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2009 California Animal legislation: How will these laws affect you?

By Gary Bogue
Tuesday, July 14th, 2009 at 8:38 am in Animal protection legislation.

Wild pig by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA
wild pig1

2009 California Animal legislation as of July 10, 2009, compiled by Paw Pac, California’s Political Action Committee for Animals.

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** All legislators’ and Governor’s address: State Capitol Bldg., Sacramento 95814. Directory: 916-322-9900.
** To find the names of your Assembly Member and Senator:
** E-mail addresses follow a formula. Examples: or, Letters, including hand written, by regular mail are always preferable to e-mail.
** Paw PAC 2008 California Voting Chart:
** Compiled by: Virginia Handley
** Paw Pac: P.O. Box 475012, San Francisco, CA 94147; 415-646-0622

If you like or dislike any of these laws, write your legislators and the governor and tell them how you feel about it.

Kitten by Bogue

AB 241 by Assemblyman Pedro Nava re: Dog and Cat Breeders. SUPPORT.
Limits the number of unsterilized dogs and cats used for sale or breeding to a total of 50 and allows law enforcement officers to take possession of animals in violation if necessary to protect the health/safety of animals or humans. To Be Heard: Senate Public Safety. July 14. Write: Tell the legislators that cat and puppy mills are a source of pet overpopulation and cause suffering to animals who are commonly overcrowded and overbred.

AB 242 by Assemblyman Pedro Nava re: Dog Fighting. SUPPORT.
Increases the penalties for spectators at dog fights to up to a year in the county jail and a fine of up to $5,000. To Be Heard: Senate Public Safety. July 14. Write: Tell the legislators that spectators, who are often participants who claim to be spectators, contribute to the illegality and cruelty of dog fighting.

AB 243 by Assemblyman Pedro Nava re: Animal Abuse. SUPPORT.
Mandates the court to prohibit people convicted of animal abuse as part of their probation from residing with or owning/caring for any animals. To Be Heard: Senate Public Safety. July 14. Write: Tell the legislators that animal abusers, like child abusers, repeat their crimes.

AB 708 by Assemblyman Jared Huffman re: Poaching.
Establishes minimum fine of $5,000 and maximum fine of $40,000 for killing, possessing, or selling illegally killed wildlife. Increases jail time and authorizes Fish & Game to suspend/revoke hunting/fishing license. To Be Heard: Senate Appropriations. Write: Tell the legislators that poachers consider fines, unless significant, part of the cost of doing business.

AB 979 by Assemblyman Tom Berryhill re: Hunting/Fishing. OPPOSE.
Declares that the Fish & Game Commission and the Department are the only ones who can regulate hunting/fishing thereby prohibiting any local ordinances. To Be Heard: Senate Appropriations. Write: Tell the legislators that AB 979 is a blatant power grab by hunters to gain access to land whether locals want it or not.

AB 1122 by Assemblyman Ted Lieu re: Animal Sales. SUPPORT.
Prohibits the sale of animals on any street, highway, parking lot, or carnival. Exempts county/state fairs, dog/cat shows, 4-H events and shelters/rescue groups adopting out animals. Amended to no longer prohibit animal sales at flea markets/swap meets. To Be Heard: Senate Appropriations. Write: Tell the legislators that puppies, smuggled in from Mexico and sold on roadsides, are of particular concern who are often neglected and sick.

AB 1423 by Assemblyman Tom Berryhill re: Hunting Clubs. OPPOSE.
Provides incentives for private land owners to open their land for hunting through SHARE (Shared Habitat Alliance for Recreational Enhancement), such as lowering/exempting hunting club fees, raising the penalty from infraction to misdemeanor for trespassing or interfering with hunting, including hunting dog training, and removing the existing requirement that there be “sufficient interest” before the SHARE program is implemented. To Be Heard: Senate Appropriations. Write: Tell the legislators that because there are less hunters, hunting organizations want more power and more access to private property to encourage more hunting.

AB 1437 by Assemblyman Jared Huffman re: Hens. SUPPORT.
Prohibits the importation of eggs that come from factory farms not in compliance with California law going into effect in 2015 (hens must be able to spread their wings). To Be Heard: Senate Health. July 15. Write: Tell the legislators that AB 1437 protects animals from inhumane, overcrowded conditions and protects the health of California consumers.

AB 1442 by Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee re: Wildlife. OPPOSE.
Requires the Wildlife Conservation Board and the Fish & Game Department to prioritize areas they most want access to for hunting/fishing. If the Board leases property to a nonprofit organization, they must allow hunting. AB 1442 allows prizes and inducements over $500 for killing any “game species.” Prohibits anyone from removing a hunting dogs collar. To Be Heard: Senate Appropriations. July 13. Write: Tell the legislators that AB 1442 is another blatant attempt by hunters to control our wildlife, their habitat with the help of the Wildlife Conservation Board and Fish & Game Department. Offering prizes for killing “game species” is an effort to recruit and reward hunters. Unlike “fishing derbies” which are catch/release, there is no release with hunting.

ACA 11 by Assemblyman Bill Berryhill re: Hunting. OPPOSE.
Amends the Constitution to declare “the right to hunt and take game.” Neither the Legislature nor the Fish & Game Commission can prohibit it. ACA 11 requires the State to encourage public and private property to provide hunting opportunities. To Be Heard: Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife. Write: Tell the legislators that ACA 11 is another attempt by hunters to control wildlife, the Legislature and the Commission.  Wildlife “belong” to all the people in California, not the 1% who are hunters.

ACA 13 by Assemblyman Ed Hernandez re: Initiatives. OPPOSE.
A Constitutional Amendment to require any initiative to first go through the Legislature where it can be amended. If proponents disagree with the amendments, they must gather more signatures until they reach 10% of the number of voters who voted in the last election for Governor. (Currently, proponents must gather 5% to be put on the ballot.) If they agree with the amendments the proposal passes as a bill, not an initiative. To Be Heard: Assembly Appropriations. Write: Tell the legislators that ACA 13 will impede citizen initiatives. Citizens go to the initiative process because the Legislature fails to act. Under ACA 13, Proposition 2 on farm animals, which passed by 63%, would have had a more difficult time getting on the ballot.

ACR 74 by Assemblyman Tony Portantino re: Animal Shelters.
A resolution, not a law, to encourage shelters to have programs of low cost  or free spay/neuter, foster care, evening/weekend/offsite adoptions, medical/behavioral rehabilitation, and trap/neuter/release of feral cats. ACR 74 urges shelters to “embrace the philosophy of the No Kill movement.” To Be Heard: Assembly Business & Professions. Write: Tell the legislators that shelters should be encouraged to eliminate/minimize the killing of animals regardless of whether or not they call themselves “No Kill.” Shelters should not be attacked for having the terrible job of having to kill animals in overcrowded facilities.

Buck deer by Mike Gordon, Walnut Creek, CA
buck velvet2

SB 135 by Senator Dean Florez re: Tail Docking of Cattle. SUPPORT.
Amends existing law prohibiting tail docking of horses to include dairy cows. Allows  docking for medical reasons but was amended to no longer require it be done by a vet. To Be Heard: Assembly Appropriations. Write: Tell the legislators that tail docking is a painful and unnecessary mutilation. Cows need their tails to protect them from flies.

SB 250 by Senator Dean Florez re: Spay/Neuter. SUPPORT.
Requires owners/custodians of dogs to spay/neuter them unless they have an unaltered dog license. Prohibits anyone who owns/keeps/harbors unspayed/unneutered cats from “roaming free.” To Be Heard: Assembly Appropriations. July 15. Write: Tell the legislators that unaltered dogs/cats cause overpopulation resulting in their deaths and increasing animal control costs.

SB 318 by Senator Ron Calderon re: Dogfighting Forfeitures. SUPPORT.
Authorizes the forfeiture of assets acquired by dogfighting participants, organizers, trainers,  and property owners who knowingly allow their premises to be used for dogfighting and those who steal animals for use as bait for dog fight training. To Be Heard: Assembly Floor. Write: Tell the legislators that forfeitures for dog fighting are needed to enhance enforcement and penalties for a cruel and illegal activity.

Bobcat by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA

SB 428 by Senator Christine Kehoe re: Seals. SUPPORT.
Declares a beach park in San Diego to also be a marine mammal park, thus allowing seals to use the beach. They are in danger of being evicted. The City Council may vote for this alternative if SB 428 passes. To Be Heard: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Write: Tell the Governor the beach provides historical and needed habitat for the seals while educating the public who want to protect them.

SB 448 by Senator Fran Pavley re: Safe Harbor Program. SUPPORT.
Establishes a program to encourage landowners to conserve their land to benefit endangered and threatened wildlife. To Be Heard: Assembly Appropriations. July 15. Write: Tell the legislators that endangered and threatened wildlife depend on private land for habitat.

SB 609 by Senator Dennis Hollingsworth re: Alligators/Crocodiles. OPPOSED.
Amends existing law to postpone a 2010 ban on the importation of alligator/crocodile products until 2015.

SB 762 by Senator Sam Aanestad re: De-Clawing. OPPOSED.
Prohibits local ordinances affecting “healing arts” such as veterinarians. The Cal Vet Assn wants no more local cat de-clawing bans such as the one passed in West Hollywood.

Wild turkeys by Joe Oliver, Walnut Creek, CA

Inactive bills were defeated or dropped for 2009, but may be pursued in 2010.

AB 233 by Assemblyman Cameron Smyth re: Pet Adoption. SUPPORT.
Would have allowed deduction of pet adoption costs up to $100 on state income taxes when adopted from shelters and rescue groups.

AB 1224 by Assemblyman Mike Eng: Hit & Run. SUPPORT.
Would have required motorists who hit pets or livestock to attempt to help them and report it to authorities, such as police or animal control

SB 416 by Senator Dean Florez re: Antibiotics. SUPPORT.
Would have encouraged schools to not serve poultry and meat products treated with antibiotics starting 2012.

SB 536 by Senator Dennis Hollingsworth re: Hunting Clubs. OPPOSE.
Would have removed restrictions and fees on hunting clubs.

SB 753 by Senator Gil Cedillo re: Kangaroos. OPPOSE.
Would have allowed importation of kangaroo products repealing any restrictions put into the law last year.

Buck deer by Mike Gordon, Walnut Creek, CA
buck velvet1

Animal Shelters Holding Periods. OPPOSE.
Suspends current law for a year, by lowering the minimum holding period from 6 or 4 days (current law provides it’s 4 days if open one night or weekend day) to 72 hours in order to reduce state mandated funding (several million dollars a year). Write: Governor Schwarzenegger. Tell him to do all he can to assist the shelters in keeping and adopting out animals.

State Parks. OPPOSE.
Closes 220 out of 279 state parks to reduce expenses. Write: Governor Schwarzenegger. Tell him closing parks not only loses entrance fees, but opens the unprotected parks to poaching and vandalism.

Bullfrog by Brian Murphy, Walnut Creek, CA

1416 – 9th St, Sacramento, CA 95814. E-mail:

The Commission is considering a “possible course of action” on the importation of turtles and frogs for the live animal markets and the pet trade. To Be Heard: Possibly September. Write: Tell the Commissioners that turtles/frogs are invasive species, often diseased, who compete with/kill our native wildlife, such as the Western Pond Turtle and Red Legged Frog. Their importation and sale should be banned. Thank them for considering the issue and urge them to act before September as these animals are coming in by the ton in the meantime.

Exotic Animals.
As a result of a court case, the Fish & Game Department was instructed to set up an inspection program of exotic animal facilities that does not include letting veterinarians paid by permittees to sign off on inspections declaring humane standards have been met. In spite of recommendations given to the Department by their Exotic Animal Advisory Committee, the Department/Commission has yet to set up the program. Write: Tell the Commissioners to take action to amend the regulations to comply with the law that requires the department to do the inspections themselves or contract it out.

Assembly Appropriations: Kevin DeLeon, Chair, Jim Neilsen, Vice-Chair, Tom Ammiano, Charles Calderon, Mike Davis, Michael Duvall, Felipe Fuentes, Isadore Hall, Diane Harkey, Dave Jones, Jeff Miller, John Perez, Curren Price, Nancy Skinner, Jose Solorio, Audra Strickland, Tom Torlakson.

Assembly Business & Professions: Mary Hayashi, Chair, Bill Emmerson, Vice-Chair, Connie Conway, Mike Eng, Ed Hernandez, Pedro Nava, Roger Niello, John Perez, Curren Price, Ira Ruskin, Cameron Smyth.

Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife: Jared Huffman, Chair, Jean Fuller, Vice-Chair, Joel Anderson, Juan Arambula, Tom Berryhill, Bob Blumenfeld, Anna Caballero, Nathan Fletcher, Alyson Huber, Bonnie Lowenthal, John Perez, Mary Salas, Mariko Yamada.

Senate Appropriations: Christine Kehoe, Chair, Dave Cox, Vice-Chair, Ellen Corbett, Jeff Denham, Mark DeSaulnier, Loni Hancock, Mark Leno, Jenny Oropeza, George Runner, Mimi Walters, Lois Wolk, Mark Wyland, Leland Yee.

Senate Health: Elaine Alquist, Chair, Tony Strickland, Vice-Chair, Sam Aanestad, Gil Cedillo, Dave Cox, Mark DeSaulnier, Mark Leno, Abel Maldonado, Gloria Negrete-McLeod, Fran Pavley, Lois Wolk.

Senate Public Safety: Mark Leno, Chair, John Benoit, Vice-Chair, Gil Cedillo, Loni Hancock, Bob Huff, Darrell Steinberg, Rod Wright.

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