Good news for bobcats in California – the trapping and killing of these iconic wild cats has officially been banned.
The California Fish & Game Commission voted to extend protections for bobcats, originally found in the Assembly Bill 1213, which was passed into California legislature in 2013. Despite the bill prohibiting trapping and killing of bobcats throughout the state, the ban was not fully implemented.
But in August, the five members of the Commission voted to implement a full ban on bobcat trapping. A big push came from a Care2 petition demanding full enforcement of Bobcat Protection Act, which received more than 77,000 signatures.
The Humane Society issued a press release after the vote:
“The Humane Society of the United States applauds the California Fish and Game Commission to extend further protections for iconic bobcats. Shy and elusive creatures, bobcats are solely killed for their fur, which is sold to overseas markets in Russia and China. In the wake of the tragic death of Cecil the lion, the public has never been more aware that killing an animal for its pelt is no worse than for a head and hide to decorate a trophy room. This decision is a much-needed step in the right direction, and we thank Assemblymember Bloom for his ongoing leadership to protect California’s bobcats from this cruel and unnecessary practice.”
The Commission had to decide between a statewide ban on bobcat trapping or a zone-based approach that would have prohibited it in certain regions only. But the members voted for the former, proving to be one giant step for these beautiful felines.