Full Statute Name:  Proposition 6. Prohibition of Horse Slaughter and Sale of Horsemeat for Human Consumption Act of 1998

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Primary Citation:  Proposition 6 (1998) Country of Origin:  United States Last Checked:  August, 2014 Date Adopted:  1998
Summary: This proposition would prohibit any person from possessing, transferring, receiving or holding any horse, pony, burro or mule with intent to kill it or have it killed, where the person knows or should know that any part of the animal will be used for human consumption. It provides that a violation constitutes a felony offense. There is also a provision making the sale of horsemeat for human consumption a misdemeanor offense, with subsequent violations punished as felonies. The measure was passed in 1998 with 59.4% of the vote.
Statute Text: 

Official Title and Summary prepared by the Attorney General

Full Text of Proposed Law

CRIMINAL LAW. PROHIBITION ON SLAUGHTER OF HORSES AND SALE OF HORSEMEAT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION. INITIATIVE STATUTE.

* Prohibits any person from possessing, transferring, receiving or holding any horse, pony, burro or mule with intent to kill it or have it killed, where the person knows or should know that any part of the animal will be used for human consumption. Provides that a violation constitutes a felony offense.

* Also adds a provision making the sale of horsemeat for human consumption a misdemeanor offense, with subsequent violations punished as felonies.

Summary of Legislative Analyst's

Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:

* The measure could result in some increased law enforcement and incarceration costs at both the state and local level. These costs probably would be minor, if any.

Proposition 6 - Full Text of the Proposed Law

This initiative measure is submitted to the people in accordance with the provisions of Article II, Section 8 of the California Constitution.

This initiative measure adds sections to the Penal Code; therefore, new provisions proposed to be added are printed in italic type to indicate that they are new.

PROPOSED LAW

PROHIBITION OF HORSE SLAUGHTER AND SALE OF HORSEMEAT FOR HUMAN CONSUMPTION ACT OF 1998

SECTION 1. TITLE

This act shall be known and may be cited as the Prohibition of Horse Slaughter and Sale of Horsemeat for Human Consumption Act of 1998.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND DECLARATIONS

The people of the State of California find and declare:

(a) The horse is part of California's heritage, having played a major role in California's historical growth and development. Horses contribute significantly to the enjoyment of generations of recreation enthusiasts in California.

(b) Horses are not raised for food or fiber and are taxed differently than food animals.

(c) Hundreds of thousands of California horses have been slaughtered for food in order to provide a gourmet meat to foreign markets.

(d) Horses can be stolen, or purchased without disclosure or under false pretenses, to be slaughtered or shipped for slaughter. These practices have contributed to crime and consumer fraud.

SEC. 3. PURPOSE AND INTENT

The people of the State of California hereby declare their purpose and intent in enacting this act to be as follows:

(a) To prohibit the sale of horsemeat for food for human consumption in the State of California.

(b) To prohibit the slaughter of California horses to be used for food for human consumption.

(c) To recognize horses as an important part of California's heritage that deserve protection from those who would slaughter them for food for human consumption.

SEC. 4. Section 598c is added to the Penal Code, to read:

598c. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it is unlawful for any person to possess, to import into or export from the state, or to sell, buy, give away, hold, or accept any horse with the intent of killing, or having another kill, that horse, if that person knows or should have known that any part of that horse will be used for human consumption.

(b) For purposes of this section, "horse" means any equine, including any horse, pony, burro, or mule.

(c) Violation of this section is a felony punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for 16 months, or two or three years.

(d) It is not the intent of this section to affect any commonly accepted commercial, noncommercial, recreational, or sporting activity that relates to horses.

(e) It is not the intent of this section to affect any existing law that relates to horse taxation or zoning.

SEC. 5. Section 598d is added to the Penal Code, to read:

598d. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, horsemeat may not be offered for sale for human consumption. No restaurant, cafe, or other public eating place may offer horsemeat for human consumption.

(b) Violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by confinement in jail for not less than 30 days nor more than two years, or by both that fine and confinement.

(c) A second or subsequent offense under this section is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than two years nor more than five years.

SEC. 6. SEVERABILITY

If any provision of this act, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is held invalid or unconstitutional, that invalidity or unconstitutionality shall not affect other provisions or applications of this act that can be given effect without the invalid or unconstitutional provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are severable.

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