Illinois State Senator Bill Brady, who after winning the Republican primary on February 2nd is likely to become the GOP’s gubernatorial nominee, introduced a bill to legalize mass euthanasia of animals in Illinois. The practice has been banned for only eight months. Most states either outlaw gassing completely or have strict regulations on the use of gas chambers.
The questions that the bill’s introduction raises lead to one place and one place only: money. A veterinarian in Brady’s district who used the gas chamber frequently asked the Senator to get the ban lifted. Why Brady felt compelled to listen to one person instead of taking a quick poll of his constituents is beyond comprehension. His actions put him up against groups with very loud voices, such as the ASPCA and the Humane Society, which has more than 400,000 members in Illinois.
Governor Quinn, an avid dog lover, was quick to take advantage of Brady’s giant misstep. And Jordan Matyas, the Illinois state director for the Humane Society, was even quicker to rip the Senator’s actions.
“Under (Brady’s) legislation, you could have 10 dogs in one box, gasping for air, at the same time fighting, at the same time fearing for their lives,” Matyas told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Even if the animals are separated, you still have to run the gas chamber 20 to 40 minutes, which takes a lot more time than an injection.”
I am sure that most of you are shocked to hear that Illinois banned the mass euthanasia of stray animals by way of the gas chamber less than a year ago. Not shocked that the ban was passed, but that Illinois went nearly a decade into the 21st century before halting such a barbaric practice.
Of course, suggesting that the legislation be reversed will not garner much support—especially for a politician whose reasons are purely monetary. If nothing else, Brady would have been wise to consider his gubernatorial aspirations before introducing the bill.
The suggestion becomes even more ludicrous when you consider that, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 54 percent of the households in Illinois have a pet, which amounts to about 6.5 million people—3 million more people than the number who voted in the last election for Illinois governor.
Some say that Brady was quick to take the legislation out of commission, but not quick enough. He has received a great deal of flak, and the criticisms continue to pour in as the fallout from this has yet to go away.
Thankfully, the chances of this subject being broached again with any serious backing behind it are slim to none. –Brendan Quealy