|Continued Action Needed on CA Ear Crop Bill
AKC and fanciers made significant progress last month in their opposition
of AB418, a bill to ban ear cropping in California. Although the measure
passed out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee, purebred dog owners
won ground when the Assembly Appropriations Committee heard AB418 on
April 12th. They effectively argued that passage of the bill would have
a significant financial impact on California’s economy, and the
Assembly Appropriations Committee placed the bill on the Suspense File.
This is good news for fanciers who now have additional time to organize
Shortly before May 27th (California’s fiscal deadline), the Assembly
Appropriations Committee will hold a hearing to announce which bills
will be released from the Suspense file to the Assembly floor. (Only
released bills can proceed on their journey to become law.) Which bills
are released will be determined in large part by Committee staff recommendations
but also by the bill sponsor’s requests and political climate.
No testimony is permitted at this hearing.
In the coming weeks, fanciers and AKC will continue efforts to show
that the passage of AB418 has the potential to have a significant impact
on California’s economy. That’s because purebred dog fanciers’
participation in dog shows brings enormous economic benefits to a community.
For example, a two-day dog show with 2,000 participants contributes
approximately $345,000 to the local economy. AKC sanctioned nearly 1400
events in California last year which drew hundreds of thousands of people
from both within and outside of the state. Approximately 185,000 dogs
were entered in those competitions, and over 23,000 of those were of
breeds who customarily crop ears--just over 12 percent. California legislators
should understand that due to fear of harassment or protest over the
law, passage of AB418 could result in a substantial decrease in dog
show entries or attendance.
Extreme animal rights groups – including one comprised of veterinarians
– continue to bombard California officials with misleading statements
about ear cropping procedures. It is critical that legislators hear
from responsible, reliable sources on this issue. AKC believes that
when appropriate veterinary care is provided, ear cropping is a safe,
acceptable practice. Owners, in close consultation with their veterinarians,
should make informed decisions about their pets’ health care—not
the government. Once legislators determine they can ban certain elective
procedures, they may be just a short step away from removing veterinarians’
and owners’ rights to make informed decisions about animal care
What You Can Do:
• Fanciers should continue to contact their own Assembly
member and ask him or her to oppose AB418. We must keep the pressure
on in order to increase the chance that the bill remain on the Suspense
File. To find out who represents you in the California legislature,
click here. It
is critical that legislators hear from their own constituents!
• Purebred dog owners should also contact their veterinarians
and urge them not to support AB418. Point out that veterinarians should
be concerned about allowing the government and public opinion too much
control over their practices.
• Share this information with other fanciers, dog clubs and dog
owners. We need everyone’s help!