The Marin County Board of Supervisors unanimously threw its support behind a state Senate bill that would ban “hounding,” a practice in which hunters use packs of radio-collared dogs to chase bears and bobcats to exhaustion at which point the animals either face the marauding dogs or seek refuge in a tree where they are typically shot at point-blank range, according to the bill's supporters.
SB 1221 is set to go before the state Assembly's Water, Parks & Wildlife committee, which is chaired by Marin's Assemblyman Jared Huffman, on June 26.
“California voters have consistently signaled their strong support for humane treatment of all animals by passing two measures against hunting mountain lions, a measure banning cruel trapping and poisoning of wildlife, and by adopting the Prevention of Farm Animal Cruelty Act in 2008 with more ‘yes’ votes than any citizen initiative in California’s history,” District 3 Supervisor Kate Sears, who introduced the resolution, said in a statement.
The California Senate passed the bill on May 21. If enacted, California would join 13 other states, including Montana and Wyoming, in banning hounding. The American Humane Society and the American Society for the Prevention of Crulety to Animals both support the bill.
In addition to the resolution, the board approved a letter to Huffman urging his support for the bill without amendments. In tthe letter, board President Steve Kinsey noted reports that Huffman was considering transferring the issue over to the Fish and Game Commission.
"Historically the commision has indicated its bias toward the hunting community rather than concerning itself with the welfare of wildlife, so we discourage you from moving forward with this option," Kinsey wrote.