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Animal Protection Bills to Watch in California – 2019

California is poised to make major strides for animals this legislative session with more than a dozen animal bills being considered. Eight of these bills are being heard in committees on April 9, 2019 alone. Watch the bill hearings here.

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is sponsoring two bills this year – AB 1788, the California Ecosystems Protection Act, and SB 580, the Animal Cruelty and Violence Intervention Act of 2019.

Animal Cruelty and Violence Intervention Act of 2019

Sponsored by California Senator Scott Wilk, the Animal Cruelty and Violence Intervention Act is aimed at stopping the escalation of dangerous behavior among people who hurt animals.

The bill would mandate that people convicted of serious animal abuse crimes undergo a mandatory mental health evaluation, and if deemed beneficial, ongoing treatment. Judges can also order people convicted of less serious crimes to complete a humane education course that provides them with skills to interact with animals in a positive way.

Status: Being heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee on April 9, 2019 at 8:30 am.

If you’d like to support this bill, attend the hearing at the State Capitol in Sacramento, Room 2031. Read the agenda.

The California Ecosystems Protection Act

The California Ecosystems Protection Act, sponsored by Assemblymember Richard Bloom, would protect California’s native wildlife, including bobcats and bald eagles, from secondary poisoning by rodenticides (rat poisons). Anticoagulant rodenticides enter the food chain when rats who have consumed the poison are eaten by other animals. Secondary poisoning is a serious problem in California. A recent analysis determined that more than 85% of bobcats, endangered Pacific fishers, and mountain lions in California have been exposed to rodenticides.

bobcat

If enacted, California would become the first state in the country to ban second generation anticoagulant rodenticides throughout the state, except for agricultural use or by special permit. The bill also bans the use of less potent (but still very dangerous) first generation anticoagulant rodenticides on state-owned land. Read more about the dangers that rodenticides pose to wild animals, children, and companion animals.

Status: Passed the Assembly Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee on March 26th; Being heard in the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee on April 9, 2019 at 9 am.

If you’d like to support this bill, attend the hearing at the State Capitol in Sacramento, Room 444. Read the agenda.

Additional Bills

The Animal Legal Defense Fund is also actively supporting other key animal protection bills.

  • AB 889The California Transparency in Research Act
    AB 889 would create greater transparency for animals used in research in California. The bill requires people using animals for research to submit an application that includes information about the total number of animals held and the purposes for which the animals are being used. The Department of Public Health must maintain a publicly accessible online database of information obtained from these applications. Considering few (or no) federal laws protect the millions of animals used in research, transparency is critical.

Status: Being heard in the Assembly Health Committee on April 9, 2019

  • AB 44/AB 273Protecting Animals Killed for Fur
    Both these bills protect animals exploited and killed for their fur. AB 44, the Fur Products Prohibition Act, bans the sale of fur products in the state, with limited exceptions (such as for used fur). AB 273, the Wildlife Protection Act of 2019, permanently ends commercial trapping statewide of fur-bearing mammals.</br/>foxAnimals including mink, foxes, and rabbits are bred to die on fur farms where they are confined in tiny wire cages, often without protection from extreme weather. At the end of their short lives, they are killed by electrocution, gas chamber, neck breaking, or lethal injection. Some are skinned alive. Animals in the wild who are killed for their fur suffer in painful traps, and the fur trade jeopardizes vulnerable wildlife populations. Together, AB 44 and AB 273 would make California a leader in rejecting the cruel fur industry.

Status: Both bills passed the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee on March 12th; AB 44 Passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee on March 26th; Both bills have been referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee.

  • AB 611Prohibiting Sexual Contact with Animals
    Under current California law, it is a misdemeanor to sexually assault animals. But sexual assault is narrowly defined, omitting a number of different methods of assault and related forms of exploitation. This bill would strengthen the existing statute by expanding the definition, preventing offenders from possessing animals, and requiring veterinarians to report signs of animal sexual abuse to law enforcement.

Status: Passed the Assembly Public Safety Committee on March 19th; Referred to Assembly Appropriations Committee.

  • AB 1230Banning Cat Declawing
    AB 1230 would make it illegal to declaw a cat unless it is required for a “therapeutic purpose” – meaning necessary to address a medical problem. Declawing is extremely painful and can lead to lifelong behavioral problems like biting and aggression. Eight California cities have already banned declawing.

Status: Being heard in the Assembly Business and Professions Committee on April 9, 2019.

  • SB 313Circus Cruelty Prevention Act
    This bill prohibits circuses that use any wild animals. Animals in circuses spend most of their days in cramped, barren cages, deprived of the ability to engage in their natural behaviors. Forced to perform frightening and sometimes painful tricks, these animals endure a lifetime of misery.

circus tiger

Status: Being heard in the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on April 9, 2019

  • AB 1254Ending Bobcat Trophy Hunting
    This bill would end the trophy hunting of bobcats – making California the first state in the country to protect these animals with a permanent ban. AB 1254 prohibits hunting or trapping bobcats unless the animal poses a threat to humans or livestock.

Status: Being heard in the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee on April 9, 2019.

  • AB 1260Banning Sale of Products Made from Endangered Species
    AB 1260 expands California’s ban on the sale of endangered and vulnerable animal skins to include: iguanas, skinks, caimans, sharks, stingrays, hippos, or a Teju, Ring, or Nile lizard.

Status: Being heard in the Assembly Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee on April 9, 2019.

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