Monday, January 31, 2011

Utah Bill Would Permit Killing Feral Animals

If you haven’t already heard, Republican Representative, Curtis Oda, has introduced a bill to Utah legislation to make it legal for residents to kill feral animals. Oda does not agree that feral animals should be protected under the state’s animal cruelty law. Instead, under this law, any person who has a “reasonable belief” that an animal is feral would have the right to kill the animal. The bill goes on to say that “humane” methods of killing feral animals include, shooting with guns or bows and arrows, clubbing and decapitation.

Oda was quoted by The Associated Press as saying, “I want to protect people from getting in trouble for doing the right thing.” No-kill methods, such as relocation or catch, neuter and release, are less efficient and more expensive, Oda said.

Only recently in 2008, did Utah’s legislature pass a law that made animal cruelty a felony. Anne Davis, the Animal Advocacy Alliance of Utah’s executive director, said feral animals were intentionally protected by that law. Gene Baierschmidt, executive director of the Humane Society of Utah, said the change could allow people to kill feral cats indiscriminately. “It would allow people to go to a feral cat colony and kill all of them,” Baierschmidt said. “It’s an archaic bill.”

Alley Cat Rescue agrees with the Humane Society of Utah and strongly advocates for humane alternatives to control feral animals. Despite Representative Oda’s belief, no-kill methods of animal control ARE more effective and less costly than the methods proposed by this bill. This bill undermines all animal cruelty laws and opens the doors for wide scale animal abuse. ACR is urging our supporters to please contact your lawmakers to ensure Utah’s House Bill 210 is not supported. You can also contact Representative Curtis Oda to express your opposition to his proposed bill. 

Contact Information:
Clearfield Office of Representatives
PO Box 824
Clearfield, Utah 84089
Phone: (801) 725-0277
Fax: (801) 773-3185

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