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Calif. bill makes it a crime NOT to implant pets with chips

[I'll include some news coverage below. Pet microchips have been around 
since the 1980s, as you'll see, but requiring them through force of law 
seems to be a new -- and incomprehensibly bizzare -- idea. "First pets, 
then humans!" --Declan]




INTRODUCED BY   Senator O'Connell
FEBRUARY 14, 2001

    An act to add Section 32005 to the Food and Agricultural Code,
relating to animals.

    SB 236, as introduced, O'Connell.  Dogs and cats: micro-chip:
owner's registry.
    Existing law regulates the ownership of dogs and cats, as
    The bill would make it a crime for any person to own, harbor, or
keep any dog or cat over the age of 4 months, unless that dog or cat
has been micro-chipped and the owner's identification has been
entered into a national registry approved by the Department of Food
and Agriculture.  By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a
state-mandated local program upon local governments.
   The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local
agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
    This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.
    Vote:  majority.  Appropriation:  no.  Fiscal committee:  yes.
State-mandated local program:  yes.


   SECTION 1.  Section 32005 is added to the Food and Agricultural
Code, to read:
    32005.  It is unlawful for any person to own, harbor, or keep any
dog or cat over the age of four months, unless that dog or cat has
been micro-chipped and the owner's identification has been entered
into a national registry approved by the Department of Food and
   SEC. 2.  No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIIIB of the California Constitution because the
only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district
will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction,
eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime
or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government
Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of
Section 6 of Article XIIIB of the California Constitution.


The San Diego Union-Tribune
March 12, 2001, Monday
Pg. A-1

Bill Ainsworth; STAFF WRITER

SACRAMENTO -- To some it seems like a sinister, Orwellian plot: The
government requires pet owners to imbed microchips in their dogs and cats
revealing the owner's name, phone number and address. Those who resist face
criminal penalties.

But backers insist the proposal isn't some Big Brother nightmare. Instead,
they say, it's a way to use advanced technology to rescue tens of thousands
of animals and save millions of taxpayer dollars on animal shelter

The plan is contained in new legislation, Senate Bill 236, by state Sen.
Jack O'Connell, D-Santa Barbara, a pet owner and longtime legislative
champion of animal rights.

"It will save money and help lost pets be reunited with their loving
owners," O'Connell said. "It's just good public policy."

Some opponents argue that the legislation invades the privacy of millions of
pet owners. Others say a law requiring microchips is too extreme, especially
for cats, which don't even require licenses in most parts of the state.

"It's total overkill," said John Folting, a retired San Diego resident and
member of the Cat Fanciers Association. "How can you criminalize something
like that?"



The San Diego Union-Tribune
January 5, 1989, Thursday

   Marketed by Infonet Identification and Recovery System in Los Angeles, the
new device consists of a small microchip injected just under the skin of cats,
dogs and other pets.  Veterinarians say the procedure is painless.

    Under the Infonet plan, animal shelters that find stray pets scan them with
an instrument resembling a supermarket barcode reader.  If the scanner 
turns up
a chip, the finder dials ...

    ... 40, and the annual service fee to be listed with the registry is $11.
According to Infonet, most city and county animal shelters in California will
be using the scanning system by this spring.



    Dog Bytes Say More Than Bark
    by Julia Scheeres
    2:00 a.m. Mar. 15, 2001 PST

    Proposed legislation in California would require microchips to be
    implanted in cats and dogs to reduce the number of former pets killed
    in the state's animal shelters each year.

    Under Senate Bill 236, introduced by state Sen. Jack O'Connell
    (D-Santa Barbara), dogs and cats would be "chipped" and the owner's
    identification entered in a national registry.

    The bill is slated for debate in the judiciary committee next month.


    "Our position is that anything that helps animals, we support," said
    Bob Reder, program coordinator for the HSUS. "We don't have hard
    numbers and statistics on things like backyard breeders and puppy
    mills. It'll be good to find out who we're targeting."


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