Alicia Silverstone: Help Ban Hounding of Bears and Bobcats
Alicia Silverstone is an actress as well as a vegan, author of “The Kind Life” series of books, and an animal advocate. She has voiced her support of banning battery cages, ending testing on chimps with the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act, and asked that you save a turkey instead of eating one at Thanksgiving time.
Her most recent call to help animals comes via Twitter in a tweet to her fellow Californians. Silverstone tweeted yesterday, “Hey Californians! Help ban cruel hounding http://ow.ly/d6wrc of bears and bobcats @ASPCA.”
The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has asked CA residents to contact their state assemblymember in support of SB 1221, which has passed the State Senate and moved on to the Assembly.
The bill, of course, is not without loopholes. According to Aroundthecapitol.com, SB 1221 would “make it unlawful to permit or allow a dog to pursue a bear, as defined, or bobcat at any time,” but “would exempt from that prohibition the use of dogs by federal, state, or local law enforcement officers, or their agents or employees, when carrying out official duties as required by law.” Also allowed would be the “the use of not more than 3 dogs to pursue bears, as defined, or bobcats pursuant to a depredation permit issued by the department,” and “the pursuit of bears or bobcats by dogs that are guarding or protecting livestock or crops on property owned, leased, or rented by the owner of the dogs, if the dogs are maintained with, and remain in reasonable proximity to, the livestock or crops being guarded or protected.”
The ASPCA provided some reference points to use when contacting Assembly members, including that 83% of Californians are opposed to bear hounding, and that this hunting practice is still legal in only 18 states. They also point out that the bears and bobcats are not the only animals hurt, as many hunting dogs are abandoned or brought to shelters when they are no longer wanted or are injured or unable to continue with hunts.