A Utah state legislator has proposed a bill that would make it legal to shoot and kill feral animals. The Salt Lake City Tribune reports under proposed Utah House Bill 210 the humane killing of feral animals, pests and rodents would be exempt from a state law that makes animal cruelty a felony.
Representative Curt Oda, R-Clearfield, who proposed the bill, told the Salt Lake City Tribune that feral animals can pose threats to other animal populations through infection and predation. He said that killing them quickly is often the best control method.
Oda’s bill singles out shooting as an acceptable method. The use of a bow and arrow, clubbing or decapitating some animals also would be allowed, Oda said. Regarding other control methods such as such as relocation, trap-neuter-and return, he considers them less efficient and more expensive.
According to the Standard Examiner, Rep. Oda said that his bill does not allow anyone to kill any animal just because they believe it is feral. He advocates killing a feral animal, such as a cat or pigeon, if it is threatening a resident’s pets or a person but that it should be done as humanely as possible and within the laws of that community.
Alley Cat Allies, one of the leading cat advocacy groups, is asking for the help of Utah residents to defeat this bill, which they say on their website, would put thousands of cats – pet and feral – in danger.
Change.org also has a petition against the bill, which you can sign at: http://animals.change.org/petitions/view/say_no_to_the_killing_of_feral_animals.