BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 777
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          Date of Hearing:   April 24, 2007
          Counsel:                Nicole J. Hanson 


                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                                 Jose Solorio, Chair

                 AB 777 (Levine) - As Introduced:  February 22, 2007
           
           
           SUMMARY :   Prohibits specified conduct in relation to housing,  
          possessing, contacting, or traveling with an elephant.   
          Specifically,  this bill :  

          1)Deems it unlawful for any person or entity who houses,  
            possesses, is in contact with, or travels with an elephant  
            within California to engage in any of the following with  
            relation to the elephant:

             a)   Using any implement or device on an elephant that may  
               reasonably result in harm to the elephant, including, but  
               not limited to, damage, scarring, or breakage of an  
               elephant's skin;

             b)   Employing any implement or device that is used,  
               purchased, contrived or constructed for the purpose of  
               shocking, poking, striking, hitting, stabbing, piercing,  
               pinching, or other physical contact with an elephant shall  
               be deemed to be an implement or device that may reasonably  
               result in harm to an elephant.  An implement or device that  
               may reasonably result in harm to an elephant includes, but  
               is not limited to, a bullhook, ankus, or other similar  
               device. 

             c)   Possessing any implement or device on an elephant that  
               may reasonably result in harm to the elephant, including,  
               but not limited to, the damage, scarring, or breakage of  
               the elephant's skin; and,

             d)   Using any chain or similar device to restrain an  
               elephant, except if utilized for the shortest amount of  
               time necessary to provide medical treatment. 

          2)Criminalizes possessing, keeping, or maintaining an elephant  
            at a stationary facility unless all of the following  








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            conditions are met:

             a)   Elephants in the facility may walk an average of at  
               least five miles per day, demonstrable through the use of a  
               global positioning system or other comparable technology;

             b)   There exists a variety of enrichment activities designed  
               to provide the elephant with exercise and mental  
               stimulation:

               i)     Enrichment activities may include, but are not  
                 limited to, hiding food in the enclosure to force the  
                 animal to seek out the food source; remote dispensers of  
                 food throughout the enclosure that dispense food at  
                 irregular times, devices; or stimuli that allow the  
                 animals safe play. 

             c)   A bath, pool, or lake within the facility that is at  
               least seven feet in depth and large enough to allow the  
               largest elephant to submerge at least 75% of the elephant's  
               body;

             d)   The majority of the facility's exterior substrate  
               walkable areas must be of an appropriate, soft, natural  
               substrate which will not cause or aggravate problems with  
               the elephant's feet; and, 

             e)   No portion of the enclosure, including, but not limited  
               to, any interior area designed to house an elephant  
               overnight, may have a substrate consisting entirely of  
               concrete, metal, or gravel. 

          3)Precludes from criminalization people or entities who possess,  
            keep, or maintain one or more elephants at a stationary  
            facility until the person or entity expends capital funds for  
            the purpose of expanding or renovating the elephant enclosure.  
             Capital funds shall not be deemed expended for the purpose of  
            expanding or renovating the elephant enclosure if the funds  
            are expended only for necessary repairs.

          4)Provides that violations under this section shall be deemed  
            misdemeanors and each day a violation continues shall  
            constitute a separate and distinct offense. 

          5)Allows prosecution under this bill as well as Penal Code  








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            Section 597.

           EXISTING LAW  : 

          1)Provides that it is a misdemeanor for any owner or manager of  
            an elephant to engage in abusive behavior towards the  
            elephant, which behavior shall include the discipline of the  
            elephant by any of the following methods:  deprivation of  
            food, water, or rest; use of electricity; physical punishment  
            resulting in damage, scarring, or breakage of skin; insertion  
            of any instrument into any bodily orifice; use of martingales;  
            and, use of block and tackle. [Penal Code Section 596.5]

          2)Creates a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of one year in  
            the county jail and a fine of not more than $20,000 to maim,  
            mutilate, torture, or wound a living animal or maliciously or  
            intentionally kill an animal.  [Penal Code Section 597(a).]

          3)States that every person having charge or custody of an animal  
            who overdrives; overloads; overworks; tortures; torments;  
            deprives of necessary sustenance, drink, or shelter; cruelly  
            beats, mutilates, or cruelly kills; or causes or procures any  
            animal to be so overdriven; overloaded; driven when  
            overloaded; overworked; tortured; tormented; deprived of  
            necessary sustenance, drink, shelter; or to be cruelly beaten,  
            mutilated, or cruelly killed is, for every such offense,  
            guilty of a crime punishable as an alternate  
            misdemeanor/felony and by a fine of not more than $20,000.   
            [Penal Code Section 597(b).]

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :   

           1)Author's Statement  :  According to the author, "Already 250  
            pounds and three-feet tall at birth, elephants can grow to  
            weigh more than 7 tons and stand as high as 13 feet.  They are  
            the largest land mammal on earth; highly intelligent, socially  
            complex and emotionally advanced.  In the wild they are  
            constantly on the move, often covering dozens of miles in a  
            day.  Yet, many elephants in captivity in California - mostly  
            in zoos or traveling circuses - spend their lives confined to  
            a space of less than one acre.

          "Any elephant in captivity must also be trained, and circuses  








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            and zoos have a sad history of training elephants through a  
            combination of physical and mental abuse.  Ask yourself - how  
            is it that a 10,000-pound behemoth follows the lead its  
            150-pound keeper?  For many years, the only answer was to  
            'break' an elephant by subjecting it to a variety of painful,  
            degrading physical and emotional tactics until it submits out  
            of fear and exhaustion.  There are trainers that defend such  
            techniques as necessary evils.  But, in fact, elephants (and  
            many other animals) in captivity can be trained to cooperate  
            with keepers voluntarily through a method known as 'protected  
            contact'.  Half of the zoos with elephants in America have  
            adopted this practice - but in California, some zoos and all  
            circuses have not.  They use chains to place elephants in  
            painful stress positions or use a bullhook, a weapon that gets  
            defended as a guide. 

          "I have introduced this bill to force vital and long overdue  
            reforms which will change the way elephants are cared for,  
            housed, and trained in California.  It is not radical, but  
            reasonable, based on standards already met by the Oakland Zoo,  
            which provides ample space for its elephants and employs care  
            techniques that are free from the threat of physical and  
            mental abuse.

          "It is clear that many who care for these animals, especially in  
            zoos, have the best interests of the elephants at heart, and  
            are working hard to provide them with the best care possible.   
            And yet, unintentional as it may be, it is also clear that  
            elephants are suffering.  We can turn our backs and look away,  
            or we can work together to provide them with a better life.   
            We must find a way to give these elephants the level of care  
            they deserve.  If we truly value our humanity, it requires of  
            us nothing less."  
           
           2)Background  : According to information provided by the author,  
            "California's current law provides insufficient protection for  
            elephants that continue to suffer from cruel and inhumane  
            treatment throughout our state.  This bill prohibits the most  
            egregious training devices and methods - antiquated and  
            unnecessary tools and tactics that should be prohibited.  If  
            you were to use a bullhook on a dog you would be charged with  
            animal cruelty - why are we in turn allowing people to use  
            bullhooks on elephants?

          "This bill prohibits the use of a bullhook or a similar device  








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            as well as the unnecessary chaining of elephants in  
            California, and also establishes minimum care standards for  
            housing elephants within the state. 

          "This bill amends Penal Code Section 596.5, which already  
            prohibits a number of cruel and inhumane elephant training  
            methods such as the use of electricity; deprivation of food  
            and water; physical punishment resulting in damage, scarring,  
            or breakage of skin; insertion of any instrument into any  
            bodily orifice; use of martingales; and the use of block and  
            tackles.  However, existing law does not address the most  
            common cruel and inhumane training devices used on elephants  
            the bullhook and chains.  In addition, existing law does not  
            set forth basic minimum standards of care for elephants which  
            is a necessary component to the animal's well being.

          "Bullhooks are commonly used to train and control elephants at  
            circuses and traveling shows.  Both ends of the bullhook  
            inflict damage and are used dominate the elephant and cause  
            pain.  The bullhook can only be described as a weapon. 

          "When pressure is applied to an elephant's sensitive areas, the  
            elephant is reminded of the force the trainer can inflict with  
            that device.  Trainers and industry spokespersons call this  
            'guiding' the elephant, but the reality is that the bullhook  
            is a tool of intimidation.  Furthermore, even while in view of  
            the public, a discerning eye can notice the domineering way a  
            trainer uses the bullhook.  Using pokes and jabs, or even  
            quickly striking the elephant, the trainer is constantly  
            reminding the elephant who is boss.

          "There is an alternative method that can be used.  In fact, most  
            of the accredited zoos in California are now utilizing this  
            training method called which relies solely on positive  
            reinforcement to guide elephant behavior. 

          "The practice of chaining is one of the most common methods of  
            confining elephants in captivity and goes hand-in-hand with  
            the use of the bullhook.  Chaining severely restricts an  
            elephant's movements - even elementary ones such as lying  
            down, walking, or socializing with other elephants.  The  
            resultant lack of movement, due to chaining, results in  
            neurosis and stereotypic behavior in elephants.  This  
            behavior, which indicates psychological distress, is not  
            observed in elephants in the wild.  








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          "Inappropriate space, lack of walking, improper substrate, etc.,  
            cause painful health problems like arthritis, chronically  
            infected feet, obesity, neurotic behaviors (such as swaying,  
            pacing, and head-bobbing), and reproductive disorders.  These  
            conditions can lead to premature death in captive elephants.   
            More than half of 46 elephants who died at accredited zoos  
            nationwide since 2000 failed to reach their 40th birthday,  
            dying far short of their 70-year life expectancy."

           3)Federal Protection Afforded to Elephants under the Animal  
            Welfare Act  :  Under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), zoos,  
            circuses, transporters, roadside menageries and exhibitors of  
            elephants must be licensed and participate in record-keeping  
            and marking requirements.  Additional protections exist  
            governing their care, handling, and transport.  The AWA gives  
            power to the Secretary of Agriculture and the United States  
            Department of Agriculture, whose power is further delegated to  
            the Animal Plant and Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to  
            administer and enforce the AWA's requirements.  APHIS enforces  
            the Act through conducting inspections and instituting rules  
            and regulations for facilities.  APHIS is required to conduct  
            yearly inspections and investigate facilities whenever a  
            complaint is filed. The following regulations apply to care of  
            elephants:

             a)   Temperature in indoor housing facilities shall be  
               sufficiently regulated by heating or cooling to protect the  
               animals from the extremes of temperature, to provide for  
               their health and to prevent their discomfort.  The ambient  
               temperature shall not be allowed to fall below nor rise  
               above temperatures compatible with the health and comfort  
               of the animal.  [9 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)  
               3.126(a).]

             b)   Indoor housing facilities shall be adequately ventilated  
               by natural or mechanical means to provide for the health  
               and to prevent discomfort of the animals at all times.   
               Such facilities shall be provided with fresh air either by  
               means of windows, doors, vents, fans, or air conditioning  
               and shall be ventilated so as to minimize drafts, odors,  
               and moisture condensation.  [9 CFR 3.126(b).]

             c)   Indoor housing facilities shall have ample lighting, by  
               natural or artificial means, or both, of good quality,  








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               distribution, and duration as appropriate for the species  
               involved.  Such lighting shall be uniformly distributed and  
               of sufficient intensity to permit routine inspection and  
               cleaning.  Lighting of primary enclosures shall be designed  
               to protect the animals from excessive illumination.  [9 CFR  
               3.126(c).]

             d)   A suitable sanitary method shall be provided to rapidly  
               eliminate excess water from indoor housing facilities.  If  
               drains are used, they shall be properly constructed and  
               kept in good repair to avoid foul odors and installed so as  
               to prevent any backup of sewage.  The method of drainage  
               shall comply with applicable federal, state, and local laws  
               and regulations relating to pollution control or the  
               protection of the environment.  [9 CFR 3.126(d).]

             e)   When sunlight is likely to cause overheating or  
               discomfort of the animals, sufficient shade by natural or  
               artificial means shall be provided to allow all animals  
               kept outdoors to protect themselves from direct sunlight.   
               [9 CFR 3.127(a).]

             f)   Natural or artificial shelter appropriate to the local  
               climatic conditions for the species concerned shall be  
               provided for all animals kept outdoors to afford them  
               protection and to prevent discomfort to such animals.   
               Individual animals shall be acclimated before they are  
               exposed to the extremes of the individual climate.  [9 CFR  
               3.127(b).]

             g)   A suitable method shall be provided to rapidly eliminate  
               excess water.  The method of drainage shall comply with  
               applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations  
               relating to pollution control or the protection of the  
               environment.  [9 CFR 3.127(c).]

             h)   On or after May 17, 2000, all outdoor housing facilities  
               (i.e., facilities not entirely indoors) must be enclosed by  
               a perimeter fence that is of sufficient height to keep  
               animals and unauthorized persons out.  Fences less than  
               eight-feet high for potentially dangerous animals, such as,  
               but not limited to, large felines, bears, wolves,  
               rhinoceros, and elephants, or less than six-feet high for  
               other animals must be approved in writing by the APHIS  
               administrator.  The fence must be constructed so that it  








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               protects the animals in the facility by restricting animals  
               and unauthorized persons from going through the fence or  
               under the fence and having contact with the animals in the  
               facility, and so that the fence can function as a secondary  
               containment system for the animals in the facility.  The  
               fence must be of sufficient distance from the outside of  
               the primary enclosure to prevent physical contact between  
               animals inside the enclosure and animals or persons outside  
               the perimeter fence.  Such fences less than three feet in  
               distance from the primary enclosure must be approved in  
               writing by the APHIS administrator.  [9 CFR 3.127(d).]  A  
               perimeter fence is not required:

               i)     Where the outside walls of the primary enclosure are  
                 made of sturdy, durable material, which may include  
                 certain types of concrete, wood, plastic, metal, or  
                 glass, and are high enough and constructed in a manner  
                 that restricts entry by animals and  unauthorized persons  
                 and the APHIS administrator gives written approval [9 CFR  
                 3.127(d)(1)];

               ii)    Where the outdoor housing facility is protected by  
                 an effective natural barrier that restricts the animals  
                 to the facility and restricts entry by animals and  
                 unauthorized persons and the APHIS administrator gives  
                 written approval [9 CFR 3.127(d)(2)];

               iii)   Where appropriate alternative security measures are  
                 employed and the APHIS administrator gives written  
                 approval [9 CFR 3.127(d)(3)]; and,

               iv)    For traveling facilities where appropriate,  
                 alternative security measures are employed.  [9 CFR  
                 3.127(d)(4).]

             i)   Enclosures shall be constructed and maintained so as to  
               provide sufficient space to allow each animal to make  
               normal postural and social adjustments with adequate  
               freedom of movement.  Inadequate space may be indicated by  
               evidence of malnutrition, poor condition, debility, stress,  
               or abnormal behavior patterns.  (9 CFR 3.128.)

             j)   The food shall be wholesome, palatable, and free from  
               contamination and of sufficient quantity and nutritive  
               value to maintain all animals in good health. The diet  








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               shall be prepared with consideration for the age, species,  
               condition, size, and type of the animal. Animals shall be  
               fed at least once a day except as dictated by hibernation,  
               veterinary treatment, normal fasts, or other professionally  
               accepted practices.  [9 CFR 3.129(a).]

             aa)  Food and food receptacles, if used, shall be sufficient  
               in quantity and located so as to be accessible to all  
               animals in the enclosure and shall be placed so as to  
               minimize contamination. Food receptacles shall be kept  
               clean and sanitary at all times.  If self-feeders are used,  
               adequate measures shall be taken to prevent molding,  
               contamination, and deterioration or caking of food.  [9 CFR  
               3.129(b).]

             bb)  If potable water is not accessible to the animals at all  
               times, it must be provided as often as necessary for the  
               health and comfort of the animal.  Frequency of watering  
               shall consider age, species, condition, size, and type of  
               the animal.  All water receptacles shall be kept clean and  
               sanitary.  (9 CFR 3.130.)

             cc)  During surface transportation, it shall be the  
               responsibility of the driver or other employee to visually  
               observe the live animals as frequently as circumstances may  
               dictate, but not less than once every four hours, to assure  
               that they are receiving sufficient air for normal  
               breathing; their ambient temperatures are within the  
               prescribed limits; all other applicable standards are being  
               complied with and to determine whether any of the live  
               animals are in obvious physical distress; and to provide  
               any needed veterinary care as soon as possible.  No animal  
               in obvious physical distress shall be transported in  
               commerce.  [9 CFR 3.140(a).]

             dd)  Wild or otherwise dangerous animals shall not be taken  
               from their primary enclosures except under extreme  
               emergency conditions provided, however, that a temporary  
               primary enclosure may be used, if available, and such  
               temporary primary enclosure is structurally strong enough  
               to prevent the escape of the animal.  During the course of  
               transportation in commerce, live animals shall not be  
               removed from their primary enclosures unless placed in  
               other primary enclosures or facilities conforming to the  
               requirements provided in this subpart.  [9 CFR 3.140(b).]








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             ee)  Carriers and intermediate handlers shall move live  
               animals from the animal holding area of the terminal  
               facility to the primary conveyance and from the primary  
               conveyance to the animal holding area of the terminal  
               facility as expeditiously as possible.  Carriers and  
               intermediate handlers holding any live animal in an animal  
               holding area of a terminal facility or in transporting any  
               live animal from the animal holding area of the terminal  
               facility to the primary conveyance and from the primary  
               conveyance to the animal holding area of the terminal  
               facility, including loading and unloading procedures, shall  
               provide the following [9 CFR 3.142(a)]:

               i)     When sunlight is likely to cause overheating or  
                 discomfort, sufficient shade shall be provided to protect  
                 the live animals from the direct rays of the sun and such  
                 live animals shall not be subjected to surrounding air  
                 temperatures which exceed 29.5 degrees Celsius (85  
                 degrees Fahrenheit), and which shall be measured and read  
                 in the manner prescribed in Section 3.141 of this part,  
                 for a period of more than 45 minutes [9 CFR 3.142(a)(1)];

               ii)    Live animals shall be provided protection to allow  
                 them to remain dry during rain or snow [9 CFR  
                 3.142(a)(2)];

               iii)   Transporting devices shall be covered to provide  
                 protection for live animals when the outdoor air  
                 temperature falls below 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees  
                 Fahrenheit) and such live animals shall not be subjected  
                 to surrounding air temperatures which fall below 7.2  
                 degrees Celsius (45 degrees Fahrenheit), which shall be  
                 measured and read in the manner prescribed in Section  
                 3.141 of this part, for a period of more than 45 minutes  
                 unless such animals are accompanied by a certificate of  
                 acclimation to lower temperatures as prescribed under  
                 existing law [9 CFR 3.142(a)(3)];

               iv)    Care shall be exercised to avoid handling of the  
                 primary enclosure in such a manner that may cause  
                 physical or emotional trauma to the live animal contained  
                 therein [9 CFR 3.142(a)(4)]; and,

               v)     Primary enclosures used to transport any live animal  








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                 shall not be tossed, dropped, or needlessly tilted and  
                 shall not be stacked in a manner which may reasonably be  
                 expected to result in their falling.  [9 CFR  
                 3.142(a)(5).]

           4)Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)  : The AZA was founded  
            in 1924. It is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the  
            advancement of accredited zoos and aquariums in the areas of  
            animal care, wildlife conservation, education and science. AZA  
            is an accrediting organization for zoos and aquariums, and  
            accredits only those institutions that have achieved the AZA's  
            standards for animal care, education, wildlife conservation  
            and science.

          The AZA has created standards for elephant management and care.  
            The standards were developed in consultation with zoo elephant  
            experts, as well as field researchers and animal welfare  
            advocates. The following are the standards set by AZA for  
            elephant management and care:

             a)   Elephants must be kept outside on natural substrates as  
               much as possible.  Institutions should consider designing  
               exhibitions that allow elephants outdoor access 24 hours  
               per day, weather, heath and safety permitting.  During  
               daylight hours, elephants kept outdoors can tolerate  
               moderate temperature extremes.  Provisions must be made to  
               protect animals from adverse weather, including intense  
               sunlight, chilling rain, sleet, etc.  Animals kept outdoors  
               must be monitored frequently at temperatures below 40  
               degrees.  Facilities may install outdoor heat sources to  
               extend the amount of time the animals are able to remain  
               outside.  [American Zoological Association (AZA) Standards  
               for Elephant Management and Care Section 1.1.1.]

             b)   Indoor space must provide adequate room for animals to  
               move about and lie down without restriction.  A minimum of  
               400 square feet is required for a single animal,  
               approximately 800 square feet for two animals, and so on.   
               Because of their size and space requirements, bulls or cows  
               with calves much have minimum of at least 600 square feet.   
               (AZA Standards for Elephant Management and Care Section  
               1.4.1.)

             c)   An outdoor yard must have at least 1,800 square feet for  
               a single adult individual and an addition 900 square feet  








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               must be added for each additional animal.  If this space is  
               the only location of exercise, then it is recommended that  
               the space per elephant should be even greater.  (AZA  
               Standards for Elephant Management and Care Section 1.4.2.)

             d)   Outdoor yard surfaces must consist primarily of natural  
               substrates (e.g., soil, sand, grass) that provide good  
               drainage and have cleanable, dry area for feeding.  (AZA  
               Standards for Elephant Management and Care Section 1.4.5.)

             e)   While outdoors, elephants must have access to sand or  
               soil at all times for dust bathing.  (AZA Standards for  
               Elephant Management and Care Section 1.4.6.)

             f)   Adult males (six years and above) may be housed alone,  
               but not in complete isolation (opportunities for tactile,  
               olfactory, visual, and/or auditory interaction with other  
               elephants must be provided).  (AZA Standards for Elephant  
               Management and Care Section 2.2.5.)

             g)   Zoos should make every effort to maintain elephants in  
               social groupings.  It is inappropriate to keep highly  
               social female elephants singly.  Institutions should strive  
               to hold no less than three female elephants wherever  
               possible.  All new exhibits and major renovations must have  
               the capacity to hold three of more female elephants.  (AZA  
               Standards for Elephant Management and Care Section 2.3.1.)

             h)   Electrical devices designed for use on livestock, such a  
               commercially manufactured electric prods and shocking  
               collars/belts, are prohibited as routine training tools or  
               for handling animal during exhibition.  (AZA Standards for  
               Elephant Management and Care Section 5.1.1.)

             i)   The following training tools/techniques to be  
               inappropriate for use at member institutions (AZA Standards  
               for Elephant Management and Care Section 5.1.2):

               i)     Insertion of any implement into any bodily orifice  
                 unless directed by a veterinarian specifically in  
                 connection with training for a medical or reproductive  
                 procedure.  (AZA Standards for Elephant Management and  
                 Care Section 5.1.2.)

               ii)    Striking an elephant with anything more substantial  








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                 than an ankus (a traditional training tool used by  
                 elephant trainers).  (AZA Standards for Elephant  
                 Management and Care Section 5.1.2.)

               iii)   Striking an elephant with any sharp object,  
                 including the hook of an ankus.  (AZA Standards for  
                 Elephant Management and Care Section 5.1.2.)

               iv)    Striking an elephant on or around any sensitive  
                 area, such as the eyes, mouth, ears of genital region.   
                 (AZA Standards for Elephant Management and Care Section  
                 5.1.2.0)

               v)     No tools used in training should be applied  
                 repeatedly and with such force that they cause any  
                 physical harm to an animal (i.e., breaking of the skin,  
                 bleeding, bruising, etc.).  (AZA Standards for Elephant  
                 Management and Care Section 5.1.2.)

               vi)    Withholding or reducing an animal's  
                 daily-recommended amount of food and or water.  (AZA  
                 Standards for Elephant Management and Care Section  
                 5.1.2.)

               vii)   Withholding veterinary care for any reason.  (AZA  
                 Standards for Elephant Management and Care Section  
                 5.1.2.)

             j)   Protracted and repeated use of corporal discipline in  
               training is of serious ethical concern and AZA considers  
               abusive training practices to be unacceptable.  (AZA  
               Standards for Elephant Management and Care Section 5.1.2.)

             aa)  Chaining is acceptable as a method of temporary  
               restraint.  However, elephants must not be subjected to  
               prolonged chaining (for the majority of a two-hour period)  
               unless necessary for veterinary treatment or transport.   
               Institutions that regularly use chains for some portion of  
               the day must alternate the chained foot on a daily basis.   
               (AZA Standards for Elephant Management and Care Section  
               5.5.1.)

           5)Arguments in Support  :  According to  Gale Hazelhofer  ,  
            "Elephants are highly intelligent, social animals that live in  
            extended family groups and mirror humans in terms of emotion,  








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            age progression, longevity and social bonds.  This bill is a  
            common-sense piece of legislation that looks at some of the  
            most egregious issues facing elephants and offers a solution.

          "The bullhook (a stick with a spike at the end, somewhat like a  
            fireplace poker) is the most common implement or device used  
            to train, punish, and control elephants.  Both ends of the  
            bullhook are used to inflict pain.  Forceful use of the  
            bullhook (sometimes drawing blood) in training sessions is  
            common practice in order to render elephants submissive and to  
            train elephants to perform tricks.  The bullhook is then used  
            as an intimidation device once elephant trainers are in view  
            of the public.  Elephants obey the bullhook as a 'guide'  
            because they recognize it as a source of pain.  Opponents to  
            this bill may call the bullhook a 'guide', an 'extension of  
            the trainer's arm', and liken it to the 'reins for a horse' or  
            the 'leash for a dog'.  However, if an owner of a dog were to  
            use a bullhook to control his/her dog, it would be considered  
            animal abuse in every state.

          "There is an alternative training method that can be used.  In  
            fact, most of the accredited zoos in California are now  
            utilizing this training method that relies solely on positive  
            reinforcement to guide elephant behavior.

          "The practice of chaining is one of the most common methods of  
            confining elephants in captivity and goes hand-in-hand with  
            the use of the bullhook.  Chaining severely restricts an  
            elephant's movements - even elementary ones such a lying down,  
            walking or socializing with other elephants.  The resultant  
            lack of movement, due to chaining, results in neurosis and  
            stereotypic behavior in elephants such as swaying, packing and  
            head-bobbing.  This behavior, which indicates psychological  
            distress, is not observed in elephants in the wild.

          "In addition, elephants housed at stationary facilities are  
            denied proper substrate and enrichment.  They are denied  
            adequate space to roam.  In the wild, they travel miles and  
            miles a day which maintains their foot and overall health.   
            All of these factors lead to painful health problems like  
            arthritis, recurring foot infections and abscesses, obesity,  
            digestive disorders, neurotic behaviors, and reproductive  
            disorders.  These conditions lead to premature death in  
            captive elephants.  More than half of the 46 elephants who  
            died at accredited zoos nationwide since 2000 failed to reach  








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            their 40th birthday, dying far short of their 70-year life  
            expectancy."

           6)Arguments in Opposition  :  The  International Animal Welfare  
            Alliance  states:

             a)   "The loss of elephants in the entertainment, education  
               and zoo industries will have a catastrophically negative  
               impact on elephant conservation.  Most funding for wild  
               elephant conservation is achieved by the zoos and  
               commercial exhibitors that care for and house elephants.   
               Their efforts to educate and accomplish public awareness  
               are the key to the survival of all species and the funding  
               comes from their captive elephant programs.

             b)   "The pertinent language in this bill is extremely  
               redundant to existing laws with the exception to language  
               that will eliminate the participation of elephants in  
               entertainment and education as well as render most zoos and  
               exhibitors unable to continue caring for their elephants in  
               a safe and humane manner.

             c)   "Lake a horse's bit or a dog's choke collar, when used  
               properly and legally, a bullhook or ankus is a guidance  
               tool, not a disciplinary devise.  All can become abusive if  
               used improperly.  The majority of all captive elephants are  
               familiar and comfortable with the ankus.  Elimination of  
               the ankus will result in a complete inability to handle the  
               elephants safely and responsibly outside their permanent  
               enclosures.  Lack of such an instrument is what led to the  
               death of a handler at the Tennessee Elephant Sanctuary in  
               2006.  Laws already exist addressing the abusive use of the  
               ankus.  This restriction would place safely handled free  
               contact elephants behind bars forever.  This bill also by  
               letter eliminates the use of hotline fencing, commonly used  
               to house horses, sheep, cattle, etc.  The elimination of  
               such a tool would only take more space away from elephants.

             d)   "Chains are used to temporarily restrict and secure an  
               elephant's movements as leashes and lead ropes are used on  
               dogs and horses.  Abolition of chains will make it  
               impossible to transport elephants safely and comfortably.   
               Most elephants familiar with the practice are terrified to  
               travel without chains.  They relate to them as humans do  
               safety belts in cards finding a familiar security with  








                                                                  AB 777
                                                                  Page  16

               them.  Once again, laws already exist addressing the  
               possibility of abuse.  Although this bill accommodates the  
               use of chains for medical reasons, attempting to use chains  
               on sick elephants that have not been conditioned to accept  
               them as a normal part of their daily protocol is both  
               irresponsible and inhumane.  Not training such a protocol  
               to have it available should an elephant require treatment  
               is already neglectful.  We can support this with veterinary  
               testimony.

             e)   "One does not 'allow' an elephant exercise and we  
               question if a 'global positioning' devise is actually  
               available that has been tested and proven healthy and safe  
               to use on an elephant aw well as productive to this issue?   
               This is a prime example of a person who has never cared for  
               elephants being misled by others who have no such  
               experience either.  Asking for technology that does not  
               exist is unreasonable.  'Remote food dispensers' is yet  
               another unreasonable technological devise that we have  
               never seen used for elephants.  Also, any person with  
               experience caring for elephants knows that close monitoring  
               of food and water is a key element of a veterinary care  
               program.

             f)   "The mandatory dept of seven feet for a pool is  
               excessive, unnecessary, and possibly dangerous to some  
               elephants.  Elephants can submerge themselves in less dept  
               without such a risk to those uncomfortable in deep water.   
               Facilities exist in California today (of which you have  
               been invited to several times) that utilize safer,  
               shallower pools that can provide proof that elephants can  
               submerge themselves completely in such pools.  Deeper pools  
               also present a danger to less dominant elephants should  
               they be accosted by a more dominate animal in a pool.  We  
               can support this with veterinary testimony.

             g)   "Experience has proven that the planting of grasses or  
               shrubs lasts less than one day upon allowing an elephant  
               access to it.  It is not a necessary substrate for the  
               elephant's health and well-being and, in some cases, it can  
               actually be detrimental to some elephants that habitually  
               immediately ingest such freshly planted items.  The  
               described 'soft, natural substrate areas' - 'rototilled  
               daily or weekly' again defines a clear lack of elephant  
               husbandry experience for such a substrate guarantees foot  








                                                                  AB 777
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               rot as well as an increase in joint problems for lack of  
               proper support of such a heavy animal.

             "Tilled areas in the winter will result in a constant sea of  
               mud.  Feces and urine control will be impossible to  
               regulate on such a substrate, again contributing to the  
               deterioration of their feet.  Elephants require a substrate  
               that provides support yet has the forgiving nature of  
               natural earth.  Soft ground for an elephant is far  
               different than soft ground for a much lighter creature -  
               such as a human being.  Forcing any animal to live on soft,  
               deep surfaces forces the animal to work much harder to  
               move.  For instance, riding a horse on sand is far more  
               demanding on a horse than riding it on a properly packed  
               surface.  We can support this with veterinary testimony.

             h)   "Subsection (c) of this bill will only deter zoos from  
               improving their facilities sooner than later making  
               elephants go without a better facility in the near future  
               (if at all).  Many zoos will choose not to upgrade at all  
               in an attempt to escape the unfair and unrealistic  
               realities of this bill.

             i)   "This bill will render most zoos and private facilities  
               in the United States unable to continue housing and  
               studying elephants.  These institutions are the insurance  
               policies for elephants in the wild should tragedy occur,  
               requiring repopulation to assure the survival of the  
               species.  Such a bill will end a long, involved breeding  
               study many have dedicated their entire lives to in an  
               attempt to assure the survival of elephants.  Tools like  
               the ankus, leg chains and hotline fencing are as important  
               to that study as is the elephant's comfort with such  
               tools."

           7)Prior Legislation  : 

             a)   AB 3027 (Levine), of the 2005-06 Legislative Session,  
               would have required that, by January 1, 2009, each person  
               who possessed, kept, or maintained elephants at a  
               stationary facility to make an outdoor space with a minimum  
               of five acres per three elephants and an additional  
               one-half acre for each additional elephant. AB 3027 was  
               held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee's Suspense  
               File.  








                                                                  AB 777
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             b)   AB 1000 (Horcher), of the 1995-96 Legislative Session,  
               would have prohibited the chaining of elephants in their  
               permanent facility unless the chaining was for training  
               purposes limited to two hours per a day or veterinary care.  
               AB 1000 failed passage in the Assembly Committee on Public  
               Safety. 
              
           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          Animal Protection Institute (Sponsor)
          California Federation for Animal Legislation
          Six private individuals

           Opposition 
           
          American Humane Association
          Animal Exhibitors Alliance 
          Anshutz Entertainment Group
          California Association of Zoos and Aquariums
          California Labor Federation
          California Teamsters Public Affairs Council
          California Travel Industry Association
          Clear Channel Radio
          Cougar Hill Ranch, Inc.
          Elephant Managers Association
          Feld Entertainment, Inc.
          Have Trunk Will Travel
          Inland Empire Film Commission
          International Animal Welfare Alliance
          Leopards, Etc. 
          Monterey County Film Commission
          Outdoor Amusement Business Association
          Sacramento Zoological Society
          Santa Barbara Zoo
          Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
          Teamsters Local Union 481
          Wild Things A.R., Inc.
          Zoological Society of San Diego
          34 private individuals 
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Nicole J. Hanson / PUB. S. / (916)  








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          319-3744