Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Some Communities Get it Right on "Easter Animal Sales"

Take for instance San Antonio . . . Animal Care Services is reminding residents the sale of baby animals as holiday novelties is illegal. The ordinance says it is illegal for any person to sell or offer for sale, barter, lease, rent or give away baby chicks or ducklings or rabbits less than eight weeks old as pets or novelties.

Fortunately, San Antonio included the dyeing or staining of baby chicks, ducklings, or rabbits in their city ordinance, as is even possessing animals that have been colored in this way. They also restrict the sale of animals on any roadside, public right of way, commercial parking lot or at any flea market or festival.

Unfortunately, not all cities and towns adopt humane ordinances and continue to allow these practices. In sharp contrast to San Antonio, I read a story on KTVI in St. Louis recently.  This community has brightly colored chicks available in locations such as Home Stores and Dickey Bub Farm.

Even if the dyes used are non-toxic the colored chicks, ducklings and rabbits look like brightly colored toys instead of creatures that need veterinary visits, daily care and a safe environment. Adult animals are disposed of after the newness wears off with the color because they are no longer "cute." For instance, rabbits can become aggressive and spray urine when they hit puberty in 4 to 6 months if they are not neutered or spayed. Most people don't realize  rabbits can live to ten years old and those baby chicks can have a lifespan of 26 years.

More communities should consider what San Antonio has done and pass ordinances to make selling baby animals as holiday novelties illegal.