Local group fights for animal rightsPublished 8:30am Tuesday, December 21, 2010
By ASHLEIGH STAPLES/Guest Columnist
Fighting for animal rights is the goal of the new Alabaster-based political action committee, Alabama Voters for Responsible Animal Legislation.
Alabama Voters for Responsible Animal Legislation is working to impact laws regarding animal abuse and animal welfare in shelters and humane societies.
This nonpartisan committee hopes to work with Alabama legislatures in the upcoming session to support bills that would strengthen animal cruelty laws, prohibit the euthanizing of animals in gas chambers and establish requirements for shelters and humane societies.
“It is the first organization of its kind in Alabama,” the organization stated in a press release. “AVRAL believes the current approach to animal welfare in Alabama is inefficient, too costly for taxpayers and does little to address pressing animal welfare issues in the state.”
Outlawing carbon monoxide gas chambers as a method of euthanizing animals will be one of the committee’s first goals.
Five gas chambers have been located in Alabama, and the Alabama Voters for Responsible Animal Legislation says there could be as many as 16 gas chambers.
More humane means of euthanizing animals, such as lethal injection, would be ideal, according to the committee.
Not only would lethal injection, be less costly, but it would also be more humane.
Junior Samantha Vernon of Thompson High School said she supports the group’s goals of treating animals more humanely.
“I don’t think animals should be inhumanely put down and I think they should all be given a chance,” Vernon said.
Alabama Voters for Responsible Animal Legislation will also be trying to get more animals a second chance at life by reducing the intake of animals in shelters.
In 2008, Alabama took in about 160,000 animals. Of that number, about 120,000 were euthanized.
The committee is looking for volunteers to coordinate voting blocs and distribute literature.
For more information about the group, visit its website at Alabamavotesforanimals.org/index.php.
Ashleigh Staples is a junior and a member of the Thompson High School newspaper staff.