Calif. OKs law to prevent cities from interfering with sanctioned veterinary medical procedures


A new bill will prevent cities and counties from passing laws banning state-approved veterinary medical procedures.

Sacramento, Calif.

-- Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill July 2 that will prohibit cities or counties from passing laws that would keep veterinarians from performing duties allowed under the state’s licensing standards.

Senate Bill 762, authored by Sen. Sam Aanestad, has roots in a fight that began in 2003 between West Hollywood and the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). When West Hollywood passed a ban on declawing cats that year, the CVMA sued the city and won, but the first decision was later overturned in West Hollywood’s favor and the state Supreme Court refused to hear the case. The CVMA has stated that it’s opposed to cities banning practices supported by veterinarians, veterinary associations and the state board.

The West Hollywood law could open the door for other cities to ban practices allowed under the scope of practice granted to a state-licensed health professional, according to the CVMA.

But the new law will prevent that interference, though it will only affect laws passed after Jan. 1, 2010, therefore exempting the West Hollywood declawing ban.

CVMA sponsored the bill. A similar law, Assembly Bill 2427, proposed last year by the California Assembly, passed in the Legislature but was not signed by the governor.

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