California gets high marks for animal welfare laws

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Citing a “cascade of reform,” the Humane Society has once again named California the most animal-friendly state in the country.

It’s the sixth straight year California has held that title. Oregon placed second and Illinois was third.

The Humane Society says California has passed more laws to combat animal cruelty than any other state. Those include a law that took effect this month requiring that egg-laying hens be given roomier living quarters.

The Humane society also cited a California’s ban on the sale of shark fins – and a law that banned the sale of foie gras, or goose liver. The foie gras ban was recently ruled unconstitutional but animal rights groups are appealing.

sharkfinsIn recent years, the state has also banned using dogs to hunt bears, and it has outlawed the use of toxic lead bullets in hunting. Those bullets end up in carcasses eaten by other animals, including the endangered California condor.

Not everyone is on board with the Human Society’s positive view of California, though.

Many of the animal protection laws passed in the state have been opposed by agriculture and hunting and fishing groups.