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Bill to Ban Using Dogs to Hunt Bears Stalls

Aired 6/26/12 on KPBS News.

A controversial bill that would ban the use of hounds to hunt bears and bobcats stalled in an Assembly committee Tuesday.

Hundreds of people on both sides - including children sporting signs and pins - came to the capitol to voice their arguments. They stood in the hallway and watched the debate on television screens for over an hour.

Josh Brones with California Houndsmen for Conservation said the bill’s proponents are not basing their argument on science:

"At no time did they indicate that the population of black bears were threatened or that the dogs harm the population of black bears in the state."

Yet supporters of the bill said using packs of dogs to tree bears is inhumane. Hope Bohanec is with In Defense of Animals:

"They chase these bears up tree, or bobcats, they’ll tree the animal, and come just shoot them, like shooting an animal in zoo."

The bill has already passed the state Senate. Its author senator Ted Lieu said since it failed in Assembly committee by only one vote, he intends to bring it up again.

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