Senate Easter basket special? Pink bunnies!by Dara Kam | March 6th, 2012
UPDATE: Easter baskets could get even more festive if Gov. Rick Scott signs off on a bill heading his way that will allow farm animals, including bunnies, ducklings and chicks, to be dyed – that’s colored, not killed. The House passed the measure 109-5.
Nearly 50 years ago, Florida outlawed dyed bunnies, chickens and ducks.
But just in time for Easter, kids may find pink or green bunnies tucked in with other mellifluous treats in their holiday baskets after the Florida Senate tacked on an amendment to an agriculture bill (HB 1197) dealing with honeybees and other critters.
Animal- loving Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich tried to get the amendment stripped off, saying the statute banning animal dying comes under the “animal cruelty” section of the Florida Statutes.
Dyed bunnies, ducks and baby chicks “look really cute at a couple of months of age” Rich, D-Weston, argued. “But when they get older and nobody wants them, then they get loose or taken to our shelters.”
But Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, the amendment sponsor, said dog groomers want the ban on dying lifted so they can colorize pets for competitions and parades. She said dying dogs isn’t cruel and rejected Rich’s argument that pets don’t get asked if they want their fur dyed.
“We neuter dogs without their permission. I’ve never asked my poodle if he wanted a hair cut,” Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, said. “Animal cruelty is wrong…but dying a dog’s hair or horse’s tail I don’t think is cruel.”
But Rich didn’t back down.
“This is not about grooming poodles,” she said. “This…is a way of ensuring that we don’t have a lot of little adorable ducks, rabbits and chickens that are given away at Easter time and look so cute and then two or three months later nobody wants them.”
Rich’s attempt failed, and the amended ag bill now goes back to the House.