Governor Newsom Signs Legislation to Protect Animal Welfare 9.26.22

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom. | Photo courtesy of Gov.ca.gov

SACRAMENTO, CA

gov.ca.gov | Contributed

Governor Gavin Newsom announced that he has signed several measures to advance animal welfare in California, including SB 879 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), which ends unnecessary toxicological testing on dogs and cats.

“For many families, including my own, pets are beloved companions that enrich our lives every day,” said Governor Newsom. “I’m proud to sign this legislation to advance our state’s leadership on animal welfare by ending cruel and unnecessary testing on dogs and cats, among other measures to protect the health and safety of pets in California.”

SB 879, the PET (Prohibiting Extraneous Testing) Act prohibits toxicity testing on dogs and cats for pesticides, chemical substances and other products, which often does not advance scientific research on toxicity in humans. The bill includes exemptions for tests related to products intended for use in dogs or cats, including medical treatments. SB 879 does not impact federally required testing.

“As we celebrate California becoming the first state in the nation to prohibit certain testing on dogs and cats, we extend our gratitude to Governor Newsom for signing The PET Act, SB 879, into law,” said Kitty Block, President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. “Passing this bill shows California’s dedication to protecting animals from a life of suffering and isolation for the sake of unreliable tests. We appreciate Senator Wiener’s leadership on SB 879 and remain committed to ending all harmful toxicology testing on animals.”

Governor Newsom also signed AB 1648 by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (D-San Diego), which requires kennel owners to create a natural disaster evacuation plan as one of the conditions for obtaining a kennel license or permit. AB 1290 by Assemblymember Alex Lee (D-San Jose) clarifies that stealing or taking someone else’s companion animal is theft.

In addition, the Governor signed SB 774 by Senator Robert Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys) to facilitate the emotional support dog certification process for homeless individuals and AB 2723 by Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) which expands microchip registration requirements for dogs and cats to support the return of lost pets to their owners and deter theft.

The 2021-22 and 2020-21 state budgets included a total $50 million investment for a statewide Animal Shelter Assistance Program administered by UC Davis to give the state’s animal shelters the training and resources they need to work toward the state’s no-kill goal. Since taking office, Governor Newsom has signed several measures to end the retail sale of dogs, cats and rabbits in California, ban the sale of new fur products, prohibit the use of animals like elephants and bears in circus acts, ban hunting, trapping or killing bobcats, and require shelters to microchip all reclaimed or adopted cats and dogs.

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