Cloned pets escape retail sales ban in California

Cloned pets escape retail sales ban in California

Jul 01, 2005
By staff

Sacramento, Calif. — A bill seeking to ban the retail sale of cloned animals died in the California Legislature possibly in part due the veterinary profession's lobby against it.

While cloning involves moral and ethical issues, the California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) came down on the call to bar the trade of genetically altered pets based on science.

As introduced, Assembly Bill 1428 prohibited "any person from engaging in the retail sale or transfer of cloned or genetically modified pets within California." The proposed law carried a maximum $500,000 fine per violation.

That's too far reaching, CVMA Executive Director Valerie Fenstermaker says.

"Shutting down a commercial enterprise is a little touchy," she says. "Any overall ban would take research away with it."

While CVMA "solidly opposed" AB 1428, Fenstermaker hasn't discounted the bill entirely. Its sponsor, Assemblyman Lloyd Levine, will have an opportunity to rework the bill and introduce it again in January.

"Cloning is getting a lot of attention. I think it's really an emerging issue," Fenstermaker says.