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Image / Editorial

New California law means pet shops can only sell rescue animals


by Grace McGettigan
02nd Jan 2019

A new law banning the sale of non-rescue animals from pet stores has just been introduced in California.

The law, which came into effect on January 1 2019, says all dogs, cats and rabbits must be sourced from animal shelters. Any pet shop found to have sourced their animals from a breeder will face a fine of $500.

Related: The truth about animal testing
in the cosmetics industry 

The law, formally known as AB485, also requires pet shop owners to keep a record of each animal they receive; including the details of the shelter they came from.

Patrick O’Donnell at the California Assembly first introduced the bill last year, and it was later signed into law by the outgoing governor Jerry Brown.

While the main aim is to improve animal welfare in the state, government officials say it will benefit taxpayers too; as thousands of tax dollars are spent on sheltering animals (and indeed putting animals to sleep) every year.

California is the first state in America to implement a ban like this, and animal rights activists hope others will soon follow suit.

Other steps forward

What’s more, California also recently became the first US state to ban animal testing in the cosmetics industry. In September 2018, the State Assembly confirmed it will be illegal to sell cosmetics that have been (or include ingredients that have been) tested on animals.

The Humane Society of the United States welcomed the ban, describing the news as “groundbreaking” and “a victory” for the US. In a statement shared on their website, they said, “The world is rapidly moving toward ending animal testing for cosmetics. Let’s celebrate the victory for animals in California today, while keeping up the push to make the United States the next country that says ‘no’ to cruel cosmetics.”

Photo by Roberto Nickson on Unsplash

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