California Legislature—2013–14 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 2205


Introduced by Assembly Member Donnelly

February 20, 2014


An act to amend Section 3960 of, to add Section 4756 to, to repeal Sections 3032, 3960.4, and 3960.6 of, and to repeal and add Section 3960.2 of, the Fish and Game Code, relating to mammals.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 2205, as introduced, Donnelly. Mammals: use of dogs to pursue bears and bobcats.

(1) Existing law, with specified exceptions, makes it unlawful to permit or allow a dog to pursue any bear, as defined, or bobcat at any time. Existing law authorizes the Department of Fish and Wildlife to capture a dog not under the reasonable control of its owner or handler that is pursuing any bear or bobcat in violation of this prohibition or to capture or dispatch a dog inflicting injury or immediately threatening to inflict injury on any bear or bobcat at any time.

This bill would eliminate this prohibition, the exceptions, and this authority of the department. This bill would instead require the Department of Fish and Wildlife to make a specified report to the Fish and Game Commission on the status of bear populations, management, and related issues every 3 years. The bill would require the first report to be submitted on or before December 15, 2015, and would require the department, not later that December 15 of each year the report is submitted, to notify, by certified mail, the board of supervisors of each county affected by bear interactions with the general public, of public safety impacts or concerns, bear depredation permit requests, and economic impacts due to bear damage to the extent of those incidences or impacts, and of its recommendations to the commission. This bill would generally prohibit a person from using dogs to hunt, pursue, or molest bears, except when recommended to the Department of Fish and Wildlife by a vote of the board of supervisors of any affected county following a public hearing, as specified. The bill would require the commission to authorize the use of dogs under those circumstances. This bill would permit 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. By imposing new duties on local public officials, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

(2) Existing law authorizes the Fish and Game Commission to establish a hound tag program, imposing certain requirements on the licensure and use of hounds, as defined, to pursue mammals. For these purposes, existing law defines a hound as a dog used to pursue mammals

This bill would repeal this authorization.

(3) Under existing law, except as excluded, violations of the Fish and Game Code are misdemeanors.

By changing the definition of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

(4) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that with regard to certain mandates no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

With regard to any other mandates, this bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs so mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: yes.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1

SECTION 1.  

Section 3032 of the Fish and Game Code is
2repealed.

begin delete
3

3032.  

(a) As used in this section:

4(1) “Bear” and “pursue” have the same meanings as defined in
5Section 3960.

P3    1(2) “Hound” means a dog used to pursue mammals.

2(b) The commission may establish a hound tag program.

3(c) If a hound tag program is established, the commission may
4require all of the following:

5(1) That each hound be issued a license tag bearing a unique
6identifying number that is to be worn at all times by the hound
7while pursuing mammals.

8(2) That all relevant local and state laws pertaining to dogs are
9being followed while the hound is being used to pursue mammals.

10(3) That each hound be microchipped with an implanted
11transponder that has a unique identification code.

12(4) That the owner maintain documentation showing that the
13hound is current on all required vaccinations and treatments for
14the prevention of rabies and any other disease specified by the
15department.

16(5) That the owner report, within 24 hours of its last sighting,
17any hound that is lost during hunting, pursuing, or tracking
18activities.

19(6) That the hound’s tag identification number be recorded on
20the hunting tag of any animal taken using the services of the hound.

21(d) If a hound tag program is established, the commission may
22adjust the amount of the fees for the hound tag as necessary, to
23fully recover, but not exceed, all reasonable administrative and
24implementation costs of the department and the commission
25relating to the program.

end delete
26

SEC. 2.  

Section 3960 of the Fish and Game Code is amended
27to read:

28

3960.  

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29(a) As used in this section:

end delete
begin delete end deletebegin delete end deletebegin delete

30(1) “Pursue” means pursue, run, or chase.

end delete
begin delete end deletebegin delete end deletebegin delete

31(2) “Bear” means any black bear (Ursus americanus) found in
32the wild in this state.

end delete
begin delete end deletebegin delete

33(b)

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34begin insert(a)end insert It is unlawful to permit or allow any dog to pursue any big
35game mammal during the closed season on that mammal, to pursue
36any fully protected, rare, or endangered mammal at any time, to
37pursue any bear or bobcat at any time,begin insert unless authorized pursuant
38to Section 3960.2,end insert
or to pursue any mammal in a game refuge or
39ecological reserve if hunting within that refuge or ecological
40reserve is unlawful.

begin delete

P4    1(c) (1) The department may take any of the following actions:

end delete
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2(A) Capture

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3begin insert(b)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insert(1)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertEmployees of the department may captureend insert any dog not
4under the reasonable control of its owner or handler, when that
5uncontrolled dog is pursuing, in violation of this section, any big
6gamebegin delete mammal, any bearend deletebegin insert mammalend insert orbegin delete bobcat, orend delete any fully protected,
7rare, or endangered mammal.

begin delete

8(B) Capture

end delete

9begin insert(2)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertEmployees of the department may captureend insert or dispatch any
10dog inflicting injury or immediately threatening to inflict injury
11to any big game mammal during the closed season on that mammal,
12and thebegin delete departmentend deletebegin insert employeeend insert may capture or dispatch any dog
13inflicting injury or immediately threatening to inflict injury on any
14begin delete bear or bobcat at any time, or anyend delete fully protected, rare, or
15endangered mammal at any time.

begin delete

16(C) Capture

end delete

17begin insert(3)end insertbegin insertend insertbegin insertEmployees of the department may captureend insert or dispatch any
18dog inflicting injury or immediately threatening to inflict injury
19to any mammal in a game refuge or ecological reserve if hunting
20within that refuge or ecological reserve is unlawful.

begin delete

21(2)

end delete

22begin insert(c)end insert No criminal or civil liability shall accrue to any department
23employee as a result of enforcement of this section.begin insert For the purpose
24of this section, “pursue” means pursue, run, or chase.end insert

begin delete end deletebegin delete

25(3) This section does not apply to the use of dogs to pursue bears
26or bobcats by federal, state, or local law enforcement officers, or
27their agents or employees, when carrying out official duties as
28required by law.

end delete
begin delete end deletebegin delete

29(4)

end delete

30begin insert(d)end insert Owners of dogs with identificationbegin delete,end delete that have been captured
31or dispatchedbegin delete,end delete shall be notified within 72 hours after capture or
32dispatch.

33

SEC. 3.  

Section 3960.2 of the Fish and Game Code is repealed.

begin delete
34

3960.2.  

(a) As used in this section, the terms “bear” and
35“pursue” have the same meanings as defined in Section 3960.

36(b) Notwithstanding Section 3960, not more than three dogs
37may be used to pursue bears or bobcats pursuant to a depredation
38permit issued by the department, if all of the following conditions
39are met:

P5    1(1) The applicant demonstrates, in writing, that nonlethal and
2avoidance measures were undertaken prior to requesting the
3depredation permit.

4(2) The applicant demonstrates, in writing, the specific need for
5the use of dogs in carrying out the depredation permit.

6(3) The depredation permit authorizing the use of dogs is valid
7for the take of one bear or one bobcat.

8(4) The depredation permit authorizing the use of dogs is valid
9for a period not to exceed 20 consecutive days.

10(5) The depredation permit specifies the name and address of
11any dog handler who will be utilized in the pursuit or taking.

12(6) The dog handler has the depredation permit in his or her
13possession at all times during the pursuit or taking.

14(7) The dog handler does not pursue a bear or bobcat more than
15one mile off the property on which the depredation activity
16occurred.

17(c) After any taking of a bear, the applicant is required to submit
18the skull to the department as described in the department’s Black
19Bear Management Plan. No part of any bear taken pursuant to a
20depredation permit may be sold, purchased, or possessed for sale,
21as described in Section 4758.

22(d) No holder of a depredation permit may solicit or receive
23compensation from any person in exchange for carrying out the
24terms of the permit. For these purposes, “compensation” means
25remuneration paid in money, property, or anything else of value.

26(e) The holder of a depredation permit, within 30 days of its
27issuance, shall report to the department detailing the use of the
28permit and the results of any pursuits, including information about
29bear or bobcat pursued and whether the bear or bobcat was or was
30not harmed, but not killed.

end delete
31

SEC. 4.  

Section 3960.2 is added to the Fish and Game Code,
32to read:

33

3960.2.  

(a) On or before December 15, 2015, and on or before
34December 15 of every third year thereafter, the department shall
35report to the Fish and Game Commission on the status of bear
36populations and management. The report shall include, but is not
37limited to, department activities relating to bear management, the
38general health of bear populations, information on the incidences
39of bear interactions with the general public, public safety impacts
40and concerns, bear depredation permit requests, an estimate of the
P6    1economic impact of damage done by bears, an estimate of the cost
2to the department to address bear-related incidents during the
3previous three years, and the amount of revenue derived from the
4sale of bear tags during the three previous fiscal years. The report
5shall also include recommendations to the commission regarding
6the possible need to adjust annual bear harvest quotas or to take
7steps necessary to increase or reduce take in order to address bear
8management or population health concerns.

9(b) Not later than December 15 of each year that a report is
10submitted pursuant to subdivision (a), the department shall notify
11the board of supervisors of each county affected by bear
12interactions with the general public, by certified mail, of public
13safety impacts or concerns, bear depredation permit requests, and
14economic impacts due to bear damage to the extent of those
15incidences or impacts, and of its recommendations to the
16commission pursuant to subdivision (a).

17(c) The board of supervisors of any county notified by the
18department may do either of the following:

19(1) Elect to hold a public hearing on the public safety,
20depredation, or economic impacts of bears in their county and the
21proposed recommendations of the department. The hearing shall
22be held prior to February 1 of that year. The director of the
23department or his or her representative shall attend the hearing.

24(2) Elect, by resolution, not to hold a public hearing.

25(d) The board of supervisors of any county notified by the
26department which has held a public hearing may, not later than
27March 1 of that year, by resolution, recommend to the department
28that the use of dogs be authorized to pursue or take bears and
29bobcats in that county to assist in meeting bear management
30concerns. The recommendation shall be based upon the testimony
31and information presented at the hearing or presented to the board
32of supervisors at its meeting to consider the resolution.

33(e) The department shall recommend to the commission, and
34the commission shall authorize, the use of dogs to pursue or take
35bears and bobcats during the open season for those species in each
36county from which the department has received from the board of
37supervisors a resolution recommending that the use of dogs be
38authorized to pursue or take bears and bobcats in that county.

P7    1(f) The commission shall amend its regulations relating to the
2use of dogs to pursue bears and bobcats as necessary to conform
3with this section.

4

SEC. 5.  

Section 3960.4 of the Fish and Game Code is repealed.

begin delete
5

3960.4.  

(a) As used in this section, the terms “bear” and
6“pursue” have the same meanings as defined in Section 3960.

7(b) Notwithstanding Section 3960, the department may authorize
8qualified individuals, educational institutions, governmental
9agencies, or nongovernmental organizations to use dogs to pursue
10bears or bobcats for the purpose of scientific research, provided
11that the research project is designed to do all of the following:

12(1) Contribute to knowledge of natural wildlife ecosystems.

13(2) Follow best practices and minimize disruptions in the lives
14and movements of bears, bobcats, and other wildlife, as well as
15impacts to the habitat while maintaining the applicant’s objectives.

16(3) Directly or indirectly support the sustainability and survival
17of bear or bobcat populations and healthy ecosystems.

18(4) Not include the intentional injury or killing of any bear or
19bobcat.

20(5) Not include the intentional relocation of any bear or bobcat
21other than to areas suitable to them in the state. Any relocation
22shall comply with the requirements of Section 4190.

23(c) Any research project authorized pursuant to subdivision (b)
24shall be undertaken pursuant to a memorandum of understanding
25between the department and the authorized research entity that
26addresses all of the following:

27(1) Trapping and anesthetizing of the animals pursued, collection
28of diagnostic samples, attaching or surgically implanting
29monitoring or recognition devices or markings, and providing
30veterinary care or euthanasia, as required, for the health, safety,
31and humane treatment of the animals.

32(2) Qualifications of onsite field supervisors necessary for
33carrying out authorized research procedures.

34(3) Immediate reporting of any incidental mortality or injury to
35a bear or bobcat as a result of authorized research activities. Reports
36of any incidental mortality or injury to a bear or bobcat shall be
37made available to the public upon request.

38(4) Filing of annual and final progress reports of research
39involving pursuit by dogs. Annual and final progress reports shall
40be made available to the public upon request.

P8    1(d) The department shall provide notice to the public of any
2bear or bobcat research project authorized pursuant to subdivision
3(b) at least 30 days prior to its initiation, and, upon request, shall
4make available to the public copies of the memorandum of
5understanding between the department and the authorized research
6entity required pursuant to subdivision (c).

end delete
7

SEC. 6.  

Section 3960.6 of the Fish and Game Code is repealed.

begin delete
8

3960.6.  

(a) As used in this section, the terms “bear” and
9“pursue” have the same meanings as defined in Section 3960.

10(b) Notwithstanding Section 3960, the pursuit of bears or bobcats
11by dogs that are guarding or protecting livestock or crops on
12property owned, leased, or rented by the owner of the dogs, is not
13prohibited if the dogs are maintained with, and remain in
14reasonable proximity to, the livestock or crops being guarded or
15protected.

end delete
16

SEC. 7.  

Section 4756 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to
17read:

18

4756.  

Except as provided in this section it is unlawful to use
19dogs to hunt, pursue, or molest bears. The use of one dog per hunter
20is permitted for the hunting of bears during the time that the season
21is open for the taking of deer in the area of the state affected. The
22use of more than one dog per hunter is permitted in the hunting of
23bears during the open season on bears in the area of the state
24affected except during the period when archery deer seasons or
25regular deer seasons are open.

26

SEC. 8.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
27Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for certain
28costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district
29because, in that regard, this act creates a new crime or infraction,
30eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime
31or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
32Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
33meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
34Constitution.

35However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that
36this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement
37 to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made
P9    1pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division
24 of Title 2 of the Government Code.



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