Assemblyman Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) expressed disappointment over Governor Brown decision to sign SB 1221 today that will ban hound hunting of bears and bobcats.
"Hunting in California will suffer from this unnecessary and costly piece of legislation," said Nielsen. "I have received thousands of phone calls and letters from my constituents as well as from people all over California. They are all worried about how this bill will infringe on their tradition and culture. I share their concerns and I am deeply disappointed that the Governor has chosen to sign this into law."
SB 1221 grants the Department of Fish and Game authority to capture any dog not under the control of a handler or owner if the dog is pursuing a bear or bobcat, and it grants it authority to capture or kill any dog that is inflicting injury or threatening to inflict injury upon a bear or bobcat.
By enacting this bill, the Department of Fish and Game estimates a loss of $278,000 annually from reduced bear and bobcat tag purchases; as well as a potential increase of $250,000 annually needed to develop and implement a new monitoring program in controlling the black bear and bobcat population.
"It is disgusting that at a time when the state budget is in a deep hole, when criminals are being released to our streets, that the Legislature and the Governor would spend even one minute on a bill like this," said Nielsen.