Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown signs elephant bullhook ban

Gov. Jerry Brown discusses the passage of a measure for a 10-year extension of the state's landmark climate change law during a news conference, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif.
Gov. Jerry Brown discusses the passage of a measure for a 10-year extension of the state's landmark climate change law during a news conference, Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif. AP

Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed legislation banning elephant handlers from using bullhooks, baseball bats and other pain-inflicting devices on their animals, after vetoing a similar bill last year.

The Democratic governor signed the bill without comment.

Senate Bill 1062, by Ricardo Lara, D-Bell Gardens, prohibits the use of pain-inflicting devices to train or control the behavior of an elephant.

“California’s commitment to the humane treatment of elephants is strengthened today,” Lara said in a prepared statement. “Banning bullhooks removes cruel and horrific treatment against these kind, gentle animals.”

The bill Brown vetoed last year was one of a number of criminal justice bills that he objected to, saying the “multiplication and particularization of criminal behavior creates increasing complexity without commensurate benefit.”

The bill he signed on Monday would subject anyone who violates the ban to civil – not criminal – penalties.

Brown on Monday also signed legislation requiring water districts to crack down on their biggest guzzlers during statewide drought emergencies by setting penalties for households that use well above the average amount of water for the area.

Senate Bill 814, by Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, originally would have made those lists of “excessive water users” public as a way of “drought-shaming” Californians into conserving, but the provision was removed under intense opposition from water agencies.

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders

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