No bear wrestling in Alabama
Shouldn’t there be an expiration date on some laws?
Section 13A-12-5 Unlawful bear exploitation; penalties.
(a) A person commits the offense of unlawful bear exploitation if he or she knowingly does any one of the following:
(1) Promotes, engages in, or is employed at a bear wrestling match.
(2) Receives money for the admission of another person to a place kept for bear wrestling.
(3) Sells, purchases, possesses, or trains a bear for bear wrestling.
(4) For purposes of exploitation, subjects a bear to surgical alteration in any form, including, but not limited to, declawing, tooth removal, and severing tendons.
(b) Unlawful bear exploitation is a Class B felony and is punishable as provided by law.
(c) Upon the arrest of any person for violating this section, the arresting law enforcement officer, conservation officer, or animal control officer shall have authority to seize and take custody of any bear in the possession of the arrested person.
(d) Upon the conviction of any person for violating the provisions of this section, any court of competent jurisdiction shall have authority to order the forfeiture by the convicted person of any bear, the use of which was the basis of the conviction. Any bears ordered forfeited under this section shall be placed in the custody of a humane shelter, a society that is incorporated for the prevention of cruelty to animals, or the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
(e) In addition to the fines, penalties, and forfeitures imposed under this section, the court may require the defendant to make restitution to the state, any of its political subdivisions, or a humane shelter or a society that is incorporated for the prevention of cruelty to animals for housing, feeding, or providing medical treatment to bears used for unlawful wrestling.
(Acts 1996, No. 96-468, p. 581, Â§1.)
Bear-wrestling was a common activity at county fairs, along with burlesque shows and dog-and-pony shows.
I saw it as late as 1972.
Former Coach Paul W. “Bear” Bryant of the University of Alabama got his nickname from his having once wrestled a bear.
Expiration date? This law was PASSED in 1996!
Bear wrestling sounds like one of those head scratching, what the hell phenomena, but some people actually sponsor bear wrestling events at county fairs and bars. It still occurs in some regions of the US.
The reason for the law is twofold. First, bear wrestling is a public safety issue. An aggravated bear is capable of 8 times the strength of the average human male. Most bear wrestling occurs with bears that are playful, or declawed. If an angered bear got loose into the audience, the consequences could be deadly.
Second, it infringes on animal rights to willfully harass a bear for purposes of amusement. It just isn’t dignified to pin an animal on its back against its will for no other reason than to display strength. And if you get the bear peeved enough, you very well might endanger your life and the lives of bystanders.
To conclude, I’m not sure how this law is antiquated, considering that bear wrestling remains a viable and dangerous entertainment option in backwoods areas.