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2014 State Legislation:

Sponsor(s): Sen. Rick Ward (R-17)

Louisiana: S.B. 250 Adds Another Exemption for Big Cat Ownership

Born Free USA Position: OPPOSE

Update (4/14/14): The Senate Committee on Natural Resources amended the bill and removed the most harmful line. These changes are reflected in the italicized and stricken portions of the Bill Description below.

Bill Description:
Under present law, the secretary of the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission is allowed to create rules to control the importation and private possession of big exotic cats. Current law also requires that these rules provide exceptions for big cats traditionally kept by colleges and universities, animal sanctuaries, zoos, wildlife research centers, and scientific organizations and for owners who can prove previous ownership.

This bill would add an additional exception for owners who hold a USDA Class C exhibitor's license. It also allows retroactive application of this exemption, so that Class C exhibitors who had to give up their big cats before may be able to get them back. This bill defines previous ownership as persons who obtained their animal by lawful means and continuously possessed their animal since August 15, 2006.

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Sponsor(s): Rep. Michael W. Chippendale (R-40)

Rhode Island: H.B. 7859 to Allow the Killing of Otters

Born Free USA Position: OPPOSE

Bill Description:
It amends the existing prohibition on hunting or killing otters to allow hunting or trapping of otters if done in accordance with regulations adopted by the director of the Department of Environmental Management.

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Sponsor(s): Asm. Richard Bloom (D-50)

California: A.B. 2140 to Prohibit Orcas in Captivity for Entertainment

Born Free USA Position: SUPPORT

Update (April, 2014): The Assembly Water, Parks, And Wildlife Committee decided to put the bill on hold until mid-2015, and conduct a study on sea park conditions in the meantime.

Bill Description:
This bill would make it illegal to:

  • Keep orcas in captivity or use them for performance or entertainment purposes
  • Capture orcas intended to be used for entertainment in state waters, or import them from another state
  • Breed an orca in captivity
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    Sponsor(s): Sen. Clayton Hee (D-23)

    Hawaii: H.B. 493: Ivory Trade Restrictions

    Born Free USA Position: SUPPORT

    This bill was introduced after another ivory trade ban, S.B. 2040/H.B. 2183, died in February 2014.
    Update: This bill passed the Senate on April 9th, and is now in the House.

    Bill Description:
    This bill would prohibit a person from importing, selling, offering to sell, or possessing with the intent to sell any ivory product. It defines "ivory product" as ivory from elephants, hippopotamuses, walruses, whales, and narwhals.

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    Sponsor(s): Sen. Chris A. Eaton (DFL-40) and Rep. Jason Isaacson (DFL-42B)

    Minnesota: S.F. 666/H.F. 1163: Reinstating Moratorium on Wolf Hunting

    Born Free USA Position: SUPPORT

    Bill Description:
    Establishes a moratorium on wolf hunting for a five-year period. After that time, the Department of Natural Resources Commissioner may prescribe open seasons and restrictions for taking wolves, but only if population management is deemed necessary and other means for controlling the wolf population are explored.

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    Sponsor(s): Reps. Peter Fischer (DFL- 43A), Yvonne Selcer (DFL-48A), and Paul Rosenthal (DFL-49B)

    Minnesota: H.F. 3196: Ban on Wolf Trapping/Baiting, and Use of Snares

    Born Free USA Position: SUPPORT

    Bill Description:

    This bill:

  • Prohibits the trapping of wolves except as authorized by the commissioner for the predator control program, and establishes that violators are charged with a gross misdemeanor.
  • Prohibits the use of bait to hunt wolves.
  • Prohibits the use of snares to trap wild animals.
  • Read More

    Thank you for your willingness to speak out for animal protection issues! Your voice has the power to help influence elected officials to improve the lives of countless animals. It's time to get involved, if you are not already.

    Please be aware that our State Legislative webpages do not necessarily list every animal protection bill pending in the various state legislatures. If you are aware of a bill in your state that concerns wildlife or captive exotic animals that is not listed on our website, please contact legislation@bornfreeusa.org.

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