Today California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill (SB) 1221, which prohibits the hounding of bears and bobcats in that state.
Hounding involves using radio-collared dogs that are sprayed with a bear attractant and sent off to track these animals and chase them up trees.
Trophy hunters are alerted when the animals are trapped, and proceed to shoot them from a point-blank range.
This “sport” is cruel for dogs as well as the wild animals, since they typically must run across miles and miles of difficult terrain, and are sometimes attacked.
“Dogs may be struck by vehicles, die as a result of dehydration or confrontations with wildlife, or be abandoned at local animal shelters,” notes the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).
spcaLA President Madeline Bernstein wrote in her blog, “There are reports of shelters receiving these dogs dehydrated, skinny and injured after they are no longer any use to the ‘sportsman.’”
SB 1221 was introduced by State Sen. Ted Lieu in February. It was opposed by many hunting groups, but supported by every major animal welfare organization as well as celebrities including Doris Day, Ellen DeGeneres and even Uggie.
California now joins 14 other states that ban this cruel practice, including Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington. Last month, the Wisconsin Wildlife Agency was sued for allowing dogs to participate in wolf hunts.
PHOTO: Public domain