California Grooming Bill Passes Committee
California Senate Bill 969 was passed by the Senate Business, Professions & Economic Development Committee on April 23, after being amended to eliminate the requirement that any person in California “who bathes, brushes, clips, or styles a pet for compensation” must be licensed by the Veterinary Medical Board. Instead, the amended bill would establish a Pet Grooming Council, which would be charged with overseeing administration of the new law.
The Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) had sought other changes to the introduced version of the bill, and several amendments were included in the measure as adopted. PIJAC is involved in continuing discussion on additional possible amendments to SB 969. The bill now sits in the Senate Appropriations Committee awaiting further action.
The bill states that “the primary concern of every licensee shall be the safety and well-being of the pets in their care.” Specific requirements include:
• Pets not being groomed are to be kept in structurally sound and clean cages, with each enclosure in good repair and large enough to allow each pet to make normal postural adjustments.
• Outdoor facilities may not be utilized in inclement weather and indoor facilities must be maintained at a healthy temperature.
• There must be sufficient lighting to facilitate the cleaning of pets and facilities.
• The grooming facility must maintain sanitary conditions at all times.
• There must be an adequate water supply available for drinking.
• Pets may not be left unattended while at a pet grooming facility.
• A drying cage may never be used.
Licensees are required to maintain insurance against potential negligence, and must keep a record for each pet receiving grooming services that includes identifying information and services performed. To become licensed under the bill, a groomer would be required to take an examination administered by the Pet Grooming Council. The council would also have the authority to approve all schools or institutions offering a curriculum for training pet groomers.
The Council would be responsible for issuing certificates to pet groomers who have “successfully completed, at an approved school, a curriculum in pet grooming and related subjects, totaling a minimum of 300 hours, that incorporates appropriate school assessment of student knowledge and skills and that provides a minimum of 1,000 hours of hands-on experience in pet grooming; or has a minimum of 1,000 hours of hands-on experience in pet grooming and successfully passes a grooming certification test established by the Council.” Lesser requirements would have to be met to be certified as a “pet bather and brusher.”
However, there is a grandfather provision that would allow a certificate for someone who applies on or before January 1, 2013 and has a current grooming permit or license from a California locality and is able to document at least 500 hours of grooming services to the public for compensation, or one who can document completion of at least a 100-hour grooming curriculum with at least 500 hours of grooming services to the public for compensation.
Amendments also include due process for the suspension or revocation of a certificate, and other disciplinary measures.
For more information, visit www.pijac.org.