This was a clear example of the old saying, laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made. In this case, two issues were mixed together, causing some confusion.
RELATED: Calls mount to close live animal markets in Bay Area amid COVID-19 crisis
Democratic State Senator Henry Stern from Calabasas sponsored SB-1175 that would ban live animal markets, such as those the I-Team visited in Oakland and San Francisco three weeks ago: stores selling live poultry to go or killed on the spot, seafood stores with huge fish in tanks, many types of crustaceans, and live bullfrogs imported from China. Turtles go for $20; they have to be killed before a customer takes them home.
Dan Noyes asked a worker, "And you kill it here?"
He answered, "Yeah, yeah."
Stern said at the hearing, "The trade in wildlife both import as well as sales really poses a threat to our ecosystems, our public health, and the biodiversity in this state."
RELATED: Fauci: Evidence says coronavirus 'could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated' in lab
The leading theory is COVID-19 passed from a bat to another animal and then a human, at a market in Wuhan, China. Stern and others are concerned about the transmission of disease at the Bay Area's markets.
"Globally, a quarter of human deaths are infectious disease," according to Nickolaus Sackett of Social Compassion in Legislation. "About 60% of these diseases are considered zoonotic, meaning they jump from other animals to people and more than 70% of zoonotic diseases originate with wildlife."
No one at today's hearing disagreed on that point, but the bill would also ban the importation of trophies from "Iconic African Species" such as African elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos. California's hunting and gun rights groups lined up by phone in opposition.
"When Californian are participating in this activity, they're doing it legally," said St. Sen. Brian Jones, R-Santee. "They're doing it morally, they're doing honorable, with the mindset that they want to perpetuate the species."
St. Sen. Stern answered, "Engage in that hunting activity, take a picture and come home, why do you need a trophy to come back to California with to show what you've done."
Stern argued his bill would not ban hunting, just the exportation of those big trophies, and it would close the live animal markets. It passed 5-1, and next heads to Senate Appropriations.
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- COVID-19 Help: Comprehensive list of resources, information
- When will the San Francisco Bay Area reopen? Track progress on 6 key metrics to reopening here
- Life after COVID-19: Here's what restaurants, gyms will look like
- WATCH LIVE: Daily briefings from CA, Bay Area officials
- Live updates about coronavirus outbreak in US, around the world
- INTERACTIVE TIMELINE: How close was CA to becoming a NY-level crisis?
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- Everything you need to know about the Bay Area's shelter-in-place order
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area/
- List: Where can I get tested for COVID-19 in the Bay Area?
- COVID-19Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during novel coronavirus pandemic
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on Asian American community
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on African American community
- WATCH: 'Race & Coronavirus: A Bay Area Conversation' virtual town hall about COVID-19 impact on Latino community
- WATCH: 'Your Mental Health: A Bay AreaConversation' virtual town hall addressing COVID-19 impact on mental health
- Symptoms, prevention, and how to prepare for a COVID-19 outbreak in the US
- List of stores, companies closing due to coronavirus pandemic
- No masks but here are 100+ products that may help protect you against novel coronavirus germs
- Here's a look at some of history's worst pandemics that have killed millions