On Sunday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed a pair of bills authored by local assemblyman Pedro Nava aimed at strengthening animal rights.
The defeated legislation, authored by Nava, was part of a three-bill animal rights package Nava shepherded through the California legislature this year. While the governor approved a third law increasing the penalty for attending a dogfight, he vetoed similar bills that would have instituted stricter punishment for animal abuses and put a cap on the number of cats or dogs owned for breeding purposes, respectively.
The later bill — AB 241 — would have limited the number of potential pets to 50 in the hopes of eliminating large-scale breeding operations colloquially known as “puppy mills,” an approach Schwarzenegger did not agree with.
“An arbitrary cap on the number of animals any entity can possess … will not end unlawful, inhumane breeding practices,” Schwarzenegger said in a prepared statement. Nava said he disagreed with the governor and that the cap was not arbitrarily decided.
“We used the best advice from California animal control officers and law enforcement in coming up with that figure,” Nava said.
The second bill, AB 243, was also vetoed, but would have required judges to prohibit convicted animal abusers from owning pets for a set period of time.
Nava said he will reintroduce both bills next year.
“These problems don’t go away just because the governor failed to understand them,” Nava said.