Sacramento, Calif. - West Hollywood City Council promises to fight California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA)-backed legislation that would bar local governments from criminalizing state regulated and sanctioned procedures.
Sacramento, Calif. — West Hollywood City Council promises to fight California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA)-backed legislation that would bar local governments from criminalizing state regulated and sanctioned procedures.
It's a legislative remedy designed to prevent other municipalities from following West Hollywood's 2003 ban on veterinarians performing non-therapeutic feline onychectomy within the city's limits.
CVMA officials say their last-ditch effort won't reverse West Hollywood's ordinance, but it would put a stopper on copycat initiatives. The state Supreme Court cemented the city's right to deem the procedure a criminal misdemeanor last September by refusing to hear CVMA's legal challenge to the ban. One month later, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) adopted a policy designed to steer municipalities away from meddling in veterinary tasks deemed lawful by state regulators.
While AVMA's language has no legal teeth, AB 2427, introduced by Assembly Member Mike Eng, would amend a section of the state's Business and Professions Code to make it "unlawful for a city or county to prohibit a person, authorized by one of the agencies of the Department of Consumer Affairs, to engage in a particular business."
The bill was scheduled for hearing in the Assembly's Business and Professions Committee on March 23 at press time. Without a statute change, critics of West Hollywood's legal win say it opens the door for local restrictions on all regulated professions, leaving controversial but state-sanctioned human health-care electives vulnerable to a municipality's impulse to ban.
CVMA Executive Director Valerie Fenstermaker invites other professions to sign on in support of the measure.
"This really has to do with authority," she says, adding that every licensed profession in California could one day be affected.