Sacramento, California - Governor Gavin Newsom today signed into law a package of bills to fight animal cruelty and promote animal welfare. They include first-in-the-nation legislation to ban the sale of new fur products, groundbreaking legislation that bans animals like elephants and bears from being used in circus acts and legislation prohibiting hunting or killing bobcats in California. 

AB 44 by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale) implements a statewide prohibition on the sale and manufacture of new fur products in California.

“California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur,” said Governor Newsom. “But we are doing more than that. We are making a statement to the world that beautiful wild animals like bears and tigers have no place on trapeze wires or jumping through flames. Just YouTube the videos showing the cruel way these animals – often stripped from their mothers as babies – are trained to do dangerous tricks. It’s deeply disturbing.” 

AB 44 would make it unlawful to manufacture, sell, offer for sale, display for sale, trade, give donate or otherwise distribute a fur product in the state. The prohibition would apply to clothing, handbags, shoes, slippers, hats, or key chains that contain fur and provides for a civil penalty for each violation. The new law exempts leather, cowhide and shearling, as well as fur products used for religious purposes. The law also has provisions that exempt taxidermy products, fur from an animal lawfully taken with a hunting license, and used fur.

The Governor also signed the following legislation into law:

  • SB 313 by Senator Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) bans the use of bears, tigers, elephants, monkeys and other wild animals in circuses.
  • AB 1254 by Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Los Angeles) prohibits hunting, trapping or killing bobcats in California until 2025 at which point the state can issue limited licenses and implement a bobcat management plan that protects the species.
  • AB 128 by Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D-San Diego) protects California’s wild and domestic horses from slaughter. AB 128 requires the operator of an animal auction yard to determine and post online any identifying brand, tattoo, or implanted microchip an animal may have before being sold at auction. The operator is also required to maintain records of sales for one year and make such records available to specified officials and to post notice at an auction that the sale of horses in California for slaughter for human consumption is a felony. The bill also requires a purchaser of an animal at auction to sign a sworn statement, under penalty of perjury, agreeing to comply with provisions of the Penal Code relating to the slaughter and sale of horses or horsemeat for human consumption.
  • AB 1260 by Assemblymember Brian Maienschein (D-San Diego) adds more types of animals – iguana, skink, caiman, hippopotamus, and three types of lizards – to the import and trade prohibition of dead animals and dead animal parts.