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New law curbs use of dogs to hunt bears, bobcats

Published: Thursday, Sep. 27, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 4A
Last Modified: Thursday, Sep. 27, 2012 - 7:45 am

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a controversial bill restricting the use of dogs in hunting bears and bobcats, his office announced Wednesday.

The legislation pitted wildlife advocates against hunters at the California Capitol – the former raising concerns about the humane treatment of animals, the latter about urban elitism.

Senate Bill 1221, by Sen. Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, prohibits using dogs to pursue bears and bobcats except in limited circumstances, including when a dog is guarding crops or livestock.

"I applaud Gov. Brown for signing this measure that will protect dogs, bears, bobcats and other wildlife," Lieu said in a prepared statement. "There is nothing sporting in shooting an exhausted bear clinging to a tree limb or a cornered bobcat."

The legislation was among a batch of bills Brown signed related to animals. Brown was unwilling to afford a special designation for bats, vetoing Senate Bill 1480, by Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, which would have prohibited the trapping of bats and restricted the netting and exclusion of them.

"Homeowners should be allowed to exclude bats from their home at any time," Brown wrote in his veto message.

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