage of AB 1282 will end California’s ‘Captive Donor Dog’ Blood Banks

October 18, 2021 — After a multi-year effort, the San Francisco SPCA announced that Governor Gavin Newsom has signed AB 1282, making it legal for California veterinarians to operate community-sourced donor blood banks, similar to the voluntary model used for people. This will help increase the blood supply available for pets in emergencies while also addressing the welfare issues around captive donor dogs. A huge win-win for animals in California!

California was the only state still requiring blood used in veterinary hospitals to come from caged animals. At two privately owned facilities that held a monopoly on the market, greyhounds were kept in cages for years for the sole purpose of collecting their blood. The SF SPCA Shelter PALS team spent more than three years working alongside other advocates for legislation to end this inhumane practice, and earlier this month Governor Newsom signed AB 1282 into law!

“We’ve had significant blood shortages in California veterinary hospitals for many years, so the current system isn’t working,” explained Brandy Kuentzel, SF SPCA Senior Vice President of Advocacy and Public Policy, and General Counsel. “This new model, which is already used successfully in all other states, will help alleviate the blood shortage while ensuring the safety and welfare for both the donor and recipient animals.”

The passage of AB 1282 will also help bring transparency to the animal blood banking system. The two facilities operating ‘closed colony’ animal blood banks were exempt from many public records laws, including sealing their state inspection records. AB 1282 requires records related to commercial blood banks to be available to the public, in addition to mandating supervision of community blood banks by veterinarians and testing all donor animals for disease.

AB 1282 will reduce the suffering of many animals and the people who love them. The SF SPCA would especially like to thank Assemblymember Richard Bloom for championing this legislation and Governor Newsom for signing it into law.

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