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California Legislation

AB 979 Jeopardizes Anti-Trapping Ordinances [2009-10]

Born Free USA Position: OPPOSE

Update (Sept. 28, 2010): This bill was vetoed by the governor.

Bill Description: If this bill passes, the state Fish and Game agency will become the only entity with the power to adopt laws or regulations regarding the fish and wildlife in California.

While it is important to establish fundamental wildlife policies that are consistent statewide, local jurisdictions need to have the flexibility to strengthen those restrictions to effectively address local wildlife issues. Allowing the state and local jurisdictions to partner with each other to establish effective policies is vital to effective long-term wildlife management as well as to the best interests of the public. AB 979 would take away the rights currently afforded to cities and counties in California to enact local wildlife-related laws specific to their communities. This bill has the potential to invalidate numerous city and county ordinances that protect consumers and wildlife. For example, AB 979 could repeal ordinances that ban the use of Conibear traps after dogs or cats were maimed or killed; limit the use of bows and arrows in developed areas; restrict fishing in certain areas; and local laws prohibiting the killing of songbirds. This legislation would have severe public safety consequences and those consequences have not been adequately considered.

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