A05449A's "Quick Kill" Provision - Dead or Alive?
New concerns over sponsor Amy Paulin's promise to remove dangerous clause from bill
February 29, 2012
The New York State Assembly Agriculture Committee has passed A05449A. The bill contains troubling provisions that make it easier for shelters to euthanize cats suspected of being feral, and that fail to clarify the right of animal welfare organizations to practice TNR in New York.
The main thrust of the bill is to set rules for giving animal rescue groups access to animals in shelters who would otherwise be euthanized. While there is much to question over whether A05449A is adequate in providing such access, of great concern to us as feral cat advocates is a clause which would allow the euthanizing of an animal immediately upon intake if it is deemed to be experiencing irremediable "psychological" pain. This is a dangerous new precedent which on its face is vague and obviously subject to arbitrary determinations, unlike a physical condition. Almost any animal entering a shelter will be frightened and exhibit psychological trauma, at least at first, so this new clause becomes a potential catch-all way to get around the mandatory holding period and would mean every feral cat could be put down at once as their temperament could be deemed "irremediable".
In addition the bill fails to clarify that shelters or animal rescue groups are allowed to release cats for purposes of a TNR program. This same lack of clarity on the current, corresponding law (Agriculture & Markets sec. 374-2(e)) has resulted in many communities, especially upstate, deciding not to support TNR programs. Because the proposed law deals specifically with the allowable dispositions of lost, stray or homeless animals, it should clear up the matter and make it as plain as can be that TNR is a permitted disposition.
UPDATE! On 2/23/12 Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, sponsor of A05449A announced her willingness to revise the bill by removing the clause allowing shelters to euthanize animals based on a determination of "psychological pain". Her declaration followed a massive protest during which thousands of people from across NY State voiced concern and dismay over a provision that would lead to the unnecessary deaths of many innocent animals.To read the NY Times article about this development please click here.
To date, the bill has not been amended. The "Quick Kill" clause remains intact, and could potentially result in the needless deaths of countless feral cats entering shelters in NY State.
Far from taking steps to remove its cruel provisions, Assemblywoman Paulin (who has labeled those objecting to flaws in the bill as "misguided, uninformed and uneducated") is now planning an online discussion on lohud.com to promote the bill (announced on 2/27, the discussion was originally scheduled for 2/28 but has been postponed; new time/date tba). The oppsition's goal is to force a vote on the Assembly floor. Action is urgently needed to stop A05449A!
What you can do:
NY State residents ONLY, please call and email the bill's remaining legislative sponsors. Politely ask them to withdraw their sponsorship of this cruel legislation, and tell them why:
- the bill's allowance of immediate euthanasia based on "psychological pain" will lead to the unnecessary deaths of many animals, including feral cats entering shelters
- it fails to clarify the right of any animal welfare organization to practice Trap-Neuter-Return, the most humane and effective way of managing feral cat populations
Margaret Markey (Queens)
Robert Sweeney (Suffolk County)
Matthew Titone (Staten Island)
Francisco P. Moya (Queens)
William Boyland, Jr. (Brooklyn)
Felix Ortiz (Brooklyn)
Naomi Rivera (Bronx)
Peter M. Rivera (Bronx)
Michelle Schimel (Nassau County)
Richard N. Gottfried (Manhattan)
John J. McEneny (Albany)
Joan L. Millman (Brooklyn)
Fred W. Thiele, Jr. (Suffolk County)
MarkeyM@assembly.state.ny.us; Sweeney@assembly.state.ny.us; TitoneM@assembly.state.ny.us; BoylandW@assembly.state.ny.us; OrtizF@assembly.state.ny.us: RiveraN@assembly.state.ny.us; RiveraP@assembly.state.ny.us; SchimelM@assembly.state.ny.us; GottfriedR@assembly.state.ny.us; McEnenJ@assembly.state.ny.us; MillmaJ@assembly.state.ny.us; ThieleF@assembly.state.ny.us
NY State residents AND non-residents - please contact Assemblywoman Amy Paulin via her Facebook page. Tell her why you are against A05449A, and inform her that opposition to her bill is national in scope.
Thank you for your support!