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California Animal Blood Bank Bill signed into law

Close-up of cat and dog lying together in the grass

We applaud the new law that will transform veterinary blood donation in the state

Last week, California’s Governor Newsom signed into law the California Pet Blood Bank Modernization Act that will update state requirements for dogs and cats used in blood donations for veterinary medicine and phaseout “closed colony” blood banks that keep dogs caged for years as blood donors.

Passing this bill was a three-year effort led by Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D – Santa Monica) who said, “A three-year animal welfare reform effort will now be implemented. I am elated that we are finally on the verge of replacing a long-standing inhumane practice and with a model program that will ensure the proper treatment of animal blood donors in California.”

California was the only state in the US that required animal blood to come from “closed colony blood banks” which both limited the amount of blood available in California for veterinary transfusion medicine and resulted in commercial facilities that kept dogs confined to cages for the sole purpose of blood collection. The new law allows California licensed veterinarians to operate community blood banks that will function much like voluntary human blood banks, with blood donated from dogs who live with their human families not in rows of cages. The closed colonies will be phased out as soon as the system of voluntary blood banks and established and providing adequate supply to meet the needs of vet hospitals across the state.

Our Head of Public Affairs in North America, Monica Engebretson, said: “This is great news. We thank Assemblymember Bloom for his initiative and perseverance on this issue and all the organizations that worked on and supported this effort over the past three years to make sure it was done right by allowing humane donation-sourced animal blood banking and ensuring an end to the practice of caging dogs for blood in California.”