SOCIAL COMPASSION IN LEGISLATION GIVES VOICE TO CROCODILES AND ALLIGATORS IN A FIGHT FOR THEIR LIVES
September 13, 2019 – Sacramento
The legislative year ended with a knockdown, drag-out battle between animal rights and conservation groups against a coalition that included Louisiana crocodile breeders, hunters, and the high fashion industry, including Louis Vuitton. Three versions of the same bill, which would have allowed the continued sale of alligator and crocodile products, were killed by legislators in both houses – despite procedural gamesmanship by monied interest largely from outside of California.
However, the legislature and its leadership held firm as the team of animal rights advocates, led by Social Compassion in Legislation (SCIL) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), appealed to re-instate the ban that has, in the past, protected and regenerated alligator and crocodile species.
"75% of Californians support a ban on the sale of exotics skins," said
, founder and president of Social Compassion in Legislation. “The animal rights and environmental communities thank the legislative leadership for listening to Californians, re-instituting the state's historic protections of alligators and crocodiles, and rejecting the out-of-state special interests that spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on an army of lobbyists."
"Louisiana special interests hypothesizing that alligator antibodies working for alligators would be a new miracle drug for use in humans is disingenuous at best. There is no citation of even a single drug derived from alligators," said
Dr. Gary Michelson
, founder of the Michelson Medical Research Foundation and inductee in the National Academy of Inventors and National Inventors Hall of Fame. "Economically motivated speculation and commercial propaganda that flies in the face of the actual science in regard to the prospects of inter-species antibody transfers should be seen for exactly that, speculation and propaganda. And, if the day ever arrives when an FDA approved drug derived from alligators comes to market, federal law would preempt state law and thus allow the sale of any FDA approved drugs in California."
A number of celebrity animal activists were also weighing in on social media.
As Joker star
a PETA video
condemning the killing of animals for their skins: “The majority of alligator skins used to make purses and shoes come from animals raised in crowded, stinking tanks filled with feces and urine. These animals are either stabbed in the head with a chisel or bludgeoned with a metal bat. Anything you have that is made from animal skins can be made without. With so many stylish and cruelty-free alternatives, there’s no excuse for wearing animal skins.”
“I’ve watched during PETA’s 40 years and my own 70 the evolution away from “survivalist” clothing and accessories that originated in a time when people knew nothing of animal sentience, emotions, behaviors, needs and interests,” said
, founder and president of PETA. “Later generations and today’s youth recoil from such ignorance, and do not see torturing and killing animals as responsible or desirable, especially for luxury goods like exotic skin products.”
Despite this historical win, SCIL and PETA representatives understand the fight will continue. “This is not the last we’ve heard from the alligator and high fashion industries,” said
, Director of Legislative Affairs for SCIL. “We expect they will be back in January and we’ll be here waiting for them.”