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October 12, 2010 > Ohlone Humane Society: Legislative Wrap-up

Ohlone Humane Society: Legislative Wrap-up

By Virginia Handley, OHS Board Advisor & Legislative Chair Paw PAC

Nothing is more powerful than the written word, especially if it's written in a law book! Since 1980, Paw PAC, a coalition of animal advocates, has traveled the hills and valleys, experiencing the elation and frustration in Sacramento's Capitol Building in attempting to pass or defeat bills affecting millions of animals. The following are the highlights 2010's efforts.


Bills passed in 2010:

AB 1437 by Assemblyman Jared Huffman requires eggs from out-of-state to meet housing mandates required by Proposition 2 passed in 2008. Chickens must have space to stand up, turn around, lie down and spread their wings. Chickens now are piled on top of each other in overcrowded cages.

AB 1980 by Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi strengthens existing law requiring veterinarians covering rodeos to report injuries to the State Veterinary Board whether they "treat" the animal or not. Many injuries at rodeos went unreported.

AB 2869 by Assemblyman Cameron Smyth allows the public and animal control to use e-mail, computer, and faxes to verify rabies vaccinations which are required for dogs to get licenses.

SB 1179 by Senator Dennis Hollingsworth allows the Fish & Game Dept to provide two free hunting days a year if an unlicensed hunter is accompanied to a licensed hunter. Hopefully, the Dept won't use this opportunity. Any one who wants to hunt but won't bother to buy a license shouldn't be allowed to hunt.

SB 1345 by Senator Ron Calderon allows the sale of kangaroo products in California, banned from 1973 to 2008 for environmental and humane reasons. SB 1345 has nothing to do with conservation and everything to do with the profits made by companies like Adidas who sell kangaroo leather shoes.

SB 1417 by Senator Dave Cox puts additional requirements on humane societies wanting to appoint humane officers, making it more difficult or impossible. Humane officers are needed more than ever to help enforce humane laws since animal control departments are suffering from budget cuts.

Senate Joint Resolution 22 by Senator Dean Florez asks the President and Congress to pass federal legislation to protect horses from slaughter. Thousands of horses now travel long distances under inhumane conditions.

The Budget once again suspends some provisions of the "Hayden" law which requires longer holding periods for animal shelter strays because it has cost the state millions of dollars for additional housing and veterinary care due to overcrowding. Holding periods for "owner surrendered" animals (shelters are not required to accept) and cooperation with rescue groups remain intact.


Bills that failed in 2010:

AB 2223 by Assemblyman Pedro Nava would have prohibited lead shot for hunting in state wildlife areas. We don't allow lead in other products such as paint or toys; we shouldn't be allowing it to poison our wildlife.

SB 250 by Senator Dean Florez would have required the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats. Although SB 250 provided many exemptions, it was overwhelmingly defeated by breeding interests.

SB 1277 by Senator Dean Florez would have required those convicted of felony animal abuse to register with local authorities with the information available to the public. Modeled after existing law on sex offenders, the legislators apparently did not find animal abuse offensive enough.


Animal Protection bills vetoed by the Governor:

AB 979 by Assemblyman Tom Berryhill would have prohibited any local ordinance on hunting; a power play, one of many, by hunters to control hunting throughout the state.

AB 1656 by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma would have required fur products to be labeled as to the species and country of origin. Federal law currently requires labeling of products over $250. Governor Schwarzenegger in his veto message said it "may increase costs to manufacturers."

AB 2012 by Assemblyman Ted Lieu would have strengthened penalty provisions for misdemeanor animal abuse. The Governor's veto message said he "could not support a measure that increases potential jail time for offenses against animals."

AB 2411 by Assemblyman Dave Jones would have required pet insurance companies to provide better consumer information, such as defining pre-existing conditions. The Governor's veto message said "this bill is not necessary."

AB 2575 by Assemblyman Wes Chesbro would have repaired/protected riparian habitat where there are threatened/endangered salmon.

AB 2743 by Assemblyman Pedro Nava would have prohibited landlords from requiring a cat to be de-clawed (amputating the ends of their toes) or a dog to be de-barked (cutting the vocal cords) as a condition of tenancy. The Governor's veto message said the bill's findings "are not supported by science" and that "this bill goes too far."


Rate your legislative representative by getting the free Paw PAC 2010 Voting chart. This year 13 legislators are graded A+, 39 graded A, 12 graded B, 18 graded C, 5 graded D, and 27 graded F, including Governor Schwarzenegger. We are fortunate in the San Francisco Bay Area to have representatives who support animal protection legislation. Check out the 2010 November election endorsements at www.pawpac.org.

Contact all legislators and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger: State Capitol Building, Sacramento, California 95814. Capitol Switchboard: 916/322-9900. Encourage your legislator to represent you by supporting animal protection. Your legislator can be found at www.leginfo.ca.gov/yourleg.html. Or look in your local phone book under State listings for Assembly and Senate.

Paw PAC can be reached at: PO Box 475012, San Francisco, CA 94147. 415/646-0622. info@pawpac.org.

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