BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






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                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  SB 716
          Author:   Lara (D), et al.
          Amended:  5/5/15  
          Vote:     21  

           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE:  5-2, 4/28/15
           AYES:  Hancock, Leno, Liu, McGuire, Monning
           NOES:  Anderson, Stone

           SENATE APPRORIATIONS COMMITTEE:  Senate Rule 28.8

           SUBJECT:   Animal cruelty:  elephants


          SOURCE:    East Bay Zoological Society 
                     Humane Society of the United States
                     Performing Animal Welfare Society  

          DIGEST:  This bill makes it a misdemeanor, on or after January  
          1, 2018, for any person who houses, possesses, or is in direct  
          contact with an elephant to use a bullhook, ankus, baseball bat,  
          axe handle, pitchfork, or similar device designed to inflict  
          pain for the purpose of training or controlling the behavior of  
          an elephant, as specified.  

          ANALYSIS:  Existing law 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:


          1)Deprivation of food, water, or rest.









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          2)Use of electricity.

          3)Physical punishment resulting in damage, scarring, or breakage  
            of skin.
          4)Insertion of any instrument into any bodily orifice.

          5)Use of martingales.

          6)Use of block and tackle.  (Penal Code  596.5.)

          This bill:

          1)Provides that, effective on or after January 1, 2018, it shall  
            be a misdemeanor for any person who houses, possesses, or is  
            in direct contact with an elephant to use a bullhook, ankus,  
            baseball bat, axe handle, pitchfork, or similar device  
            designed to inflict pain for the purpose of training or  
            controlling the behavior of an elephant. 


          2)Specifies that the use prohibited by this section includes  
            brandishing, exhibiting, or displaying such devices in the  
            presence of an elephant.


          Background


          According to the sponsor and supporters of the bill, a "bullhook  
          is a steel-pointed rod resembling a fireplace poker that is used  
          to prod, hook, and strike elephants in order to dominate and  
          control of them during training, performing, and handling.  .  .  
          ."  According to the Humane Society of the United States,  
          "California zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and  
          Aquariums (AZA) no longer use bullhooks, nor does the Performing  
          Animal Welfare Society's sanctuary which is home to numerous  
          rescued elephants.  . . . "   


          Prior Legislation


          AB 777 (Levine, 2007) - died in the Assembly Public Safety  
          Committee







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          AB 3027 (Levine, 2006) - held in Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee
          SB 892 (McCorquodale) - Chapter 1423, Statutes of 1989

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


          SUPPORT:   (Verified 6/9/15)


          East Bay Zoological Society (co-source)
          Humane Society of the United States (co-source)
          Performing Animal Welfare Society (co-source)
          Active Environments, Inc.
          Amboseli Trust for Elephants
          American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
          Animal Legal Defense Fund (San Francisco Bay Area)
          Best Friends Animal Society
          City of Oakland
          Councilmember Paul Koretz, City of Los Angeles
          Earth Island Institute
          Elephant Voices
          Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee
          Free Willy Keiko Foundation
          The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center
          The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos
          Global Sanctuary for Elephants
          Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association
          In Defense of Animals
          Last Chance for Animals
          The League of Human Voters
          Lions Tigers & Bears
          LIUNA Locals 777 & 792
          March for Elephants and Rhinos San Francisco
          The Marin Humane Society
          San Diego Human Society
          San Francisco SPCA
          Santa Clara County Activists for Animals
          Sierra Wildlife Coalition
          Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles
          State Humane Association of California
          Uganda Carnivore Program
          Several individuals







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          OPPOSITION:   (Verified5/19/15)


          Animal Actors of Hollywood, Inc.
          The Elephant Managers Association
          Feld Entertainment, Inc.
          Nevada County Fairgrounds
          Western Fairs Association
          Several individuals




          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:     Supporters argue in part, "Animal  
          exhibitors who work in direct contact with elephants - in  
          circuses, elephant rides and other types of entertainment - rely  
          on negative reinforcement training and the bullhook to cue  
          elephant behavior.  The elephant moves away from the bullhook to  
          avoid pain.  Handlers often use verbal commands that are sharp  
          and harsh.  The Protected Contact system used at PAWS, and in  
          all California zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and  
          Aquariums, relies on positive reinforcement training and use of  
          a protective barrier between keeper and elephant.  To cue  
          behaviors, keepers utilize a target, which is a long-?handled  
          pole with a soft tip.  In contrast to the bullhook, the elephant  
          moves toward the target, and the behavior is reinforced with a  
          food reward and gentle words of praise.  Using this method, we  
          are able to provide necessary husbandry and veterinary care,  
          including specialized and more intensive care for our older  
          elephants."    


          ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION:     Opponents argue in part, "When used  
          CORRECTLY, an ankus is what a good trainer uses to let an  
          elephant know which way to turn or when to pick up a foot etc.   
          It is a tool which has been used for centuries and the reason it  
          is used is because it does not harm the elephant but it can get  
          their attention when their focus might wander or especially at  
          times when they could injure a person simply due to their size  
          (much like grabbing a child by the hand if they are heading  
          towards something that might injure them).  An elephant  
          professional who has years of experience with elephants and  







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          elephant care should be well versed as to how and when to use an  
          ankus correctly.  To ban the use of the ankus is never going to  
          do anything positive for the care and wellbeing of elephants; it  
          will however do the exact opposite."

          Prepared by:Alison Anderson / PUB. S. / 
          6/9/15 9:24:41


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