We who live in Florida breathed a huge sigh of relief Friday when Governor Rick Scott signed a bill making it legal to dye animals again after a 45-year ban. I can't tell you how often I'm tempted to grab one of my pets and dye it hot pink or fuschia, but didn't because I feared jail time. Now I can dye them with impunity.
The astute reader will immediately wonder why Florida would have such a law on the books in the first place. Harking back to 1967 when the ban took effect, parents frequently gave children dyed chicks for Easter because it was all the rage. But then what? The dye started wearing off, the chicks grew into chickens, and no one was prepared to deal with that. Some hapless chickens probably wound up on the dinner table while others perished because the owners didn't have the foggiest notion of how to care for them. Most likely for that reason and the fact that certain dyes can endanger animals' lives, Dade county vet and legislator Dr. Elton Gissendanner worked tirelessly to pass the law in 1967. During the most recent legislative session, the provision allowing animals to be dyed was added by Broward representative Ellyn Bogdanoff at the request of a Broward county groomer who wanted to be able to dye highlights into the fur of dogs presented in dog shows.
That same astute reader might also ponder why Governor Scott signed the bill that overturns the one on the books, in spite of thousands of protests against allowing animals to be dyed. The bill also ends the ban on selling or giving away chicks before they are 4 weeks old and bunnies before they are 8 weeks old. As of Friday, the governor's office had received 266 calls and 4,315 emails in opposition to the bill. Why did Scott ignore animal activists? The provision for allowing dyeing was added to a larger agricultural bill, and he said it was important to pass it. Shame on Ellyn Bogdanoff for tacking such a ridiculous provision onto an important bill.
Readers, move to Florida if you love superficiality and nonsense because you'll find plenty of it here. Florida politicians can't seem to draw legal redistricting lines or understand that the Stand Your Ground law is fraught with holes as illustrated by the Trayvon Martin debacle. The state has so many yahoos in the legislature that reasonable, logical citizens shake their heads at the antics of the current mob of dummies. Ham on Wry suggests that the efforts of Florida lawmakers to pass ridiculous laws bear the name Trivial Pursuit. It would aptly characterize the year 2011 and thus far in 2012.