Friday, January 20, 2012

Spay/Neuter License Plate Program

CA AB 610 was amended yesterday and sent to the Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing. CFoDC continues to oppose this bill.
AB 610 establishes a special low pre-order threshold for the startup of the proposed spay/neuter license plate program. These are the license plates designed by Judie Mancuso's buddy Pierce Brosnan. (We think the artwork is hideous, and the message is questionable, but that is neither here nor there).
For any special license plate program, 7500 orders must be received by the DMV to initiate a startup of the production process. This bill proposes to allow production of spay-neuter license plates with a lowered order threshold of just 3500. Any profits made from the sale of the license plates (once production costs are recovered) are to go to the sponsoring agency. NOT to the DMV as the sponsors have erroneously claimed in the past.
The license plate program is being sponsored by the California Veterinary Medical Board. Judy Mancuso, a vegan animal extremist, is currently is a member of the California Veterinary Medical Board. She is also the leader of the group "Social Compassion in Legislation". "Social Compassion" was founded by Judie Mancuso and PETA employee Jane Garrison. Both these women are radical animal activists. Social Compassion claims to support spay-neuter programs, but in reality, the expenditures as reported on Social Compassion's tax returns prove that most of the income ends up being used to lobby for mandatory spay and neuter legislation. Very little funding from this group supports actual spay-neuter programs.
We believe it is unethical for a state board to sponsor such a for-profit license plate program. There are constitutional concerns involved here, as well as the apparent conflict of interest in having the veterinary medical board sponsor a bill that promotes a specific veterinary for-profit procedure.
This bill in it's original form garnered complaints from animal welfare advocates because it contained inaccurate and highly inflammatory language about the pet population in our state. Thanks to the public outcry, the inflammatory and false statements have now been removed. The amended bill contains tightened criteria, such as higher required numbers of orders and shortened deadlines for action, which thankfully makes this special license plate program a bit less likely to succeed.
The bill analysis further claims:
In order to ensure that the pilot program for a specialized
license plate becomes operative as soon as possible to allow the
Veterinary Medical Board to support the critically important efforts
of city and county animal shelters to address serious animal care and
control problems facing the state, it is necessary that this act go
into effect immediately.
"Serious animal control problems in our state"? We now have the lowest shelter rates in history! And we achieved this success without coercive legislation that forces individuals to alter their pets against their will. 
The exact disbursement of the funds collected from this license plate program remains vague, and the use of the money is unspecified.
"the board shall expend all funds
received under this section exclusively for projects and programs
that support
city and county animal shelters, including, but
not limited to,
spaying and neutering programs

and adoption programs

From the current amended form of the bill, it is obvious that the profits from this program will NOT support government shelters directly, but could very possibly be instead siphoned into Judie Mancuso's "Social Compassion" bank account. Instead of funding spay-neuter surgery programs, the profits from the spay-neuter license plate fund will most likely be used for SC's ongoing lobbying efforts to push compulsory (and mostly still unfunded) spay-neuter ordinances throughout the state.
Mandatory spay-neuter has been one of the most hotly-contested issues in our state's history, with thousands of dog and cat owners protesting in Sacramento, and many thousands more calling and writing their state legislators in protest. Mandatory spay/neuter is a  proven failure and results in highter shelter intakes and deaths everywhere it has been tried. We must be assured that the profits from any license plate program will go to actual, hands-on spay/neuter surgery programs, and NOT for lobbying for regressive spay/neuter laws.
We urge the defeat of AB 610.
If it isn't bad enough to have state agencies infiltrated by animal extremists, we now have links from official state website to outside websites such as "Social Compassion", featuring radical animal rights projects. And now, our government officials are even promoting artwork and messages from animal rights extremists on our DMV license plates.
Remember, these extremists are NOT the 99%. They are the 1%.


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