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Humane Society Legislative Fund Releases California State Humane Scorecard

Scorecard evaluates elected officials on work for animals for the 2012 legislative session

SACRAMENTO (March 20, 2012) -- The Humane Society Legislative Fund is releasing its California State Humane Scorecard for the 2012 legislative session. The scorecard provides a snapshot of California state lawmakers’ records on animal welfare policies. Lawmakers are scored based on their floor votes on bills addressing issues such as cockfighting, hound hunting, tenants with pets, trapping, and poaching.

"The California State Humane Scorecard provides 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," said Sara Amundson, executive director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. "In 2012, California lawmakers banned the trophy hunting of bears and bobcats with packs of hounds, strengthened the penalties for illegal cockfighting, and cracked down on other abuses. The anti-cruelty laws of a state are a reflection of our basic values and attitudes toward animals, and this collection of bills is a measurable step forward for the state of California."

The Humane Society Legislative Fund tracked seven bills during the session: A.B. 2402, which reforms state fish and wildlife management processes including changing the agency’s name to California Department of Fish and Wildlife; S.B. 1480, which protects pets and wildlife from unnecessary cruelty and death associated with wildlife trapping methods; A.B. 2179, which increases ability to prosecute and penalize for wildlife crimes; S.B. 1229, which prohibits landlords from requiring cats to be declawed or dogs to be devocalized as a condition of tenancy; S.B. 1221, which bans the hunting of bears and bobcats with hounds; A.B. 2609, which improves Fish and Game Commission appointments and business practices; and S.B. 1145, which increases fines for those convicted of participating in a cockfight.

Five of the seven scored bills, including A.B. 2402, S.B 1229, S.B. 1221, A.B. 2609, and S.B. 1145, were signed into law in 2012. 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 also held in 2010 and 2011.

Highlights from the 2012 California Humane Scorecard include:

  • Of the 119 members of the legislature scored, 43 received perfect scores – indicating a vote in support of animal protection for all seven scored bills, including 11 senators and 32 assemblymembers.
  • Four 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. These members are state Senators Ellen Corbett, D-10, and Fran Pavley, D-23, and Assemblymembers Michael Allen, D-07, and Ben Hueso, D-79.
  • The average score for state senators was 65 percent.
  • The average score for assemblymembers was 67 percent.
  • Only one state senator scored less than 29 percent and 53 assemblymembers scored 57 percent or higher.
  • There were 24 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: Kaitlin Sanderson, HSLF, (301) 721-6463, ksanderson@hslf.org

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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 hslf.org, on our blog at animalsandpolitics.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/humanelegislation and on Twitter at twitter.com/HSLegFund.