Pink Chickens?

Wed, Apr 18, 2012

General Legal Issues

Image credit: AHanlonYes, SmithLaw found out that pink chickens could soon be a reality in Florida. Governor Rick Scott recently signed a bill into law that allows for the artificial dyeing of animals. It will go into affect on July 1, 2012. ***This law was just changed on July 1, 2013..more details here.

If you are wondering why this is significant, besides funny colored chicks or bunnies, it is because the bill strikes down previous laws that prohibited it. Over 40 years ago, the artificial dyeing of animals became prohibited by Florida State Statute 828.161. The signing of Amendment 303390 on Senate Bill 1197 changes this. (Senate Bill 197 relates to farm regulations about feed, apiaries, signs, etc.) Proposed by Florida Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff, this amendment also allows for selling chicks at an earlier age…before they are 4 weeks old. Therefore, even smaller chicks will be available now.

It is assumed that the prior law was primarily created because of rampant Easter-time sales of rabbits and chicks. The fun-colored animals caused even more people to rush out and buy one for the uniqueness of it all. Sadly, those animals were often discarded or unwanted after a few weeks had passed.

The concerns about the dyeing seem to be related to the dyeing of chicks, ducks, and rabbits. But the senator is said to have been mostly motivated by those wanting to dye their dogs for dog shows or other purposes. It seems dogs are often dyed in preparation for certain parades or dog show events.

The nontoxic dye is considered safe by many experts. The dyeing is achieved by injecting it while the animal is in the egg (for chicks) or by spraying the dye on newborn or very young animals. The dye does not last forever though; it eventually fades and grows out as the animal grows. Animal rights activists denounce the practice of dyeing animals because of the stress of the dyeing process and concerns about its safety in general. They are also concerned there will be more unwanted and uncared for animals than before with the addition of dyes.

Image credit: AHanlon

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