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California Legislation


AB 339 Prohibits the Sale of Animals at Flea Markets and Swap Meets

Born Free USA position: SUPPORT

Update (September 6, 2013): This bill was signed into law by Governor Brown.

Bill description: This bill, sponsored by Born Free USA and the State Humane Association of California, will prohibit the sale of animals at swap meets and flea markets and thereby prevent the suffering of animals, protect consumers and eliminate the public health and safety risks and risks of other disease outbreaks associated with such sale situations.

The bill touches on these issues:

  • Animals are frequently sold at flea markets and swap meets in terrible conditions. These venues provide little oversight of the seller and no accountability to the consumer. Laws that apply to pet shop do not apply to the sale of animals at flea markets and swap meets.
  • Animals are frequently kept in crowded pens or cages that are unsanitary, without food and/or water, and in extreme heat and direct sunlight. They are handled by shoppers and purchased on impulse. There is no reason to believe that their breeding and transport conditions prior to their appearance at the flea markets are any better.
  • Swap meets and flea markets have also historically been prime outlets for the sale of smuggled birds. A recent estimate suggests that anywhere from 3,000 to 9,400 parrots are smuggled from Mexico into the United States annually. In addition to conservation and animal welfare concerns, this trade has the potential to introduce parasites and diseases that may be transmitted to people, wildlife, and domestic livestock.

What you can do: Call or e-mail your legislators and urge them to Support AB 339. And if you haven't done so already, join our Action Alert team to receive regular updates about this bill.

Read the bill's text here. (PDF)

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