September 11, 2009
A Banner Year for Animal Protection Legislation in California
As Session Winds Down, HSUS Commends State Legislature for Passing Raft of Anti-Cruelty Bills, Urges Governor to Sign Measures
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Humane Society of the United States commends the California State Legislature for approving several bills this session addressing a variety of animal protection issues. The HSUS calls on Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to enact these measures.
"We are pleased with these outcomes, the bipartisan support and the work that so many Californians did to get these bills to the Governor's desk," said Jennifer Fearing, The HSUS' California senior state director. "These new additions to California's animal welfare laws reflect the value that our citizens place on humane treatment of pets and other animals and represent a great step forward for our state."
Assemblymember Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, a longtime animal advocate, introduced three bills that all passed the Assembly and Senate: A.B. 241, which will curb abuses at puppy mills by limiting the number of adult breeding dogs or cats confined in large-scale commercial operations to 50; A.B. 242, which will increase penalties for attending a dogfight to crack down on spectators who fuel this criminal industry with admission fees and gambling wagers; and A.B. 243, which will prevent convicted animal abusers from owning other animals in the future.
California Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, D-Shafter, shepherded passage of S.B. 135, a bill to ban the cruel and inhumane practice of tail docking — the partial amputation of up to two-thirds of a dairy cow's tail, a procedure typically performed without anesthetic.
Sen. Ron Calderon, D-Montebello, also addressed dogfighting with S.B. 318, which will allow for the forfeiture of property of anyone found guilty of violating the dogfighting laws and requires the proceeds to be distributed to animal-related nonprofit organizations and law enforcement agencies.
The roadside sale of animals will be outlawed with the enactment of A.B. 1122, introduced by Assemblymember Ted Lieu, D-Torrance. Animals sold in parking lots and alongside roads often live in unsanitary and crowded conditions without food and water and are subjected to the extremes of weather. The new law will alleviate animal suffering and also protect public health by reducing the risk of Salmonella and other diseases.
More information on animal protection legislation this session:
- The HSUS also co-sponsored two animal protection resolutions that were enacted by the legislature this session: A.C.R. 19 proclaiming Spay Day USA in February (authored by Assemblymember Cameron Smyth, R-Santa Clarita) and A.C.R. 91, co-authored by Lieu and Smyth, which recognized September 2009 as "Adopt-a-Shelter-Pet Month" in California.
- The HSUS also supported S.B. 428, enacted by the Governor earlier in the session, authored by Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, giving the City of San Diego authority to protect the Casa Beach seals in La Jolla.
- The HSUS supported A.B. 708, authored by Assemblymember Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, and headed to the Governor's desk. This bill would increase the minimum fines for illegal poaching in California.
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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.