|Not enough votes to pass muster in Assembly
The clout of the Humane Society of the United
States, the largest animal-rights, anti-hunting group in the United States,
suffered a big hit on Tuesday, June 26, as SB 1221, the bill that would outlaw
the use of dogs while hunting bears and bobcats, failed to muster enough votes
to pass out of the Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee.
abstained from voting, and one was absent, leaving the Committee one vote shy
of passing the hotly-debated bill, pitting sensible wildlife management against
anti-hunters and animal-rights advocates. The bill is largely seen as opening
the door for attempts to "ban all hunting in California," openly
admitted as the goal of HSUS.
Between 600 and 700
outdoorsmen and women filled the Capitol hearing room and hallways in an
unprecedented showing against the bill, while a handful of animal-rights
activists, including Jennifer Fearing, who heads up HSUS in California, and
Wayne Pacelle, CEO of HSUS. The two of them saw months of backroom dealing
crumble, as speakers brought to light the inaccuracies and outright lies used
by HSUS to get the bill to where it is.
However, the bill was
granted reconsideration and could be brought back up for a vote in a special
"vote only" hearing sometime between June 27th and July 6th.
In the meantime, we must keep the cards, letters and phone calls pouring in to
the Capitol. Only one more vote is needed to pass the controversial
bill, which would effectively take wildlife management away from wildlife
experts in the Department of Fish and Game, and the Fish and Game Commission,
and hand it to California Legislators who have no training or firsthand
knowledge about wildlife management issues.
Pacelle, of HSUS, has
threatened publicly that if SB 1221 is not passed, they will try to get enough
signatures for an initiative next year that would totally ban bear hunting in
California by any means.
and women must continue to reach out to the Capitol with phone calls and
letters, with special emphasis on reaching out to Assembly Speaker John Perez,
Committee Chairman Jared Huffman, and Assembly Member Ricardo Lara.
Heritage Alliance (COHA) was heavily involved in gathering outdoorsmen and
women, affected agricultural interests and other industry against the bill, but
they cautioned that the battle is not over. According to COHA President,
Bill Gaines, “those who join us in opposing this unwarranted and misguided
legislation must stay heavily engaged until the final gavel falls.”