California Senate Bill 1221, a bill that will ban the use of hounds to hunt black bears and bobcats, passed the state’s Senate today by a vote of 22 to 15. The passage of SB 1221 by the senate casts a dark cloud over the future of all hunting and wildlife management in California.
The bill, which is sponsored by the radical animal rights group Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), triggered a strong outpouring of opposition from California sportsmen and women, plus sportsmen’s organizations, in the state and nationwide.
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA) denounced this retaliatory wildlife management bill that was created when HSUS could not have a state game commissioner removed for his legal mountain lion hunt. As the bill moved forward from introduction and through the hearing process, hundreds of opponents wearing orange “NO on SB 1221” buttons also packed the corridors of the capital to let their Senators know they opposed this anti-hunting bill.
“The California Senate today chose retribution and revenge over sound science-based wildlife management,” explained Evan Heusinkveld, USSA’s director of state services. “Despite having a Fish and Game Commission explicitly designed to handle these questions free from the politics of the statehouse, the California Senate voted in favor of a hunting ban.”
USSA has been working with the Masters of Foxhounds Association, California Houndsmen for Conservation and the California Outdoor Heritage Alliance to defeat SB 1221.
Fast Facts on SB 1221
- The bill would outlaw the use of hounds to hunt bears and bobcats.
- Hunting bears and bobcats with hounds has been legal since the state formally organized a game commission and established game management and hunting laws.
- Hounds are actually used in wildlife management practices and projects.
- Hunters using hounds to pursue bears actually take fewer bears than is recommended by the state’s game department.
- This bill is being pushed by the radical animal rights group — the Humane Society of the United States — the same group that has pushed anti-farming and puppy mill bills in California in the past.