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Warning! This is a not the current version of this legislative bill.
Italicized text includes proposed additions to law or the previous version of the bill.
Struck text includes proposed deletions to law or the previous version of the bill.

(pdf version)
AMENDED IN ASSEMBLY AUGUST 20, 2012
AMENDED IN SENATE MARCH 26, 2012

INTRODUCED BY Senator Lieu
(Coauthor: Senator Steinberg)

FEBRUARY 23, 2012

An act to amend Section 3960 of, to add Sections 3032,
3960.2, 3960.4, and 3960.6 to,
and to repeal Section 4756 of,
the Fish and Game Code, relating to mammals.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 1221, as amended, Lieu. Mammals: use of dogs to pursue bears
and bobcats.
Existing law prohibits a person from permitting
makes it unlawful to permit or allow a dog to pursue any
big game mammal, as defined, during the closed season, or any fully
protected, rare, or endangered mammal at any time. Employees
Existing law authorizes employees of the
Department of Fish and Game are authorized to
capture any dog not under the reasonable control of its owner or
handler, that is in violation of that provision, or that is
inflicting, or immediately threatening to inflict, injury in
violation of this provision. Under existing law, certain
violations of the Fish and Game Code are misdemeanors.

Existing law generally prohibits a person from using dogs
to hunt, pursue, or molest bears, except under certain
conditions
, but allows the use of one dog per hunter
for the hunting of bears during open deer season, and the use of more
than one dog per hunter during t
he open bear season
except during the period when archery deer seasons or regular deer
seasons are open. Under existing law, except as excluded, violations
of the Fish and Game Code are misdemeanors
.
This bill , except as specified, would
prohibit a person from permitting
generally make it
unlawful to permit or allow
a dog to pursue a bear , as
defined,
or bobcat at any time. This
The
bill would exempt from that prohibition the use of dogs by
federal, state, or local law enforcement officers, or their agents or
employees, when carrying out official duties as required by law.
The bill would eliminate existing provisions allowing for the
use of dogs to hunt bears, and would, instead, authorize the use of
not more than 3 dogs to pursue bears, as defined, or bobcats pursuant
to a depredation permit issued by the department. The bill would
authorize the department to authorize specified entities to use dogs
to pursue bears or bobcats for the purpose of scientific research,
under certain conditions. The bill would also authorize the pursuit
of bears or bobcats by dogs that are guarding or protecting livestock
or crops on property owned, leased, or rented by the owner of the
dogs, if the dogs are maintained with, and remain in reasonable
proximity to, the livestock or crops being guarded or protected. The
bill would
authorize the Fish and Game Commission to
establish a hound tag program, imposing prescribed requirements on
the licensure and use of hounds, as
defined, to pursue
mammals.

By changing the definition of a crime, this bill would impose a
state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local
agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: yes.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Section 3032 is added to the
Fish and Game Code
, to read:
3032. (a) As used in this section:
(1) "Bear" and "pursue" have the same meanings as defined in
Section 3960.
(2) "Hound" means a dog used to pursue mammals.
(b) The commission may establish a hound tag program.
(c) If a hound tag program is established, the commission may
require all of the following:
(1) That each hound be issued a license tag bearing a unique
identifying number that is to be worn at all times by the hound while
pursuing mammals.
(2) That all relevant local and state laws pertaining to dogs are
being followed while the hound is being used to pursue mammals.
(3) That each hound be microchipped with an implanted transponder
that has a unique identification code.
(4) That the owner maintain documentation showing that the hound
is current on all required vaccinations and treatments for the
prevention of rabies and any other disease specified by the
department.
(5) That the owner report, within 24 hours of its last sighting,
any hound that is lost during hunting, pursuing, or tracking
activities.
(6) That the hound's tag identification number be recorded on the
hunting tag of any animal taken using the services of the hound.
(d) If a hound tag program is established, the commission may
adjust the amount of the fees for the hound tag as necessary, to
fully recover, but not exceed, all reasonable administrative and
implementation costs of the department and the commission relating to
the program.

SECTION 1. SEC. 2. Section 3960 of
the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:
3960. (a) (1) For
the purpose of this section, "pursue"
As used in this
section:

(1) "Pursue" means pursue, run,
or chase.
(2) For the purpose of this section, "bear"
"Bear" means any black bear , brown bear, or any
other subspecies of bear
(Ursus americanus)
found in the wild in this state.
(b) It is unlawful to permit or allow any dog to pursue any big
game mammal during the closed season on that mammal, to pursue any
fully protected, rare, or endangered mammal at any time, to pursue
any bear or bobcat at any time, or to pursue any mammal in a game
refuge or ecological reserve if hunting within that refuge or
ecological reserve is unlawful.
(c) (1) The department may take any of the following actions:
(A) Capture any dog not under the reasonable control of its owner
or handler, when that uncontrolled dog is pursuing, in violation of
this section, any big game mammal, any bear or bobcat, or any fully
protected, rare, or endangered mammal.
(B) Capture or dispatch any dog inflicting injury or immediately
threatening to inflict injury to any big game mammal during the
closed season on that mammal, and the department may capture or
dispatch any dog inflicting injury or immediately threatening to
inflict injury on any bear or bobcat at any time, or any fully
protected, rare, or endangered mammal at any time.
(C) Capture or dispatch any dog inflicting injury or immediately
threatening to inflict injury to any mammal in a game refuge or
ecological reserve if hunting within that refuge or ecological
reserve is unlawful.
(2) No criminal or civil liability shall accrue to any department
employee as a result of enforcement of this section.
(3) This section does not apply to the use of dogs to pursue bears
or bobcats by federal, state, or local law enforcement officers, or
their agents or employees, when carrying out official duties as
required by law.
(4) Owners of dogs with identification, that have been captured or
dispatched, shall be notified within 72 hours after capture or
dispatch.
SEC. 3. Section 3960.2 is added to the
Fish and Game Code
, to read:
3960.2. (a) As used in this section, the terms "bear" and "pursue"
have the same meanings as defined in Section 3960.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 3960, not more than three dogs may be
used to pursue bears or bobcats pursuant to a depredation permit
issued by the department, if all of the following conditions are met:

(1) The applicant demonstrates, in writing, that nonlethal and
avoidance measures were undertaken prior to requesting the
depredation permit.
(2) The applicant demonstrates, in writing, the specific need for
the use of dogs in carrying out the depredation permit.
(3) The depredation permit authorizing the use of dogs is valid
for the take of one bear or one bobcat.
(4) The depredation permit authorizing the use of dogs is valid
for a period not to exceed 20 consecutive days.
(5) The depredation permit specifies the name and address of any
dog handler who will be utilized in the pursuit or taking.
(6) The dog handler has the depredation permit in his or her
possession at all times during the pursuit or taking.
(7) The dog handler does not pursue a bear or bobcat more than one
mile off the property on which the depredation activity occurred.
(c) After any taking of a bear, the applicant is required to
submit the skull to the department as described in the department's
Black Bear Management Plan. No part of any bear taken pursuant to a
depredation permit may be sold, purchased, or possessed for sale, as
described in Section 4758.
(d) No holder of a depredation permit may solicit or receive
compensation from any person in exchange for carrying out the terms
of the permit. For these purposes, "compensation" means remuneration
paid in money, property, or anything else of value.
(e) The holder of a depredation permit, within 30 days of its
issuance, shall report to the department detailing the use of the
permit and the results of any pursuits, including information about
bear or bobcat pursued and whether the bear or bobcat was or was not
harmed, but not killed.

SEC. 4. Section 3960.4 is added to the
Fish and Game Code
, to read:
3960.4. (a) As used in this section, the terms "bear" and "pursue"
have the same meanings as defined in Section 3960.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 3960, the department may authorize
qualified individuals, educational institutions, governmental
agencies, or nongovernmental organizations to use dogs to pursue
bears or bobcats for the purpose of scientific research, provided
that the research project is designed to do all of the following:
(1) Contribute to knowledge of natural wildlife ecosystems.
(2) Follow best practices and minimize disruptions in the lives
and movements of bears, bobcats, and other wildlife, as well as
impacts to the habitat while maintaining the applicant's objectives.
(3) Directly or indirectly support the sustainability and survival
of bear or bobcat populations and healthy ecosystems.
(4) Not include the intentional injury or killing of any bear or
bobcat.
(5) Not include the intentional relocation of any bear or bobcat
other than to areas suitable to them in the state. Any relocation
shall comply with the requirements of Section 4190.
(c) Any research project authorized pursuant to subdivision (b)
shall be undertaken pursuant to a memorandum of understanding between
the department and the authorized research entity that addresses all
of the following:
(1) Trapping and anesthetizing of the animals pursued, collection
of diagnostic samples, attaching or surgically implanting monitoring
or recognition devices or markings, and providing veterinary care or
euthanasia, as required, for the health, safety, and humane treatment
of the animals.
(2) Qualifications of onsite field supervisors necessary for
carrying out authorized research procedures.
(3) Immediate reporting of any incidental mortality or injury to a
bear or bobcat as a result of authorized research activities.
Reports of any incidental mortality or injury to a bear or bobcat
shall be made available to the public upon request.
(4) Filing of annual and final progress reports of research
involving pursuit by dogs. Annual and final progress reports shall be
made available to the public upon request.
(d) The department shall provide notice to the public of any bear
or bobcat research project authorized pursuant to subdivision (b) at
least 30 days prior to its initiation, and, upon request, shall make
available to the public copies of the memorandum of understanding
between the department and the authorized research entity required
pursuant to subdivision (c).

SEC. 5. Section 3960.6 is added to the
Fish and Game Code
, to read:
3960.6. (a) As used in this section, the terms "bear" and "pursue"
have the same meanings as defined in Section 3960.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 3960, the pursuit of bears or bobcats
by dogs that are guarding or protecting livestock or crops on
property owned, leased, or rented by the owner of the dogs, is not
prohibited if the dogs are maintained with, and remain in reasonable
proximity to, the livestock or crops being guarded or protected.

SEC. 2. SEC. 6. Section 4756 of the
Fish and Game Code is repealed.
SEC. 3. SEC. 7. No reimbursement is
required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the
California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred
by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this
act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or
infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within
the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the
definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII
B of the California Constitution.