BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”

                                                                    SB 1062

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          1062 (Lara)

          As Amended  June 15, 2016

          Majority vote

          SENATE VOTE:  29-9

          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                  |Noes                |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |Water           |12-2 |Levine, Gallagher,    |Harper, Medina      |
          |                |     |Bigelow, Dodd,        |                    |
          |                |     |Eggman, Cristina      |                    |
          |                |     |Garcia, Eduardo       |                    |
          |                |     |Garcia, Gomez, Lopez, |                    |
          |                |     |Olsen, Salas,         |                    |
          |                |     |Williams              |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |Arts            |4-2  |Hadley, Levine, Low,  |Obernolte, Medina   |
          |                |     |Nazarian              |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |Appropriations  |16-2 |Gonzalez, Bigelow,    |Jones, Obernolte    |
          |                |     |Bloom, Bonta,         |                    |
          |                |     |Calderon, Chang,      |                    |
          |                |     |Daly, Eggman,         |                    |


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          |                |     |Gallagher,            |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |Roger HernŠndez,      |                    |
          |                |     |Holden, Quirk,        |                    |
          |                |     |Santiago, Wagner,     |                    |
          |                |     |Weber, Wood           |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |

          SUMMARY:  Prohibits, beginning January 1, 2018, the use of a  
          bullhook and other devices designed to inflict pain to train or  
          control an elephant.  Specifically, this bill:

          1)Prohibits any person who houses, possesses, manages, or is in  
            direct contact with an elephant, from using, or authorizing or  
            allowing an employee, agent or contractor to use, a bullhook,  
            ankus, baseball bat, axe handle, pitchfork, or other device  
            designed to inflict pain for the purpose of training or  
            controlling an elephant.  Use includes brandishing,  
            exhibiting, or displaying the devices in the presence of an  

          2)Makes any person who violates this prohibition subject to a  
            civil penalty of not less than $500 and not more than $10,000  
            per violation, and immediate suspension or revocation of a  
            restricted species permit.

          3)Authorizes a person to appeal a restricted species permit  
            suspension or revocation to the Fish and Game Commission  

          4)Clarifies that a person who violates the prohibition is not  


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            subject to criminal penalties under the Fish and Game Code.

          5)Provides that the prohibition in this bill is in addition to  
            and not in lieu of other existing animal welfare laws,  
            including any state or local laws.

          EXISTING LAW:

          1)Prohibits the importation, transportation, possession, or  
            release of specified wild animals, including elephants, in  
            California except under a restricted species permit issued by  
            the Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW), in cooperation with  
            the Department of Food and Agriculture.  Authorizes the FGC to  
            adopt regulations governing the importation, possession,  
            transportation, keeping, and confinement of wild animals,  
            including elephants.  Makes a violation of these requirements  
            subject to a civil penalty of not less than $500 and not more  
            than $10,000 per violation.  Also makes a violation a  
            misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months imprisonment in a  
            county jail, or a fine of up to $1,000.

          2)Makes it a misdemeanor for any owner or manager of an elephant  
            to engage in abusive behavior towards the elephant, including  
            disciplining an elephant by any of the following methods:

               a)     Deprivation of food, water or rest.

               b)     Use of electricity.

               c)     Physical punishment resulting in damage, scarring,  
                 or breaking of skin.


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               d)     Insertion of any instrument into any bodily orifice.

               e)     Use of martingales (head immobilizing straps).

               f)     Use of block and tackle.

          3)Makes it unlawful to purchase, sell, offer for sale, possess  
            with intent to sell, or import with intent to sell, elephant  
            ivory or rhinoceros horn, or to possess, sell, offer for sale,  
            trade, or distribute a shark fin in this state.  Makes it  
            unlawful to import into this state for commercial purposes, or  
            possess with intent to sell, the dead body, or any part or  
            product thereof, of a polar bear, leopard, ocelot, tiger,  
            cheetah, jaguar, sable antelope, wolf, zebra, whale, cobra,  
            python, sea turtle, colobus monkey, kangaroo, vicuna, sea  
            otter, free-roaming feral horse, dolphin, porpoise, Spanish  
            lynx, or elephant.

          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, minor state costs.

          COMMENTS:   This bill prohibits the use of bullhooks and other  
          devices designed to inflict pain for the purpose of training or  
          controlling the behavior of an elephant.  According to the  
          author, bullhooks are used by a dwindling number of elephant  
          handlers to train, punish and control elephants.  The author and  
          sponsors describe a bullhook as a device that resembles a  
          fireplace poker, with a sharp metal hook and spiked tip, and a  
          plastic or wood handle.  According to the author, this bill  
          codifies industry standards for elephant management by  
          prohibiting the use of bullhooks, bats, and pitchforks to  
          discipline an elephant.  The cities of Los Angeles and Oakland  
          have prohibited use of the bullhook, and San Francisco has  


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          banned performances using elephants and other performing wild  
          animals.  In 2014 the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)  
          adopted a policy prohibiting keepers from sharing unrestricted  
          space with elephants.  Protected contact, a new elephant  
          management method based on positive reinforcement instead of  
          punishment, was developed and is viewed by supporters as a  
          viable and more humane alternative.  The California Association  
          of Zoos and Aquariums, in support of this bill, notes that all  
          zoos accredited by the AZA in California are now using protected  
          contact and operant conditioning training, making use of the  
          bullhook obsolete.  Today no county fair in California offers  
          elephant rides, and the Ringling Brothers circus has also ended  
          all use of elephants for circus performances in California,  
          effective May 2016.

          This bill follows last year's SB 716 (Lara) of 2015, which  
          proposed to criminalize the use of bullhooks.  SB 716 was vetoed  
          by the Governor, along with several other bills, because the  
          bills created new crimes.  This bill responds to the veto by  
          proposing to make the use of bullhooks subject to civil  
          penalties, and grounds for revocation of a restricted species  
          permit, instead of creating a new crime.  Restricted species  
          permits are issued and enforced by the DFW, and are required for  
          possession and handling of elephants and other wild animals in  

          Supporters emphasize that bullhooks have historically been used  
          by elephant handlers to train, punish and control elephants, and  
          have been used to inflict pain and evoke fear in order to  
          forcefully achieve desired behaviors.  The presence of the  
          bullhook even when not in active use is a threat of punishment  
          for elephants that have been trained by this method.  Supporters  
          assert there have been numerous documented incidents of  
          elephants being wounded or scarred by abusive use of bullhooks.   
          In addition to the inhumane treatment of elephants, performances  
          that use elephants threaten public safety by bringing people  
          into dangerously close proximity to elephants.  Supporters  


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          believe use of bullhooks promotes aggression and will not  
          prevent an elephant from rampaging, or protect the public when  
          such an incident occurs.  Supporters note that since 1990 there  
          have been 16 human deaths and 135 injuries in the United States  
          attributed to elephants, primarily in circus-related accidents.   

          In summary, supporters assert the bullhook is an outdated and  
          inhumane tool that unnecessarily subjects elephants to fear and  
          pain, and puts keepers and veterinarians at serious risk of  
          injury and death.  They assert that the protected contact method  
          of elephant training and management is a superior method of  
          managing elephants, eliminates the need for bullhooks, and is  
          now the industry preferred standard.  This method relies on  
          positive reinforcement training and a protected barrier, enables  
          keepers to provide high quality elephant husbandry and  
          veterinary care, and is based on cooperation and respect rather  
          than domination and control.  The protected contact method is  
          now required for all facilities certified by the AZA. 

          Opponents of this bill, which include members of the circus and  
          entertainment community, as well a number of veterinarians and  
          researchers, assert that the bullhook or guide is an important  
          tool that facilitates the ability of elephant handlers to  
          provide veterinary care and conduct elephant research.  They  
          prefer the term guide to describe the tool rather than bullhook,  
          and assert that it is not harmful or abusive when used  
          correctly.  They emphasize that the guide is the only husbandry  
          tool effective for managing elephants in a free contact  
          environment where elephants are not confined exclusively to  
          their enclosures.  Opponents also assert that the use of  
          bullhooks helps those who use them to provide more superior care  
          than can be provided to those managed without them.  They are  
          concerned that taking away the ability to use bullhooks or  
          guides will adversely affect their ability to provide elephants  
          with required care.  Some opponents assert the bullhook is  
          comparable to the use of a harness and reins for horses, or  


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          collars and leads for dogs.  Because the bullhook or guide is  
          useful in providing veterinary care, opponents assert the state  
          of California by removing its use would be removing an essential  
          safety and welfare tool for handling a large and potentially  
          dangerous animal.  

          Some opponents are also concerned that this bill will negatively  
          impact the ability of the entertainment industry to use  
          elephants in performances, fairs and festivals, and for people  
          in the animal industries to maintain their livelihoods.  Others  
          believe it will hamper research and conservation efforts that  
          are beneficial to elephants.

          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Diane Colborn / W., P., & W. / (916) 319-2096