Utah Lawmaker Introduces Bill to Legalize Decapitation of Feral Animals
Attention Utah pet owners– you’d better make sure you don’t let Fido off his leash.
That’s because Republican state representative Curt Oda of Clearfield has introduced a bill that would legalize the killing of feral animals. Feral animals are domestic pets that have gone wild, such as cats, dogs and some birds. The bill, HB 210, would allow any person to “humanely” kill any animal they reasonably believe is feral. The animal doesn’t have to be ill, aggressive or even actually feral for a person to legally kill it. Acceptable methods of killing include shooting with guns or bows and arrows, clubbing, and decapitation.
Who could think that chopping the head off a kitten is humane? Oda, that’s who. “I want to protect people from getting in trouble for doing the right thing,” he told the Salt Lake Tribune.
While Oda believes that clubbing puppies to death is “the right thing” to do, others vehemently disagree.
“I don’t think that shooting an animal is ever humane,” Anne Davis, executive director of the Animal Advocacy Alliance of Utah told the Tribune.
Gene Baiershmidt, executive director of the Human Society of Utah, told Change.org that the bill would be a huge mistake and “open the door for a lot of abuse to take place.”
Even these animal rights advocates agree that Utah does have a problem with feral animals. But there are viable alternative methods available besides blowing their brains out. Trap, neuter and return programs are the most promising solution.
But they are more expensive than just allowing anyone with a shotgun or a Louisville Slugger to go around and kill off any animal they think is feral. In a state that only made animal cruelty a felony three years ago, compassionate alternatives may prove to be a hard sell.
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