Wilk’s animal-blood donation bill moves ahead

Senator Scott Wilk of the 21st district.

State Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, announced Wednesday his “doggy donor bill,” which seeks to modernize animal-blood donation laws, cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.

A news release from Wilk’s office said ambiguity in existing law has led to a relatively limited regulatory scheme for animal blood banks. This has prompted the California Department of Food and Agriculture to only approve commercial licensure for closed-colony banks, which house dogs and cats for the specific purpose of taking their blood.

“Every day pets turn up in the veterinarian’s office in need of blood,” Wilk said in the release. “Some have been hit by a car, eat something they shouldn’t or are just plain sick. The reality is the blood supply for pets is woefully inadequate and that needs to change.”

Animal blood banks serve an important role to the California veterinary medical community, but there’s been a shortage in blood, according to Wilk. By opening up the market to community-based blood banks, private pet owners will be allowed to volunteer their animals for donation, which would greatly help to curb the shortage.

The senator previously said 49 other states already allow for flexibility in this matter, and this bill will bring California in line with the rest of the nation.

“California is the only state in the nation that does not allow community-based blood donations. (Senate Bill) 202 will update our law to ensure a more robust supply of blood and humane treatment of the donor animals,” Wilk said. “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.”

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