Bill To Open Animal Blood Banks To Community-Based Donors In California Passes 1st Committee By Unanimous Vote

When a human needs a blood transfusion, we know that the blood comes from donors, and was collected at clean, safe facilities. Many people have not considered the sourcing of animal blood for both transfusions and for medical research.

We’re excited to announce that SB 202a bill which will allow for animals that live with their owners to give blood at commercial blood banks moved forward to the next committee when it passed 4 to 0.

“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 Scott Wilk, the author of SB 202. “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,” stated Judie Mancuso, Founder and CEO of Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL), which is the sponsor of SB 202. “Many pet owners would allow their dogs and cats to donate blood in a safe, clean environment in order to expand the sources for animal blood. I want to thank Senator Wilk for his leadership in moving this bill forward.”

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 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 animals 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, Chief Veterinarian 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 owners.”

The bill now goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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