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Humane Society Legislative Fund Releases California State Humane Scorecard

Elected officials scored on work to protect animals for the 2015 legislative session

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Dec. 14, 2015) – The Humane Society Legislative Fund released its 2015 California State Humane Scorecard, which provides a snapshot of California state lawmakers’ records on animal welfare policies. Lawmakers are scored based on their floor votes on a wide range of bills from banning ivory and rhino horn trade to combatting companion animal homelessness.

Sara Amundson, executive director of HSLF said; "The California State Humane Scorecard is an easy way for constituents to assess how their lawmakers acted on animal protection issues, and it helps chart the progress of our public policy work on behalf of animals in the state. In 2015, California lawmakers closed a key loophole in the state’s decades-old ban on the pernicious ivory trade and banned rhino horn commerce, enacted strong state-level policies to reduce the use of antibiotics in food animals, reauthorized two important voluntary contribution funds which support sea otter research and animal homelessness and cruelty programs. Legislators also overwhelmingly supported a bill to stop the use of archaic bullhooks to train and intimidate performing elephants. The anti-cruelty laws of a state are a reflection of our basic values and attitudes toward animals. This collection of bills is a measurable step forward for the state of California."

The Humane Society Legislative Fund scored nine bills during the session:

  • AB 96, which closed the ivory trade enforcement loophole and banned the trade in rhinoceros horn.
  • AB147, which requires any public university or college that uses dogs or cats for science or research purposes to make them available to animal adoption or rescue organizations.
  • AB 316 and AB 317, which authorize additional veterinary and sheltering resources during emergencies.
  • AB 485, which creates the Prevention of Animal Homelessness and Cruelty Fund, a voluntary contribution on personal income tax forms.
  • AB 494, which authorizes courts issuing protective or restraining orders to enjoin a person to stay away from an animal or forbid a person from threatening, harming, or otherwise disposing of an animal.
  • SB 17, which reauthorizes for another ¬years the California Sea Otter Fund, a voluntary contribution fund on personal income tax forms.
  • SB 27, which prohibits use of antibiotics for animals raised for food unless prescribed by a veterinarian, and outlaws the routine use of antibiotics for weight gain or improved feed efficiency.
  • SB 716, which bans the use of bullhooks or similar devices on elephants.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed seven of the nine scored bills, including AB 96, AB 147, AB 316, AB 485, AB 494, S.B 17 and SB 27 into law. With the passage of these laws, California continues to hold its No. 1 ranking on The Humane Society of the United States’ “Humane State Ranking” of animal protection laws, a title it has held since 2010.

Additional highlights from the 2015 California Humane Scorecard include:

  • Of the 120 members of the legislature scored, 66 received perfect scores – indicating a vote in support of animal protection for all nine scored bills, including 18 senators and 48 assemblymembers.
  • Seven members received more than 100 percent, reflecting their support of animal protection in all seven bills, as well as primary leadership on at least one of the scored bills:state Sens. Jerry Hill, D-13, Bill Monning, D-17 and Ricardo Lara, D-33 and Assemblymembers Toni Atkins, D-78, Matt Dababneh, D-45, Brian Maeinschein, R-77, and Das Williams, D-37.
  • The average score for state senators was 88 percent.
  • The average score for assemblymembers was 93 percent.
  • Only one state senator and one assemblymember scored less than 50 percent.
  • There were 25 members of the legislative animal protection caucus, which sponsors nonpartisan forums and briefings, tracks the progress of relevant legislation, provides members with dependable information on animal welfare issues and works to build broad coalitions in support of common-sense animal welfare laws.

Media Contact
Naseem Amini: 240-778-5545;


The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. Visit us on all our channels: on the web at, on our blog at, on Facebook at and on Twitter at