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2013 State Legislation:

Sponsor(s): Assm. Alan Maisel (D-59) and Sen. Mark Grisanti (R-60)

New York: A.1769/S.1711 Prohibits Shark Fin Trade

Born Free USA position: SUPPORT

Update: This bill passed and was signed into law by the governor on 7/19/13.

Description: AB 1769 would ban the trade and sale of shark fins, except in the case of trade and sale of whole sharks.

Background: Shark finning is the gruesome practice of cutting a shark’s fins while it is still alive. The shark is then tossed back into the water to slowly bleed to death or drown. One cannot effectively protect sharks without eliminating the market for shark fins. As a keystone species, sharks play a significant role in the ocean ecosystem. Because they reach sexual maturity late in life and typically birth small litters, sharks are particularly susceptible to overfishing. This bill is an important step forward for the protection of sharks and the ocean ecosystem.

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Sponsor(s): Assm. Steven Englebright (D-4) and Sen. Josť Serrano (D-29)

New York: A.1756/S.1039 Gives Municipalities Power to Reduce Trapping

Born Free USA position: SUPPORT

Description: This bill clarifies the authority of municipalities to enact trapping regulations that are stricter than those set by state law or regulation.

Background: While trapping remains a popular recreational activity in New York as regulated by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, this bill will allow smaller, more-progressive municipalities to enforce stricter regulations. This bill is a steppingstone toward decreasing the public safety risks associated with trapping in urban areas, as well as reducing negative impacts on animal welfare statewide.

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Sponsor(s): Assm. Steven Englebright (D-4)

New York: A.1754 Restricts Use of Body-Gripping Traps

Born Free USA position: SUPPORT

Description: AB 1754 restricts the use of body-gripping traps by prohibiting their use within 100 feet of many public places, including highways, schools and places of worship.

Background: Body-gripping traps are indiscriminate in the people or animals they will catch. Hidden in brush, the traps often catch dogs and other non-targeted animals. They pose a particular risk to children. Prohibiting trappers from placing traps too close to public areas can reduce the incidents of non-targeted trapping incidents that occur when people and their companion animals walk or hike near populated areas.

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Sponsor(s): Assm. Linda Rosenthal (D-67)

New York: A.1658 Fine-Tunes Laws on Killing Wildlife

Born Free USA position: SUPPORT

Description: This bill would require that wildlife be killed in the most painless, quickest and least-stressful way possible for the animal while protecting public safety.

Background: Currently, property owners are authorized to kill wild animals who are not protected species if they encroach on the owner’s property by any means. This allows individuals to euthanize through inhumane methods without recourse. AB 1658 requires that American Veterinary Association guidelines be followed and that property owners kill wildlife in less cruel fashion.

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Sponsor(s): Assm. Micah Kellner (D-76)

New York: A.971 Prohibits Trade of Bushmeat

Born Free USA position: SUPPORT

Description: This bill will prohibit the importation, trade and possession of bushmeat.

Background: The consumption of bushmeat, particularly from primates, is linked to fatal diseases such as ebola, SARS, anthrax and foot-and-mouth disease. The practice also threatens many wildlife species, including species who were not previously in danger of extinction (e.g., antelope, pigs, rodents and freshwater mammals). While it is illegal to hunt endangered and some threatened species, the commercial trade in bushmeat continues to grow globally.

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Sponsor(s): Sen. Tom Casperson (R-38)

Michigan: SB 48 Would Weaken Protections for Bears

Born Free USA position: OPPOSE

Update: This bill passed and was signed into law by the governor on 4/9/13.

Description: This bill will amend the Large Carnivore Act to allow public contact with bear cubs less than 36 weeks old or under 90 pounds.

Background: Allowing the public to handle bear cubs of any age is a danger to public safety and a detriment to animal welfare. Bear cubs, along with other large carnivores, often are used as cubs in photo opportunities in order to turn a profit. Allowing this practice incentivizes the breeding of more bear cubs, who often end up in roadside zoos, private possession or in the hands of unscrupulous animal dealers when they become too old for photo opportunities.

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Thank you for your willingness to speak out for animal protection issues! Your voice has the power to help influence elected officials to improve the lives of countless animals. It's time to get involved, if you are not already.

Please be aware that our State Legislative webpages do not necessarily list every animal protection bill pending in the various state legislatures. If you are aware of a bill in your state that concerns wildlife or captive exotic animals that is not listed on our website, please contact legislation@bornfreeusa.org.

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