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Alert from Mary Lou Kelly:
Some of you may have already heard the news that California SB 716 was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown! But other elephant legislation is still pending in Massachusetts, and a hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 21 at the State House in Boston. Please see the alert below and share with your contacts so we can generate letters/emails/phone calls to the members of the Joint Judiciary Committee to oppose these bills. And if anyone in the Massachusetts area is available to attend the hearing, please let me know.
ALERT – October 21 Hearing Scheduled for MA SB 1801, HB 1274 and HB 1477 (bull hook bans)
A hearing on Massachusetts Senate Bill 1801 has been scheduled for Wednesday, October 21 at 1:00PM before the Joint Committee on the Judiciary. The full text of the bill is attached for your reference, along with the companion bills from the House, HB 1274 and HB 1477. All three bills will be taken up at the October 21 Committee hearing.
If passed, the proposed bills would ban the use of the elephant guide (also called a bull hook/ankus) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts beginning in 2018. As you well know, this widely accepted and humane elephant management tool is absolutely necessary to safely display elephants in a public setting. In addition, such legislation is unnecessary since intentional cruelty to an elephant or any animal with any instrument is already prohibited by existing law. It was for that reason that a similar bill was just vetoed in California.
These bills would apply not only to circuses, but zoos and all other elephant exhibitors in the state, and would also make it impossible for elephant rides to be given at local fairs and events.
SB 1801 was introduced by Senator Robert Hedlund (R-Weymouth) and is similar to the Senator's anti-circus efforts in past legislative sessions. The opposition efforts of Circus Fans and other industry supporters have been very valuable in defeating this legislation in the past, and we are asking for your help again for this hearing.
E-mails and phone calls in opposition to these bills are very much needed. The contact information for each member of the Judiciary Committee is listed below. Communications from circus supporters who live in a Committee member's legislative district are especially helpful. In addition, if anyone is available to speak at the Committee hearing on October 21, please contact Mary Lou Kelly to get further details.
Thank you for your efforts in contacting Massachusetts legislators on this important issue!
Joint Committee on the Judiciary
Room 504, State House, Boston, MA 02133 – Main phone: (617)-722-1280
Senator William N. Brownsberger (D-Belmont)
Representative John V. Fernandes (D-Milford)
Senator John F. Keenan (D-Quincy)
Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (D-Boston)
Phone: (617) 722-1673
Senator Patricia D. Jehlen (D-Somerville)
Senator Cynthia S. Creem (D-Newton)
Senator Richard J. Ross (D-Wrentham)
Rep. Claire D. Cronin (D-Easton)
Rep. Colleen M. Garry (D-Dracut)
Rep. John C. Velis (D-Westfield)
Rep. S. Day (D-Stoneham)
Rep. Paul Tucker (D-Salem)
Rep. James J. Lyons, Jr. (R-Andover)
Rep. Jeffrey N. Roy (D-Franklin)
Rep. Evandro C. Carvalho (D-Dorchester)
Rep. Carlos Gonzalez (D-Springfield)
Rep. Sheila C. Harrington (R-Groton)
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