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Gov. Schwarzenegger Enacts Legislation Giving San Diego Power to Determine Seals' Fate

The Humane Society of the United States

SACRAMENTO — The Humane Society of the United States praised Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California legislature for enacting urgent legislation to protect seals in La Jolla.

Senate Bill 428, introduced by Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, and coauthored by Assemblymembers Lori Saldana, D-San Diego, and Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego, amends the 1931 Tidelands Trust, giving the City of San Diego the discretion to allow marine mammals to inhabit the Children's Pool. The City now has the authority to preserve the seals' habitat as well as an important and beloved San Diego institution. The bill received overwhelming bipartisan support from both the Assembly and the Senate en route to the Governor's desk.

"With a state judge ruling earlier today that the City had only 72 hours to disperse the seals, Governor Schwarzenegger's signature came at a critical juncture in this years-long effort," said Jennifer Fearing, The HSUS' California state director. "Now the City can end this costly and bitter battle once and for all, and do right by the seals who are treasured by the San Diego community and its tourists."

A recent survey indicates that nearly two-thirds of San Diego residents want these marine mammals to remain and the editorial page of the San Diego Union Tribune has called for the City Council to "stand firmly on the side of the seals."

The HSUS is pleased to have supported the efforts of the City of San Diego, the Animal Protection & Rescue League, the La Jolla Friends of the Seals and other San Diego individuals and organizations who worked hard to ensure passage of this important legislation.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.