California Assembly Member Loni Hancock has made good on her promise to introduce legislation banning open field coursing. AB 2110 would make the sport a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to six months in jail, as much as $1,000 in fines, or both. Here's the text of the bill:
BILL NUMBER: AB 2110
INTRODUCED BILL TEXT
INTRODUCED BY Assembly Member Hancock
FEBRUARY 17, 2006
An act to add Section 597.4 to the Penal Code, relating to crimes.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
AB 2110, as introduced, Hancock Animal cruelty: dogs: field coursing.
Existing law makes it a crime to commit animal cruelty, as specified.
This bill would provide, in addition, that any person who knowingly engages in any activity in which a dog is left untethered and allowed to track and pursue any rabbit, hare, or fox and that results in the injury or death of the rabbit, hare, or fox is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for a period not to exceed 6 months, by a fine not to exceed $1,000, or by both that imprisonment and fine. The bill would provide that nothing in its provisions shall prohibit the use of dogs in the management of livestock or hunting, or the training of dogs, or the use of equipment in the training of dogs, for any purpose not prohibited by law. By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program upon local governments.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: yes.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. Section 597.4 is added to the Penal Code, to read:
597.4. (a) Any person who knowingly engages in field coursing is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for a period not to exceed six months, by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
(b) For the purposes of this section, "field coursing" includes any activity in which a dog is left untethered and allowed to track and pursue any rabbit, hare, or fox and that results in the injury or death of the rabbit, hare, or fox.
(c) Nothing in this section shall prohibit any of the following:
(1) The use of dogs in the management of livestock, as defined by Section 14205 of the Food and Agricultural Code, by the owner of the livestock, by the owner's employees or agents, or by other persons in lawful custody of the livestock.
(2) The use of dogs in hunting as permitted by provisions in the Fish and Game Code, including, but not limited to, Section 3286, 3509, 3510, 4002, or 4756 of the Fish and Game Code, and by the rules and regulations of the Fish and Game Commission.
(3) The training of dogs, or the use of equipment in the training of dogs, for any purpose not prohibited by law.
SEC. 2. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
We'll be there in the next month when an Assembly committee debates the anti-coursing measure. You can check on the bill's status at the Assembly's website.