California Governor Signs Raft of Animal Protection Laws


In Defense of Animals (IDA) is thrilled to welcome news that California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a package of historic laws to protect animals.

“This is an unprecedented day in the history of animal rights,” said Fleur Dawes, Communications Director of IDA. “Bobcats, elephants, caiman, horses, rabbits, and river otters have just won ground-breaking protections that will protect many thousands of animals. Governor Gavin Newsom and caring California legislators have begun a new era of respect for animals and sent a strong message that it is unacceptable to harm animals in the name of fun or fashion. We thank all caring Californians who took action for animals and signed our alerts, made calls and inspired compassion that will be felt worldwide.”

Governor Newsom passed a ban on fur trapping (AB 273 by Assemblymember L. Gonzalez) and protections for migratory birds (AB 454 by Assemblymember Kalra) within the past weeks. Today Governor Newsom has signed a raft of important new animal protection measures.

All of these animals will be better protected in California, thanks to the new laws. Image via In Defense of Animals.

Assembly Bill 44 bans the sale of fur throughout California, which has become the first state in the nation to make fur history. The bill was sponsored by Assemblymember Laura Friedman. Learn more in the full media release. 

Assembly Bill 128 strengthens California’s anti-horse slaughter laws by making it harder for kill-buyers to turn a profit. Learn more in an IDA alert.

Assembly Bill 415 protects human and animal victims of domestic violence. The new law was sponsored by Assemblymember Maienschein.

Assembly Bill 1162 protects the environment by banning hotels from providing miniature plastic bottles. Assemblymember Kalra championed the bill.

Assembly Bill 1254 bans the trophy hunting of bobcats until 2025. Sponsored by Assemblymember Sydney Kamlager-Dove, the new law makes it unlawful to hunt, trap or otherwise “take” a bobcat except in specified circumstances such as with a depredation permit. Learn more in the full media release.

Assembly Bill 1260 bans the trade in skins of many threatened species including sharks, hippos and caimans, and becomes law in 2022. Sponsored by Assemblymember Maienschein, it prevents the import and sale of exotic skins. Hippos and many reptiles were added to a list of other endangered or threatened species, including big cats, polar bears and dolphins. Learn more on Facebook.

Senate Bill 313 bans the use of wild animals in circuses. Senator Ben Hueso’s Circus Cruelty Prevention Act forbids using exotic animals in circuses throughout the state. Elephants, bears, tigers, monkeys and other wild animals will benefit. Learn more in a full media release.

A tiger kept in a cage between circus performances. Image credit Twaalfdozijn, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Senate Bill 397 requires local transit operators to accept animal companions on public transit during emergency evacuations. The new law is an initiative of Senator Glazer.

“California is a leader when it comes to animal welfare, and today that leadership includes banning the sale of fur,” said California Governor, Gavin 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 watch YouTube videos showing the cruel way these animals – often stripped from their mothers as babies – are trained to do dangerous tricks. It’s deeply disturbing.”

“We are thrilled that Governor Newsom has signed all these important animal protections into law,” said Marilyn Kroplick M.D., President of IDA.

In Defense of Animals and other animal protection organizations campaigned tirelessly to push this lifesaving legislation forward. Supporters made hundreds of calls and signed tens of thousands of letters to protect animals from hunters and the fashion industry. We can all now celebrate these momentous victories for animals in California.

Featured image: a California bobcat. Image credit Blake Matheson, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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In Defense of Animals is an international animal protection organization with over 250,000 valued supporters and a 30-year history of protecting animals, people and the environment through education, campaigns and hands on rescue facilities in India, Africa, and rural Mississippi. Our main headquarters are established in San Rafael, California. Click to see author's profile.

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