It was an extraordinarily successful session for animal protection in California, with the capstone being defeat of a maneuver by the government of Australia to repeal a decades-old ban, set to resume in January, on the trade in kangaroos skins and meat. Led by Humane Society of the United States lobbyist Jennifer Fearing, the effort to defeat Assembly Bill 1188 (by Assemblymember Mike Gipson) came after an outpouring of public and media concern about the underhanded last-minute efforts to promote the sale of kangaroo parts and thereby the slaughter of Australia’s kangaroos.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the HSUS, issued the following statement:

“California is closing a sad chapter that departed from a decades-old policy by again shutting the door on imports of kangaroo parts from Australia. Californians want nothing to do with Australia’s massive commercial slaughter of millions of these wonderful creatures every year. Companies using kangaroo skins for shoes and meat for pet food have alternatives and we call on them to stop making products from Australia’s iconic kangaroos.”

Earlier in the session, California lawmakers passed landmark bills to ban the use of bullhooks on elephants for use in circuses and also to crack down on the commercial trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn. The legislature also renewed a critical spay-neuter fund. The California Fish and Game Commission, acting on a measure approved in a prior legislative session, banned any commercial trapping of bobcats.

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