BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó


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                              UNFINISHED BUSINESS

          Bill No:  SB 1221
          Author:   Lieu (D), et al.
          Amended:  8/20/12
          Vote:     21

           SENATE NATURAL RESOURCES & WATER COMM.  :  5-3, 4/24/12
          AYES:  Pavley, Kehoe, Padilla, Simitian, Wolk
          NOES:  La Malfa, Cannella, Fuller
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Evans

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  5-2, 5/7/12
          AYES:  Kehoe, Alquist, Lieu, Price, Steinberg
          NOES:  Walters, Dutton

           SENATE FLOOR  :  22-15, 5/21/12
          AYES:  Alquist, Calderon, Corbett, De León, DeSaulnier, 
            Emmerson, Hancock, Hernandez, Kehoe, Leno, Lieu, Liu, 
            Lowenthal, Negrete McLeod, Padilla, Pavley, Price, 
            Simitian, Steinberg, Strickland, Vargas, Yee
          NOES:  Anderson, Berryhill, Blakeslee, Cannella, Dutton, 
            Evans, Fuller, Gaines, Huff, La Malfa, Rubio, Walters, 
            Wolk, Wright, Wyland
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Correa, Harman, Runner

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  46-30, 8/22/12 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT  :    Mammals:  use of dogs to pursue bears and 

           SOURCE  :     Humane Society of the United States 



                                                               SB 1221

           DIGEST  :    This bill prohibits the use of dogs to pursue 
          bears and bobcats except as permitted by a depredation 
          permit or scientific research permit issued by the 
          Department of Fish and Game (DFG) or where the pursuit 
          occurs by a dog that is guarding crops or livestock.  For 
          remaining hounding activities, the bill allows, but not 
          requires, the Fish and Game Commission (FGC) to establish a 
          hound tag program. 

           Assembly Amendments  allow the use of one dog per hunter for 
          the hunting of bears during open deer season, and the use 
          of more than one dog per hunter during the open bear season 
          except during the period when archery deer seasons or 
          regular deer seasons are open, and authorize DFG to 
          establish a hound tag program, imposing prescribed 
          requirements on the licensure and use of hound, and make 
          other clarifying changes.

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law prohibits a person from 
          permitting a dog to pursue any big game mammal, as defined, 
          during the closed season, or any fully protected, rare, or 
          endangered mammal at any time.  Employees of DFG are 
          authorized to capture any dog not under the reasonable 
          control of its owner or handler, that is in violation of 
          that provision, or that is inflicting, or immediately 
          threatening to inflict, injury in violation of this 
          provision.  Under existing law, certain violations of the 
          Fish and Game Code are misdemeanors.  Existing law 
          prohibits a person from using dogs to hunt, pursue, or 
          molest bears, except under certain conditions.

          This bill prohibits the use of dogs to pursue bears and 
          bobcats except as permitted by a depredation permit or 
          scientific research permit issued by DFG or where the 
          pursuit occurs by a dog that is guarding crops or 
          livestock.  For remaining hounding activities, the bill 
          allows, but not requires, the FGC to establish a hound tag 


          Big game mammals are defined in Fish and Game Code Section 
          3953 as antelope, elk, deer, wild pig, bear and sheep.  



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          Bobcats are considered "nongame" animals although there is 
          a hunting season and those with a license and a bobcat tag 
          may hunt bobcat.  A five-bobcat limit exists in regulations 
          of the FGC. 

          Fish and Game Code Section 3960 establishes the criteria 
          for when dogs may be used to pursue big game mammals.  
          Generally, dogs may not be used during the closed season on 
          such species, to pursue any fully protected, rare, or 
          endangered mammal at any time, or to pursue any mammal in a 
          game refuge or ecological reserve where hunting is 

          DFG employees are authorized to capture or kill any dog 
          inflicting injury to any big game mammal during the closed 
          season that violates the above provision. 

          DFG employees are immune from civil or criminal liability 
          as a result of enforcement actions pursuant to this 

          Fish and Game Code Section 4756 allows hunters to use one 
          dog for hunting bear during deer season.  It allows the use 
          of an unlimited number of dogs during bear season except 
          when the archery season for deer or regular deer season is 

          Fish and Game Code Section 3008 requires dogs to be under 
          the physical control of its owner or as authorized by 
          regulations of the FGC.  Those regulations allow hunters to 
          use radio telemetry devices, but not GPS devices, on the 
          dogs that are used to chase bears. 

          Penal Code Section 597b makes it a misdemeanor to cause any 
          animal to fight with any other type of animal for the 
          person's amusement or gain. There is no hunting exemption 
          in Section 597b, but there is little legal authority that 
          connects this prohibition with the state's hunting laws. 

          DFG reports that approximately 1,500 bears were killed in 
          2010 by hunters in California.  That number was 20% less 
          than 2009.  Hunters are required to send an upper tooth to 
          DFG for DNA analysis.  The total population of bears in 
          California was estimated by DFG to be nearly 40,000, 



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          although the margin of error is nearly 8,000 bears.  A 
          revised statistical estimate reduced the population to 
          30,000, although the margin of error remains high.  The 
          take of bears has been declining, causing some to worry 
          that the population is not robust. 

          The bobcat population is estimated to be 70,000. 

          Forty-five percent of the bears were killed with the use of 
          dogs.  About 11% of the bobcats killed in California in 
          2011 were killed with the use of dogs. These figures do not 
          include illegal take by poachers. 

          The counties with the largest bear harvest are Siskiyou, 
          Shasta, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Humboldt, and Mendocino. 

          There are about 25,000 bear hunters in California.  There 
          were 4,500 bobcat tags sold in 2011 with a maximum number 
          of tags/hunter of five. 

          Eighteen states allow bears to be hunted with the use of 
          dogs.  Fourteen states, including states with similar 
          hunting traditions to California, have bear hunting without 
          dogs.  These include Oregon, Washington, and Montana. 

          California has considered and rejected similar legislation 
          in 1993 and 2003. 

           FISCAL EFFECT :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes   
          Local:  Yes

          According to the Assembly Appropriations Committee, this 
          bill could result in potential lost revenues of an unknown 
          amount, likely in the range of $150,000 annually from 
          decreased bear tag sales (special fund) and one-time costs 
          of approximately $25,000 to DFG and the FGC to revise 
          hunting regulations in keeping with this bill (Special 
           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  5/8/12) (per Senate Natural Resources 
          Committee analysis - unable to reverify at time of writing) 
          (prior version of bill)



                                                               SB 1221

          Humane Society of the United States (source)
          American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 
          Animal Legal Defense Fund
          Animal Rescue Team
          BEAR League
          Best Friends Animal Society
          Big Wildlife
          Born Free USA
          Environmental Protection Information Center 
          Fund for Animals Wildlife Center
          Haven Humane Society
          Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association
          In Defense of Animals
          Injured & Orphaned Wildlife
          Klamath Forest Alliance
          Lake Tahoe Humane Society
          Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care
          Last Chance for Animals
          Last Chance for Animals
          League of Humane Voters, California Chapter
          Lions Tigers & Bears Big Cat Sanctuary and Rescue
          Los Padres ForestWatch 
          Marin Humane Society
          Mountain Lion Foundation
          Ohlone Humane Society
          Ojai Wildlife League
          Paw Pac
          Paw Project
          Project Coyote
          Public Interest Coalition
          Sacramento SPCA
          San Diego Animal Advocates
          San Francisco SPCA
          Santa Clara County Activists for Animals
          Santa Cruz SPCA
          Sierra Club - Kern-Kaweah Chapter
          Sierra Club California
          Sierra Wildlife Coalition
          Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los 
          State Humane Association of California
          Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release



                                                               SB 1221

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  5/8/12) (per Senate Natural 
          Resources Committee analysis - unable to reverify at time 
          of writing) (prior version of bill)

          Barnum Timber Company
          California Cattlemen's Association
          California Houndsmen for Conservation
          California Outdoor Heritage Alliance
          California Rifle and Pistol Association
          California Sportsman's Lobby 
          California Waterfowl Association
          Central California Sporting Dog Association
          Modesto Houndsmen Association 
          National Shooting Sports Foundation
          Outdoor Sportsmen's Coalition of California
          Safari Club International 
          Shasta County Cattlemen's Association 
          Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors
          U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The lead supporting organization 
          is the Humane Society of the United States which is heading 
          a large coalition of animal welfare organizations.  The 
          main arguments of the author and other supporters are as 

          1. According to the author, hunting bears with dogs is 
             cruel and unsporting. He objects to the practice of 
             releasing dogs equipped with radio devices to chase 
             bears or bobcats across great distances, often across 
             private property or public property where no hunting is 

          2. As described by the author, at the end of the chase, the 
             bear or bobcat climbs a tree or fights with the dogs, at 
             which point the hunter can arrive and shoot the bear or 

          3. One supporter from Shasta County wrote that wayward 
             hounds have attacked her cats, her poultry, her 
             livestock and killed 14 deer near her home.  There are 
             other reports of dogs being lost during hunts or injured 
             or killed by their prey. 



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          4. The author and sponsors also have obtained numerous 
             reports that the dogs are often treated improperly, 
             especially those dogs which are rented from kennels that 
             raise dogs for the purpose of bear hounding. 

          5. The sponsors and other supporters are concerned that 
             historically bear hunting has been closely associated 
             with poaching or other enforcement problems for DFG.  
             Some supporters argue that a ban on hounding will reduce 

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    It seems that every hunting and 
          sportsmen's organization is united against this bill with 
          the addition of a ranching organization, one timber 
          company, and the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors.  The 
          main arguments of the opposition are as follows: 

          1. Bear hunting is necessary to minimize human-bear 

          2. Hunting with dogs is humane in the sense that the bear 
             or bobcat can be killed quickly. 

          3. The bill is simply an emotional attack on one type of 

          4. Hounding is necessary to meet DFG's management 
             objectives for native bears and that even with telemetry 
             devices on dogs, the bear population has increased over 
             the last 40 years. 

          5. Hounders do not take the state's full quota of bears or 

          6. The use of dogs is part of a proud tradition of hunting 
             and is a very challenging and physically grueling 
             endeavor.  Dogs are not mistreated. 

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  46-30, 8/22/12
          AYES:  Alejo, Allen, Ammiano, Atkins, Beall, Block, 
            Blumenfield, Bradford, Brownley, Buchanan, Butler, 
            Campos, Carter, Cedillo, Davis, Dickinson, Eng, Feuer, 



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            Fletcher, Fong, Fuentes, Furutani, Gatto, Gordon, Hall, 
            Hayashi, Hill, Hueso, Lara, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma, 
            Mendoza, Mitchell, Monning, Pan, Perea, Portantino, 
            Skinner, Smyth, Solorio, Swanson, Torres, Wieckowski, 
            Williams, Yamada, John A. Pérez
          NOES:  Achadjian, Bill Berryhill, Charles Calderon, 
            Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Donnelly, Beth Gaines, Garrick, 
            Gorell, Grove, Hagman, Halderman, Harkey, Huber, Huffman, 
            Jeffries, Jones, Knight, Logue, Mansoor, Miller, Morrell, 
            Nestande, Nielsen, Norby, Olsen, Silva, Valadao, Wagner
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Bonilla, Galgiani, Roger Hernández, V. 
            Manuel Pérez

          CTW:m  8/22/12   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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