If I didn’t know any better, I’d congratulate Utah republicans for at least being consistent in their ultra-conservative, anti-choice beliefs by spreading it to all species. But alas, that was not the intention of this new law.
They’ve preemptively passed a law to stop animal rights activists from distributing birth control to deer populations in order to bring their population down below the legal level for hunting to be allowed. While this has never happened before, it’s a common fear that activists will someday destroy hunters’ “way of life.”
Let’s get this straight: hunters claim to engage in healthy population control, but they want to make sure that new, more humane technology cannot be used to control deer populations — essentially saying that hunting is the only answer.
Under Senate Bill 13, only those authorized by state wildlife department officials can administer birth control to animals. The bill passed 67 to 5 and awaits Governor Jon Huntsman’s signature to make it law.
South Carolina passed a similar law last year. That law was in reaction to a successful study that began in 2004 where deer were tranquilized with contraceptives on Fripp Island under vertnary and scientific supervision. The island had over 400 deer whent he study began, but after injecting the deer, the population is much smaller.
South Carolina politicans said they worried that the contraceptives could somehow transfer to humans and have an impact on human fertility, so they limited the use to certain permitted instances, including on Fripp Island.
While the Utah law does allow for government officials to use animal contraceptives, it’s clear that they do not want to. Hunters are afraid that the science will develop faster than imagined, leaving hunting exposed as the cruel hobby it really is.
Photo Credit: shellorz on Flickr under Creative Commons license