CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY VOTES TO OPEN ANIMAL BLOOD BANK MARKET TO COMMUNITY-BASED DONORS
SB 202 passes full Assembly, paving way for viable community-based donors to enter commercial animal blood bank industry
TUESDAY, September 10, 2019 – SACRAMENTO
– When a human needs a blood transfusion, we know that the blood comes from donors, and was collected at clean, safe facilities. Many people haven’t considered the sourcing of animal blood, though, both for transfusions and for medical research. Current California law only allows blood to come from animals permanently kept as blood donors in blood banking facilities. SB 202, authored by Senator Scott Wilk and which passed the California Assembly on Tuesday by a unanimous vote, will allow for animals that live with their owners to give blood at commercial blood banks. The bill heads to the Senate for a concurrence vote, then to Governor Newsom for his signature.
“California faces a shortage of animal blood products and we have an opportunity to ensure a more robust supply of blood without housing more animals in traditional animal blood donations facilities,” said Senator Wilk. “Human blood donors go home to their families after donating; animal donors should be treated the same way. California is woefully behind the rest of the nation on this matter, which is why I introduced the Doggy Donor Bill.”
“Today, there are animals in cages in California, being kept specifically to serve as sources of blood for sale,” said
Judie Mancuso, Founder and CEO of Social Compassion in Legislation
, which is sponsoring SB 202. “Many pet owners would help their dogs and cats donate blood in a safe, clean environment in order to expand the sources for animal blood. I want to thank Senator Wilk and Assemblymember Richard Bloom for their leadership in moving this bill to the governor’s desk.”
SB 202 mandates that the production of animal blood and blood component products are blood-borne pathogen tested for all canine and feline donors. This change is intended to make it easier and safer for donors to provide animal blood needed by injured and sick animals across the state.
“SB 202 will open up a most welcome new frontier for veterinary businesses and create a more robust and reliable supply of life-saving blood products for dogs who need that blood, both across California and beyond,” said Dr. Heather Rally, a supervising veterinarian with the PETA Foundation. “This bill is a win for everyone involved, from my veterinary colleagues and our patients, to the dog guardians depending on us to provide the best care possible to their beloved dogs, and to the donors themselves.”
“The possibilities are endless, including modeling the Red Cross mobile blood banks,” said Dr. Karen Halligan, the supervising vet of the Lucy Pet Foundation, and SCIL board member. “SB 202 is good for California veterinarians, it’s good for California cats and dogs, and it’s good for California pet loving families.