It’s a great day in the Golden State—today, just a month after banning sales of alligator and crocodile skins statewide, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed not one, not two, but three additional animal-friendly bills into law. The fact that four animal protection bills were even on the docket at the same time—much less passed—is a testament to how hard animal advocates have been working to open people’s eyes and change their hearts. Below are the game-changing new California laws and how they’re ushering in drastic changes regarding how the law views animals.
Senate Bill 313: California Passes Circus Cruelty Prevention Act
Public opposition to the exploitation of animals for entertainment is stronger than it’s ever been, ushering in the Circus Cruelty Prevention Act. Similar to laws in Hawaii, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey, California’s law bans the use of most animals in circuses. Newsom signed the measure into law nine months after Sen. Ben Hueso introduced it in the state Senate. Both PETA and Social Compassion in Legislation sponsored SB 313. We were proud to join the California organization in helping with much of the research, legislative language, and expert testimonies—in addition to generating support from other organizations and our members—and we applaud Hueso for prioritizing animals and public safety by introducing the bill.
Assembly Bill 44: California Bans the Sale and Manufacture of New Fur Items
In a big victory for animals, California just became the first state to ban the sale and manufacture of new fur items. Thousands of PETA supporters wrote to their representatives in support of the ban. This lifesaving measure will prevent animals from being beaten, electrocuted, and skinned alive for environmentally toxic items that compassionate shoppers no longer want and top designers no longer use.
Assembly Bill 1260: California Bans Sales of Lizard, Hippo, Caiman Skins
In a resounding victory for often-overlooked animals, Newsom agreed to ban sales of skin and other body parts from hippos, caimans, and certain lizards. PETA, Social Compassion in Legislation, and local activists all worked hard to make this happen. We spoke at committee hearings, blasted out tweets and action alerts, flew an expert to Sacramento to address committee members about the bill, and enlisted reptile professionals to help show lawmakers that animals suffer in the exotic-skins trade.
Bonus! Assembly Bill 1561: California Bans Alligator and Crocodile Skin Sales
California technically banned the sale of alligator and crocodile skins back in 1970, but the exotic-skins industry has been fighting the ban ever since to keep it from going into effect. Just this year, these special interests—which included the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries—tried to push through three Assembly bills that would have continued to delay the ban. But PETA, Social Compassion in Legislation, and other groups got supporters to send thousands of e-mails, blasted tweets, garnered celebrity support, enlisted reptile experts to weigh in, and got animal advocates out in full force to protect this vital legislation—and it finally became law. The long-awaited ban will go into effect on January 1, 2020.
Aside from ensuring much-needed protection for animals, these laws have one very important thing in common: They’re all victories that wouldn’t have been won without the bills’ sponsors and immense support from PETA members everywhere. Animal advocates came out in full force to protect these vital pieces of legislation, and it worked.
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