NEW YORK--The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today celebrated Governor Jerry Brown's enactment of several animal-friendly bills into law as a victory for California's animals. The new laws protect California citizens, pets, and wildlife from irresponsible breeders, pet overpopulation, and animal fighting, among other issues.
"The passage of these seven bills makes this one of the most successful legislative sessions for any state's animals in 2011," said Nancy Perry, senior vice president of ASPCA Government Relations. "We commend California legislators for their work with many humane advocacy groups to address necessary changes for animals in the state."
Gov. Brown signed the following animal-friendly bills into law this year:
- Senate Bill 917, authored by Senator Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), prohibits the sale of animals on streets, in parking lots and from other similar public venues, and increases the penalty for animal cruelty by neglect to up to one year of incarceration. Unregulated animal sales are not only an animal welfare problem; they pose problems for consumers and threaten public health. Many of these animals are bred and raised in poor conditions and are often sick at the time of sale. Dogs and cats sold in this manner usually are not spayed or neutered and they contribute to the pet overpopulation problem that leads to tens of thousands of homeless animals being euthanized in California each year.
- Senate Bill 425 and 426, led by Senator Ronald Calderon (D-Montebello), strengthens current state laws against animal fighting by raising the fine for bringing a minor to a cockfight and adding cockfighting to the state's existing dogfighting profiteering statute. Animal fighting is often associated with a host of other dangerous and illegal activity, including drugs, weapons, and gambling, all of which pose serious threats to public safety.
- Assembly Bill 564, authored by Assemblymembers Cameron Smyth (R-Santa Clarita) and Cathleen Galgiani (D-Livingston), helps generate funds to support spay/neuter by reinstituting the voluntary contribution fund on California personal income tax forms to support the Municipal Spay/Neuter Fund.
- Assembly Bill 1117, authored by Assemblymember Smyth (R-Santa Clarita), bans criminals convicted of specific animal cruelty crimes from owning animals for a specified period of time.
- Assembly Bill 258, led by Assemblymember Curt Hagman (R-Chino), permits rabies vaccine exemptions when individual dogs could be harmed due to their health conditions.
- Assembly Bill 376, championed by Assemblymembers Paul Fong (D-Cupertino) and Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael), prohibits the possession, sale, trade and distribution of shark fins, potentially protecting millions of sharks from a lingering, cruel death for the shark fin soup trade.
"California lawmakers have once again demonstrated their commitment to passing laws to prevent the suffering of animals," added Perry. "We applaud Gov. Brown and state legislators for their strong bipartisan support of these important reforms."
For more information on the ASPCA and to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit www.aspca.org.