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Durell_20081003_0070_puppies.JPGPuppies, kittens and other live animals could not be sold at flea markets or swap meets under legislation proposed this week by a Sacramento legislator.

Assemblyman Roger Dickinson's measure, Assembly Bill 339, would make first offenses an infraction punishable by a fine of up to $250. If an animal suffers or is injured, however, the charge can be hiked to a misdemeanor and the fine to $1,000.

Dickinson, D-Sacramento, said that puppies, kittens, baby rabbits, turtles, exotic birds, reptiles and birds commonly are sold at swap meets and flea markets, often in close proximity and sometimes in crowded pens lacking adequate food or water.

AB 339 would "alleviate the suffering of these animals, ensure that public health and safety is protected, and safeguard consumers," Dickinson said in a written statement.

California law currently bans the sale of live animals on streets, highways, parking lots, carnivals and boardwalks.

Eight local governments in California have passed ordinances banning or limiting animal sales at swap meets, Dickinson said.

PHOTO CREDIT: Two pitbull pups wait for adoption at Sacramento's Animal Care Services, Nov. 8, 2008. Robert Durell / Special to The Bee


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