California Senate sends to guv plan to end practice of using packs of dogs pursuing bears, bobcats

August 27, 2012
03-22-12 BearInTree.jpg

Sen. Ted W. Lieu measure would end inhumane ‘hounding’
SACRAMENTO – Five days after receiving final Assembly approval, the California Senate today sent to the governor promised new protections for animals by banning hunters from using packs of dogs to pursue bears and bobcats.

Gov. Brown now has until the end of September to sign or veto the bill, or to allow it to become law without his signature.

“There is nothing sporting in slaughtering an exhausted bear clinging to a tree limb or shooting a cornered bobcat,” Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance said after the vote. “Hound hunting of bears is illegal in two-thirds of the United States; the time has come for California to abolish this inhumane and unnecessary practice.”

Hound hunters use packs of dogs, often equipped with radio collars, to chase bobcats and bears to exhaustion. In their attempt to escape, the bear or bobcat often takes refuge in a tree, allowing a hunter to simply track the dogs’ radio collar signal, take aim and shoot the animal. 

In addition, the dogs used for this type of hunting are sometimes treated inhumanely, some abandoned in the field, and others suffer abuse from neglect. Other wildlife are often harassed, disturbed or physically harmed during hounding pursuits as well.
Sponsored by The Humane Society of The United States and co-authored by Senate President Darrell Steinberg, SB 1221 would expressly prohibit the use of dogs to pursue any bear or bobcat. The bill would not affect the use of dogs by bird hunters. Many other major bear-hunting states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming, do not permit hunting bears with hounds. 
 
For more, including a Fact Sheet, visit Lieu’s Web site at the address below.

Ted W. Lieu chairs the Senate Labor Committee and represents nearly 1 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance, as well as portions of Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Pedro. For more, visit www.senate.ca.gov/lieu