cat outsideI am not an animal rights activist by any stretch of the imagination. I wear leather and eat meat. But there is something very, very wrong with a new law being proposed by a republican legislator in Utah. He is sponsoring a bill that would legalize the shooting of all feral animals, on sight. It calls for:

the humane shooting or killing of an animal if the person doing the shooting or killing has a reasonable belief that the animal is a feral animal.

Reasonable belief? What exactly is that and who is regulating the guy on the corner to make sure he isn't just shooting his neighbors dog because it is off its leash?

A feral animal is any domesticated animal that "has returned to live in wild conditions." So all of those homeless cats you see roaming around ... or abandoned dogs ... they are the animals Republican Representative Curt Oda is talking about. He says this is the cheapest and quickest way to get rid of, essentially, the homeless pet population in Utah. And he may be right, but there are advocate groups like No More Homeless Pets in Utah, that say he is wrong and have employed other methods to cope with the overpopulation of these animals.

This proposed law is over-the-top, especially since the animal doesn't even have to be noticeably aggressive or sick to be shot. It just has to be considered, by the shooter, to be feral.

It seems terribly dumb to give rights to every person in the state to shoot or kill these animals by way of clubbing, decapitation, or a bow and arrow. Yes, you read that correctly. I mean, if you can't afford a gun you should be able to participate too!

The bill also includes the rights to kill rodents and other "pests" such as pigeons. Listen, I've never jumped on Bert's love for pigeons, but that doesn't mean they should suffer a clubbing.

Are you as outraged by this as I am?


Image via peyri/Flickr