On Feb. 4, 2019 Assemblymember Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica) introduced Assembly Bill 366, also known as the California Pet Blood Bank Modernization Act, aimed at allowing animal blood banks in California to utilize a donor blood collection system for dogs and cats.
Existing California law requires animal blood banks to collect blood exclusively from so-called “closed colonies” – which confine donor animals to cages and kennels for months or years. By contrast, other states allow blood banks to collect animal blood in a community-based, voluntary setting. These programs don’t rely on confined animals and lead to greater access and reduced waiting times, which can be critical in emergency situations.
Volunteer animal blood donor programs have now been established in many University-based veterinary teaching hospitals, including UC Davis, as well as at larger urban veterinary referral and emergency clinics.
“We can do so much better for the animals in our state,” said Assemblymember Bloom. “California’s pet blood banking system is outdated and inhumane; this bill balances animal welfare and the need for safe, essential animal blood through voluntary, community-based collection methods.”
“California has the opportunity to showcase its ethical and humane treatment of animals by allowing a dog and cat volunteer blood donor program, so that these animals are not held captive in cages,” said Shannon Keith, California attorney and president of Rescue + Freedom Project. “Every other state in the U.S. allows this volunteer model, and it has proven not only successful, but efficient and a wonderful way to enhance the human-animal bond.”