California to ban practice of using packs of dogs pursuing bears, effective Jan. 1, 2013

September 26, 2012
03-22-12 BearInTree.jpg

Sen. Ted W. Lieu measure would end inhumane ‘hounding’
SACRAMENTO – California Gov. Jerry Brown today signed into law Sen. Ted W. Lieu’s humane legislation to ban hunters from using packs of dogs to pursue bears and bobcats.

The measure, sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States, will take effect Jan. 1, 2013. 

“I applaud Gov. Brown for signing this measure that will protect dogs, bears, bobcats and other wildlife,” Lieu, D-Torrance, said. “There is nothing sporting in shooting an exhausted bear clinging to a tree limb or a cornered bobcat. Hound hunting of bears is illegal in two-thirds of the United States.
“California now joins the great majority of states that have abolished this inhumane and unnecessary practice.”

Hounding is a hunting practice where many hunters use packs of dogs, often equipped with radio collars, to chase bobcats and bears to exhaustion. In their attempt to escape, the bear often takes refuge in a tree, allowing a hunter to simply track the dogs’ radio collar signal, take aim and shoot the animal. The practice has been equated to shooting a caged animal at a zoo. In addition, sometimes the packs of dogs catch up to a bobcat and tear the bobcat apart. Other times, the packs of dogs maul surrounding wildlife.

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.
Co-authored by Senate President Darrell Steinberg, SB 1221 expressly prohibits 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