State lawmakers to push animal welfare
With new mission, Senate panel seen as 'game-changer'
By Michael Gardner
U-T SACRAMENTO BUREAU
2:00 a.m. February 12, 2009
SACRAMENTO — From family pets to farm livestock, state lawmakers are crafting a broad and aggressive animal welfare agenda this year.
Legislation has already been introduced to regulate puppy mills, stiffen penalties for watching dog fighting and provide tax deductions for adopting pets.
Significantly, the state Senate also has redefined the mission of the former Agriculture Committee – now called the Food and Agriculture Committee. The panel now has a chairman who supports animal rights and consumer causes – a blow to agriculture, which for years has counted on the panel to thwart unfriendly bills.
Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, the new chairman, has a history of tangling with agriculture over food safety. He plans an oversight hearing next week to explore livestock welfare issues. Read More
California producers will continue to feel the effects of Prop 2 as animal rights activists build on the momentum from it’s passage. The state seems to be more concerned about animals than they are about where their food will come from. And that is very short-sighted.