Today's Law As Amended

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SB-1405 Marine mammals: protection of cetaceans: unlawful activities.(2019-2020)

As Amends the Law Today

 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Enclosures do not offer cetaceans the space, stimulation, or freedom to lead healthy lives. In captivity, they are isolated from their familial pods, have limited space to move around, and lack overall mental stimulation.
(b) Scientists and marine biologists have found that cetaceans are highly intelligent and social mammals. Some will naturally swim over 100 miles a day and dive to depths of more than 1,000 feet.
(c) Peer-reviewed literature has confirmed that confinement impacts social relationships, degrades autonomy through the imposition of forced schedules and activities, and inhibits incentives to perform natural behaviors such as hunting and traveling.
(d) A 2019 report by the World Animal Protection organization and the Animal Welfare Institute found that the risk of mortality in bottlenose dolphins increases sixfold after capture from the wild and immediately after every transfer between facilities.
(e) Reports have demonstrated that captivity for both wild-caught and captive-born cetaceans impacts entire populations in the wild, even when a small number of cetaceans are removed from their social groups.
(f) Studies also reveal that captive cetaceans display a huge range of health problems, including extreme stress, neurotic behaviors, and abnormal levels of aggression and sexual behavior.
(g) Because they are at the top of their food chains, cetaceans are integral to the health and survival of the marine ecosystem.
(h) Within the United States, South Carolina has laws to prohibit the display of cetaceans.
(i) The international community also has strong examples of the protection of cetaceans. Canada banned captivity in 2019, France and Mexico in 2017, and India in 2013.
(j) The countries of Brazil, Nicaragua, and Norway have strict standards that make it nearly impossible to keep cetaceans in captivity.
(k) California legislative efforts to ensure the protection and respect of animals and ocean ecosystems should continue to advance the state’s leadership regarding animal welfare.
(l) Developing technologies, such as virtual reality and augmented reality, allow people to interact with and learn about cetaceans without removing them from their natural habitats.
(m) Such advancements suggest that businesses that provide direct interaction with cetaceans will be encouraged to modernize their services rather than to cease operations.

SEC. 2.

 Section 4502.5 of the Fish and Game Code is amended to read:

 (a)  This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the California Orca Protection Act.
(a) (b)  It is unlawful for any person to do any of the following:
(1) (A) Except as provided in subparagraph subparagraphs  (B) and (C) and  subdivision (c), (d),  hold in captivity an orca, whether wild-caught or captive-bred,  orca or other cetacean, whether wild caught or captive bred,  for any purpose, including, but not limited to, display, performance, or entertainment purposes.
(B) An orca located in the state on January 1, 2017, may continue to be held in captivity for its current purpose and after June 1, 2017, may continue to be used for educational presentations.
(C) A cetacean other than an orca located in the state on ____ may continue to be held in captivity for its current purpose and after ____ may continue to be used for educational presentations.
(2) Breed or impregnate any orca or other cetacean  held in captivity in the state.
(3) Export, collect, or import the semen, other gametes, or embryos of an orca or other cetacean  held in captivity for the purpose of artificial insemination.
(4) Export, transport, move, or sell an orca or other cetacean  located in the state to another state or country unless otherwise authorized by federal law or if the transfer is to another facility within North America that meets standards comparable to those provided under the federal  Animal Welfare Act (7 U.S.C. Sec. 2131 and following).
(b) (c)  A person, corporation, or institution that intentionally or negligently violates subdivision (a) (b)  is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine not to exceed one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000).
(c) (d)  This section does not apply to an orca or other cetacean  that is held by a bona fide educational or scientific institution for rehabilitation after a rescue or stranding or for research purposes. However, the department shall be notified immediately upon the rescue or acquisition of any orca,  orca or other cetacean,  and an orca or other cetacean  that is held for rehabilitation or research purposes shall be returned to the wild whenever possible. If return to the wild is not possible, the orca or cetacean  may be used for educational presentations, but shall not be used for breeding, performance, or entertainment purposes.
(d) (e)  As used in this section, the following terms are defined as follows:
(1) “Educational presentation” means a live, scheduled orca or other cetacean  display in the presence of spectators that includes natural behaviors, enrichment, exercise activities, and a live narration and video content that provides science-based education to the public about orcas. orcas or other cetaceans. 
(2) “Orca” means a killer whale (Orcinus orca).
(3) “Cetacean” means a whale, dolphin, or porpoise of the order Cetacea.
(3) (4)  “Bona fide educational or scientific institution” means an institution that establishes through documentation any of the following:
(A) Educational or scientific tax exemption from the Internal Revenue Service or the institution’s national, state, or local tax authority.
(B) Accreditation as an educational or scientific institution from a qualified national, regional, state, or local authority for the institution’s location.
(C) Accreditation by a nationally or internationally recognized zoological or aquarium accreditation organization.
(e) (f)  The provisions of this section are severable. If any provision of this section or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.
SEC. 3.
 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.