Monday, October 14, 2013

Bunnies & Chicks Dyeing in New Hampshire Again?

According to CBS Boston, "lawmakers in New Hampshire could lift a ban on coloring chicks, ducklings, goslings or rabbits to enhance their sale. State Rep. Joel Winters, a Nashua Democrat, has proposed repealing a 1985 law that makes it illegal to dye the birds and bunnies to promote their sale, raffle or if they are to be given as a prize. Rep. Winters said Monday that he doesn’t think the law serves a purpose."

Fortunately, the former Agriculture Commissioner Steve Taylor who understands the importance of the law disagrees. According to the newspaper article, he fought for the law’s passage 28 years ago because the process stresses the birds and many die as a result. Taylor said too many people bought the cute colored chicks at Easter without knowing how to care for them.” This certainly is the same situation for rabbits at Easter when many rabbits are purchased on impulse to end up abandoned within six months.

Even feed store owners are not in favor of repeal according to the Telegraph Newspaper online. "Arthur Evans, co-owner of Derry Feed and Supply, said the history of dyeing farm animals goes back to the 1940s and 1950s, when they were routinely spray painted and sold as Easter gifts for children. When the novelty wears off, the baby chicks are either destroyed, sent to a farm or left in the wild."

I would hope that Mr. Winters’ bill doesn’t get support,” Evans said. “That’s crazy. That’s putting the evolution of all the chicken legislation back 50 years or 60 years, because this is why all that legislation came into effect – the abuse.”

Curt Jacques, owner of West Lebanon Feed and Supply, also opposes coloring chicks for the same reason. He won’t sell them around Easter because too many buyers don’t know how to care for them “New Hampshire would be wise to continue its progressive stance on protecting these innocent baby animals from stressful and profit-motivated artificial treatments.”

Another New Hampshire newspaper noted Florida repealed their ban on the practice a couple of years ago. The reason was dyeing show dogs.  Back then it was reported in the Sun Sentinel that "at the request of an Oakland Park groomer who wants to dye show dogs, State Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Ft. Lauderdale, came up with an amendment that would repeal the 1967 law and tacked it on to an agriculture bill." However, since Floridians do not condone inhumane treatment of animals, the ban was brought back in 2013 and it is now once again illegal in Florida to dye bunnies.

Right now the law in New Hampshire does not allow inhumane dyeing of bunnies and chicks.  If feed store owners aren't in favor of repeal, then who is lobbying State Rep. Joel Winters to repeal this law?"  Or has he just gone hopping mad?