SACRAMENTO – Senator Scott Wilk, representing the 21st Senate District, announced today that Senate Bill 202 (SB 202) unanimously passed the Senate. SB 202 allows for the commercial use of animal blood from community-sourced donors.
“California’s shortage of available blood for animals in need is putting our pets’ lives in danger,” stated Senator Wilk. “SB 202 allows community animals – like those your or I own – to donate blood. This common-sense measure will increase the blood supply and ensure the health and happiness of pets everywhere. It is a compassionate solution to our woefully inadequate supply of animal blood.”
Because of the restrictive nature of California’s regulatory laws on animal blood donation, there are currently only two commercial blood banks in the state. As a result, veterinarians are running out of blood to use in their practices when an animal is in need. Currently, California only allows for the commercial licensing of closed-colony blood banks, which keep dogs and cats caged on premises for years on end to give blood, limiting the available blood supply.
A robust blood supply is needed to save animal lives in cases of serious injury, illness or disease. SB 202 allows privately owned animals to donate blood under the oversight of a licensed veterinarian in order to guarantee a healthy supply of blood when other animals need it – not too differently from how people give blood.
“Improving the amount of blood in the donor system will save pets’ lives. I’m thankful to my colleagues for their support on this critical issue,” said Wilk. “I look forward to continuing this work to benefit the lives of beloved animals in our communities.”
SB 202 has support from many in the animal rights community and the veterinary community. Social Compassion in Legislation is the sponsor of this legislation. The California Veterinary Medical Association and the California Veterinary Medical Board are also in support of the bill.
This bill will now move to the Assembly.