FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ANIMAL ACTIVISTS RALLY TO KILL BILL THAT WILL ALLOW SALE OF ALLIGATOR AND CROCODILE PRODUCTS IN CALIFORNIA
Assembly Bill 719 sponsored by Louisiana Fish & Game, and the high fashion industry, would continue the exemption for this cruel industry
JUNE 20, 2019 –
Laguna Beach, CA
- Animal rights activists are rallying supporters, asking for their help in pressuring California legislators to permanently discontinue an exemption to California law that has allowed the sale of alligator and crocodile skins since 2006. A recent poll showed that 75% of Californians would support a ban on importing, exporting, or selling exotic animal hides and products.
“We must fight loud and hard,” said Judie Mancuso, Founder and CEO, Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL), a leading political animal advocacy group creating and changing laws to support animal rights, protection and welfare in California and beyond.
“Our goal is to save literally millions of alligators and crocodiles from torture and death around the world. We are so close but there is no time to lose. Animal rights supporters need to step up now or the slaughter of these animals will continue indefinitely,” said Mancuso.
California banned the sale of alligator and crocodile back in 1970.
The ban was lifted by legislation in 2006 that established a sunset clause to allow the legal sale of alligator and crocodile products, which was later extended again in 2009 and 2014. Those extensions have been
backed by high fashion retailers and a coalition of breeders from Louisiana. The most recent exemption is scheduled to sunset on Jan. 1, 2020.
In February, a bill, AB 527 (Voepel) was introduced in the Assembly that would have extended the exemption into 2030. The bill was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee in April.
But supporters of the bill – which include Louis Vuitton, Bijan, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries (LDWF) – are taking another run at an extension. Assembly Members Adam Gray (D-Merced) and Blanca Rubio (D-West Covina) are co-authoring AB 719, which is currently in the Senate Rules Committee – a gut and amend strategy as a last ditch effort. The bill will likely be heard in the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and Water, chaired by Senator Henry Stern (D-Calabasas).
Mancuso is urging activists and celebrities to spread the word through social media posts, to tweet and lobby their state representatives, and to make plans to travel to Sacramento to attend a hearing on the bill.
“We’ve collectively killed this bill before, thanks to the loud and united voice of animal lovers across the state and thanks to Assembly leadership with compassion and morals,” Mancuso said. “Now they’re doing a legislative "jailbreak." There is no place in California for promoting the killing and skinning of crocodiles and alligators out of the vanity of wearing or carrying exotic skins. We’re better than this. We’re hoping our legislative leaders hear us and shut this effort down.”