Ban of Toxicity Testing on Dogs and Cats in California About to Take Place

This week, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law an important bill banning toxicity testing on dogs and cats that will take effect on January 1, 2023. Known as Senate Bill 879, it was authored by Sen. Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States. While it exempts medical and federally required testing from the ban, it is a significant step toward sparing pets from barbaric testing practices all too frequently seen.

Pro Animal Strides

“For many families, including my own, pets are beloved companions that enrich our lives every day,” Newsom stated. “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.”

kitten being cradled
Photo: Pixabay/Kadres

The bill focuses on pesticides, chemical substances, and other toxic products that could potentially be tested on cats and dogs. The law effectively makes California the first U.S. state to nix the option for businesses desiring to learn about the harmful effects of their products on pets.

Ending Animal Cruelty

At the forefront of the humane treatment of animals, California passed a bill in late 2021 phasing out the use of closed-colony blood banks for animals. The hope among veterinarians there is to form the state’s first donor-based network to replace the closed-colony model previously in place. Closed-colony blood banks keep animals confined for long periods and often use retired greyhounds intended for adoption before being diverted into years of blood donations.

The year before, in 2020, Newsom included $50 million in the state’s budget for funding research at UC Davis to explore ways to end euthanasia in shelters. Pro pet/animal, he has also signed bills ending the retail sale of domestic pets like cats, dogs, and rabbits, as well as banning the sale of new fur products. He also helped put the kibosh on the use of wild or exotic animals in circus acts, like elephants and bears.

herding dog
Photo: Pixabay/doanme

The Prohibiting Extraneous Testing Act

Concerning Bill 879, Sen. Weiner noted that unnecessary toxicity testing exposes dogs and cats to industrial and consumer products such as pesticides, chemical substances, and even food additives. The Prohibiting Extraneous Testing Act, as it has been named, doesn’t apply to medicinal products intended for use in the treatment of canines and felines. For instance, cancer medications and such.

“Animal testing that has no scientific value and causes terrible pain and suffering is inhumane, unnecessary, and cruel,” Wiener shared in a statement. “The PET Act protects cats and dogs from this type of testing and helps these animals live long healthy lives.”

Humane Society’s Animal Activism

Kitty Block, chief executive of the Humane Society of the United States, added, “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.”

If you live in California, you can probably look forward to more bills intended to better the lives of some of our most vulnerable members of society.

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