Breaking! California Senate Approves Bill Banning Fur Trapping; The Wildlife Protection Act Moves To Governor’s Desk For Final Approval

AB 273, The Wildlife Protection Act of 2019, which would prohibit commercial and recreational fur trapping and the sale of those raw pelts, was approved by the full Senate on a 30-9 vote, and is now heading to the desk of California Governor Gavin Newsom.

Each year, hundreds of animals including gray foxes, coyotes, badgers, beavers and mink are trapped, tortured, and killed in California so that their pelts can be sold in foreign fur markets.

In 2017, it was reported that 1,568 animals were killed for their pelts statewide by 68 licensed commercial trappers. Of those, 1,241 were sold for profit. Based on average pelt prices, the total reported income generated was estimated at less than $9,000. State revenue generated from licensing through the Department of Fish and Wildlife totaled just over $15,500, not enough to cover the cost of a properly managed and enforced fur trapping program, resulting in a de facto subsidy for commercial fur trapping.

“Fur trapping is a cruel and dated practice. In fact, it is so unpopular that California doesn’t even generate enough revenue from trapping licenses to cover the program’s cost,” said author of the bill, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. “The measure we are putting on the governor’s desk today will finally put a stop to this taxpayer-subsidized destruction of our wildlife.”

AB 273 is co-sponsored by Social Compassion in Legislation and the Center for Biological Diversity.

“There is no economic, aesthetic nor ecological rationale behind supporting fur trapping. We are talking about a cruel, antiquated practice that is destructive to the environment,” Judie Mancuso, Founder and CEO of Social Compassion said in a statement sent to WAN. “Small and mid-sized animals play a key role in maintaining biodiversity. We cannot continue the brutal killing of our wildlife, particularly given that continuing this practice will deplete local animal populations which are already under tremendous pressure from habitat loss due to development, poison, drought and wildfires.”

“Today’s vote marks a milestone in the process of bringing California’s wildlife laws into the 21st Century,” said Brendan Cummings, conservation director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The overwhelming majority of Californians value our wildlife alive, not to be trapped and cruelly slaughtered for foreign fur markets. This antiquated practice is now only a governor’s signature away from being relegated to the dustbin of history in California.”

Governor Newsom can either sign AB 273 into law or veto it. We believe his moral compass is with us and will sign it into law. However, we cannot take anything for granted.

Please send your letter of support of AB273. Individuals can send support letters HERE!

Groups are requested to use this sample letter and put it on the organization’s letterhead. Group letters should be sent to nick@socialcompassion.org.

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