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TORRANCE DAILY BREEZE: Lieu pet microchip bill is vetoed as other local measures win OK.
October 11, 2011
By Art Marroquin ; Staff Writer
Gov. Jerry Brown spent the past week hustling to sign a series of bills submitted by South Bay lawmakers that touch on education, finances and law enforcement.
Others got the ax, including a closely watched bill by Sen. Ted Lieu , Redondo Beach, that would have required microchips be implanted in all dogs and cats rescued from animal shelters.
"Under current law, local agencies and shelters can - and should - require animals to be microchipped before being released," Brown wrote in his veto message. "There is no need for state law to mandate the procedure, which would then require the state to pay for it."
Lieu said he was "disappointed" in the veto of his Assembly Bill 702, citing a state controller's report that found state taxpayers pay about $300 million annually to impound 1 million dogs and cats.
"Sadly, this heartbreaking trend will continue, as will the missions in costs to taxpayers to fund local animal shelters," Lieu said.
Ranging in price from $15 to $75, the tiny microchips are inserted between a pet's shoulder blades. A scanner is capable of reading a unique number assigned to the chip, determining to whom the pet is registered.
"I favor microchipping, but I don't think it's fair to make every shelter do it, unless someone is going to donate the chips or make them accessible to purchase at a reasonable price," said Stephanie Crawford, founder of Animals Rule Placement Foundation in San Pedro.
"Small rescue groups and shelters can barely pay for spaying and neutering pets," Crawford said. "I don't think microchipping should be mandatory, but I think it should be done if the pet owner wants it."
However, Brown signed a bill authored by Lieu that prohibits anyone younger than 18 from using tanning beds. Current law required parental permission from youths who are 14 years and older.
Lieu said the measure, which becomes law Jan. 1, was needed to protect children from skin cancer and other possible effects of using the ultraviolet devices.
"Indoor tanning is especially harmful because of the intense and dangerous type of UV rays emitted from tanning beds," Lieu said.
Brown last week signed three other bills by Lieu, including a requirement that out-of-state insurance companies provide equal coverage to domestic partners of same-sex couples. Lieu said the measure is aimed at ensuring the state's nondiscrimination laws also apply to the insurance industry.