California legislation that would ban the use of hounds to hunt black bears and bobcats was passed out of committee today. Opponents of Senate Bill 1221 were unable to convince members of the Natural Resources Committee that the bill was unnecessary and a product of political revenge. The committee approved SB 1221 by a 5 to 3 vote. There was one abstention.
The bill, which is sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), triggered an outpouring of opposition from California sportsmen, sportsmen’s organizations in the state, and on a national level, including the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA). More than 600 opponents sporting orange NO on SB 1221 buttons packed the committee room and the corridors of the capital to make sure their Senators knew where they stood.
“It is unbelievable that the members of this committee ignored the thousands of calls, emails and letters along with the dedicated sportsmen and women who took off work to be here today to oppose this unfair and unjustified attack on California hunters,” said Evan Heusinkveld, USSA’s director of state services. “But we are not giving up. We are prepared to make our case to the full Senate.”
USSA has been working with the Masters of Foxhounds Association, California Houndsmen for Conservation and the California Outdoor Heritage Alliance to defeat SB 1221.
California sportsmen should contact their senators today. Let them know that SB 1221 is an attack on all hunting. Hunting with hounds is an essential tool to control black bear numbers.
Visit the Legislative Action Center for your Senator’s contact information.
Click here to see how Senators on the Committee voted.