This has been a good week for animals in California!
Governor Jerry Brown signed two new animal protection bills into law.
The first mandates that the Department of Fish and Wildlife (formerly Fish and Game) must use nonlethal force when removing or taking mountain lions that do not pose an imminent threat to public health and safety. The bill is specific in that the aggressive behavior not be due to the presence of the responders. This is key as we have seen responders agitate a lion until it becomes aggressive and then shoot him/her.
Hopefully the Department will train its officers in the proper use of non-lethal methods and in the definition of "imminent" so that they will be both successful in complying and able to assist and train other law enforcement that may be at a scene first.
The second will only permit the sale of animals at swap meets and flea markets if requirements for their humane treatment both at the swap meet/flea market and in transit to and from the event are complied with. This legislation fills the gap left by the ban on roadside sales bill enacted last year that did not cover swap meets and flea markets.