UPDATE: This bill has been amended and now excludes reptile and aquatic trade shows. View the full text at http://usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/CA-AB339-Reptile-Show-Amendment-2013.pdf
WHERE: CALIFORNIA STATE
WHAT: California Assembly Bill 339 was introduced on February 13, 2013 and has been assigned a Committee. The bill would ban selling animals at "swap meets." In the state of California, reptile shows could be classified as "swap meets" (see definition below).
(a) As used in this article, the term "swap meet" includes a flea market or an open-air market and means an event at which two or more persons offer merchandise for sale or exchange and that meets one of the following conditions:
(1) A fee is charged for the privilege of offering or displaying merchandise for sale or exchange.
(2) A fee is charged to prospective buyers for parking or for admission to the area where merchandise is offered or displayed for sale or exchange.
(3) The event is held more than six times in any 12-month period.
It is extremely important to exclude reptile shows from this bill.
Complete text of Bill can be found here: http://usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/CA-AB339.pdf
Pertinent California Business and Professions code excerpt can be found here: http://usark.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/California-Business-and-Professions-Code-exerpt-AB-339-20132.pdf
HOW YOU CAN HELP: As always, be professional and civil when contacting legislators.
For California residents: Note: The emails are only sent with proper zip codes which leads to a little more work to contact legislators.
- The districts with members on this committee are: 5, 9, 13, 20, 27, 33, 39, 41, 43, 51, 57, 60, 62, 64, 68, 73, 79
- Check if your district representative is on the Committee on Appropriations at this link: http://www.legislature.ca.gov/legislators_and_districts/districts/assemblydistricts.html
- If you live in one of these districts, use this link and click your representative to contact him/her under "Office & Contact Information" http://apro.assembly.ca.gov/membersstaff
- Fill out your personal information (name, address, etc.)
- Select issue such as "comments" or "other"
- Select "Oppose"
- Copy and paste the USARK letter below or write your own. Be sure the first sentence reads as follows or similar, "Please vote NO on Assembly Bill 339 as written and exclude reptile shows and conventions."
- Hit Submit
- Share this Action Alert with California residents!
All other California residents and out-of-state stakeholders should contact the Assembly Appropriations Committee office. Contact information for the California Committee on Appropriations via written letters, fax and phone calls:
Assembly Appropriations Committee
State Capitol, Room 2114
Sacramento, California 95814
USARK Sample Letter
California Committee on Appropriation Member,
Please vote NO on Assembly Bill 339 as written and exclude reptile shows and conventions. I certainly agree that animal welfare is a major concern and anyone breaking animal cruelty laws should be punished. However, as written, this bill would cost small business owners in California millions of dollars annually and would put many hardworking and tax-paying California residents out of business. The reptile segment of the pet industry generates over $165 million in annual revenue for California and this bill would remove a significant portion of that revenue.
AB 339 includes the terms "flea markets" and "swap meets." As defined under California Business and Professions Code, all reputable reptile shows will be affected by AB 339 and forced to cease operations. This will eliminate revenue by responsible reptile breeders, show promoters and businesses selling ancillary products. All which equates to less taxes for California as it would destroy many small businesses.
These specialized reptile conventions provide captive bred animals and annual attendance is in the hundreds of thousands. One specific California reptile show sees over 10,000 attendees in one weekend. There are dozens of reptile shows in California. Vendors at these shows educate attendees concerning reptiles and the proper care of the animals. This bill will remove another connection between people and animals and will even affect animal conservation as an educational tool will be lost. With over 550,000 households in California keeping pet reptiles, many people will be affected by this bill.
I ask you to vote NO on AB 339 as written and to alter the bill to exclude reptile shows and reptile conventions. The current terminology could negatively affect responsible business owners and pet owners.