Hunters Help Delay Vote on Calif. Anti-Hound Bill

The California Assembly Appropriations Committee was all set to vote on SB 1221, which would outlaw the tradition of hunting bears and bobcats with hounds. But the huge crowd that showed up for the hearing, plus the immense financial impact that the bill would have on California, put the vote on hold for further consideration. It's estimated that about 300 people—most of them concerned hunters—packed the room, and dozens chose to testify. When the bill comes up for a vote late next week, let's hope the committee members recall the strong opposition to SB1221 displayed by hunters.

"I would say that for high visibility issues, this is probably the biggest crowd I've seen," Appropriations Committee Chairman Felipe Fuentes told the Record Searchlight after the hearing.

If the Committee approves the bill, it will proceed to the full Assembly for debate. This is the second time anti-hunters, led by the HSUS, have attempted to get the bill up for an Assembly vote. The first attempt failed. However, the California Senate already passed the bill; an Assembly vote could make it law.

Many hunters brought their children and even their grandchildren to stand up to the "animal rights" activists attacking their family tradition. As has been the case throughout this bill's debate, HSUS waged a war of disinformation, making up such lies as:

-HSUS isn't interested in eliminating all hunting, just so-called unethical hunting. I don't know how they can keep a straight trying to make this point, not just considering their actions, but because HSUS president Wayne Pacelle once said, "If we could shut down all sport hunting in a moment, we would." Banning hunting with hounds is just the camel's nose under the tent.

-"Hounding isn't a wildlife management tool," said an HSUS rep. This ignores the fact that bear hunting is proven to reduce bear-human conflicts, and that hound hunting is many state game departments' preferred method of bear control.

-HSUS also reiterated phony information from previous debates.

Will the committee respond to hunters' strong show of support, or will it allow HSUS to pull the wool over its eyes? As always, we'll keep you posted.

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