February 6, 2019 — Under a bill proposed by Santa Monica Assemblymember Richard Bloom, animal blood banks would no longer have to rely on confined dogs and cats.

Assembly Bill 366, introduced by Bloom on Monday, would allow the banks in California to use a donor blood collection system, instead of collecting blood exclusively from “closed colonies.”

The colonies confine donor animals “to cages and kennels for months or years,” according to Bloom’s staff.

“California’s pet blood banking system is outdated and inhumane,” Bloom said.

“This bill balances animal welfare and the need for safe, essential animal blood through voluntary, community-based collection methods.”

Every other state allows banks to collect blood in a “community-based, voluntary setting,” said Shannon Keith, California attorney and president of Rescue + Freedom Project.

“It has proven not only successful, but efficient and a wonderful way to enhance the human-animal bond,” Shannon said.

“California has the opportunity to showcase its ethical and humane treatment of animals.”

Volunteer animal blood donor programs have been established in many University-based veterinary teaching hospitals, including UC Davis and at “larger urban veterinary referral and emergency clinics,” Bloom’s staff said.

As a Santa Monica councilmember, Bloom was a champion of blood drives, frequently urging residents to become blood donors.

After being elected to the State Assembly, the former mayor sponsored a resolution to eliminate a federal restriction barring gay men from donating blood (“Bloom’s Resolution Supporting Gay Male Blood Donors Passes Assembly,” August 27, 2014).

Original Article: Santa Monica Lookout