California Abandons Spay-Neuter Bill (AB 1634)

Continued debate on the proposed mandatory spay-neuter bill proved too much for it to survive in California’s state Senate.

Assembly member Lloyd Levine withdrew the contentious California Healthy Pets Act (AB 1634) today after it became clear he would not garner enough votes for it from the state Senate’s Local Government Committee, according to a spokesperson from his office.

Saying the bill was well-intended but flawed from the start, the American Kennel Club praised this development.

“AB 1634 was nothing more than an attempt to penalize responsible dog and cat owners who are not to blame for any purported pet population issues in California,” said Dennis Sprung, AKC’s president and CEO. “Today’s developments ensure that their fundamental rights and liberties remain intact.”

The bill, which would have mandated the spaying or neutering of most dogs and cats – exceptions were granted for show and work animals – in the state, was introduced in an effort to reduce the number of unwanted animals abandoned and euthanized in the state.

The state Assembly passed the bill, narrowly, but support for it continued to crumble when the California Veterinary Medical Association quietly withdrew its support of the legislation earlier this month.

Despite the setback, Levine’s office plans to “re-group,” continue work on the bill and bring it back to the Legislature’s attention next year, the spokesperson said.

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