Victory! California Bans Hunting Bears and Bobcats with Dogs

On Wednesday, Governor Jerry Brown signed controversial legislation banning the use of dogs to hunt bears and bobcats, which will go into effect January 1.

The bill, SB 1221, was introduced by Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) after Daniel W. Richards, the former president of the state Fish and Game Commission, sparked controversy by killing a mountain lion in Idaho, an animal that is protected in California, reports the LA Times blog.

“I applaud Governor Brown for signing this measure that will protect dogs, bears, bobcats and other wildlife,” said Lieu. “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.”

The bill received widespread support from animal advocates, who argued that hunting dogs are treated inhumanely and sometimes abandoned, in addition to their being forced to face unnecessary risks when chasing wild animals. They also argued that the use of dogs leads to an unfair chase resulting in adverse effects on target and non-target animals.

“The curtain will soon come down on the bloodsport of ‘hounding.’ It is the right policy for California. Tens of thousands of citizens demanded this long overdue animal welfare reform, and today they won it,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.

Hunters, on the other hand, argue that this will bring an end to a longstanding hunting tradition.

The bill makes exceptions for the use of dogs by researchers, or for tracking ‘nuisance’ animals that pose a risk to public safety.

Among other bills Brown signed that will benefit animals, he also signed a bill that is intended to ensure diversity in the Fish and Game Commission that will end the tradition of appointing senior members as president or vice president of the commission and will instead subject appointees to a majority vote. Candidates will also need to have a background in natural resources management, among other requirements.


Related Stories:

Using Dogs to Hunt Wolves: Does Anyone See the Irony?

Lawsuit Filed to Stop Wolf Hunting With Dogs in Wisconsin

A Buffer Zone Could Go a Long Way for Wolves in Denali

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Natasha Salgado
Past Member 4 years ago

No hunting at all is what's needed.

Linda Jarsky
Linda Jarsky4 years ago

Martin Luther King Jr. is quoted as saying, “Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

Chinmayee Jog
Chinmayee Jog4 years ago

Good for Gov. Brown! I think hounding is cruel and vicious, and should be banned globally! Not to mention it's also dangerous to the hunting dogs...thanks for sharing - this is the kind of news I like to hear...

Rosemary Lowe

Those who are upset with this ban on killing should go back to their caves. I believe they died early deaths in those times.
The anti-hunting, anti-trapping movement is growing fast. Those who cannot accept this had better go back to the Dark Ages.

Hunters are Serial Killers. Hunters are Cowards.

john byrne
john byrne5 years ago

lets all raise our voices. THANKS JERRY BROWN.

are the rest of you listening.

Phil S.
Phil S.5 years ago

It takes a special kind of arrogance to pass a law like this. It is hardly humane. Bears in CA are already out of balance with nature. Ask anyone who lives in the rural areas. Ted Lieu should be made to live in the Northwest of CA, away from all the cities for about 2 years when this stupid law of his will begin having a real effect on the balance of nature between deer and bears. Do people like this not learn anything from the problems created by the laws they passed regarding mountain lions? Apparently not. You can't fix stupid.

Waltraud U.
Waltraud U5 years ago

Thank you - exemplary humanely California !

Sheri D.
Sheri D5 years ago

Thank you, California!

Nicole Rupke
Nicole Rupke5 years ago

thank you for protecting dogs, bears and bobcats... your helped was needed to stop this cruelty!

Jade H.
Jade H5 years ago

Wow! One small victory but perhaps it means people are finally changing their attitudes! Thank you, Gov. Brown!!