SACRAMENTO (AP) — California would ban the use of dogs to hunt bears and bobcats under a bill approved by the state Assembly.

Proponents of SB1221 say dogs chase the animals until they are exhausted and climb trees, holding them until the hunter arrives.

The author, Democratic Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance, has likened the practice to “shooting a bear at a zoo.”

The bill passed 44-29 on a party-line vote Wednesday after a lengthy debate. Republican lawmakers representing rural areas said the bill is an attack on Californians’ right to hunt, while Democratic lawmakers called the practice inhumane and unsportsmanlike.

The legislation arose after a California Fish and Game commissioner used dogs to legally hunt and kill a mountain lion in Idaho. It moves back to the Senate for concurrence.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.)


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