Your Calls Improved Oregon's Proposed Devocalization Ban, Don't Let PRO-DEVOCALIZATION Lobbyists CORRUPT IT!
On June 4, Oregon state lawmakers heeded humane constituents' calls for a meaningful ban on devocalization. They closed loopholes in a bill that otherwise would have allowed devocalization of dogs and cats for their owners' failure to care for, train and supervise them responsibly.
BUT...instead of passing HB3494B, the Oregon Senate listened to the AKC--which supports devocalization--and sent this humane legislation to the Rules Committee "for work."
That could spell disaster for dogs and cats.
Unless lawmakers hear from you NOW, they could amend this bill in ways that will enable and encourage devocalization--throwing dogs' and cats' vocal cords under the scalpel simply for communicating.
Who benefits from devocalization?
Breeders who like to profit from but not hear their many animals--or who sell animals bred for frequent barking or meowing, advising hesitant customers to have the voice surgically "softened."
Lazy pet owners--having their animals' vocal cords cut is easier than committing to responsible care, training and supervision.
Vets who perform it--even though they know it's always dangerous, potentially lethal, regardless of the amount of tissue cut, the surgical route or the vet's skill.
Only animals suffer. Please use your voice to protect them.
LIVE IN OREGON? TAKE 1 MINUTE, MAKE 1 CALL NOW!
AND WHEREVER YOU LIVE, GET THE WORD OUT Copy and paste this link on your social media pages: http://stopdevocalizing.weebly.com/oregon-act-now-to-end-devocalization
Call the office of Rules Committee Chair Sen. Diane Rosenbaum at (503) 986-1700during regular business hours.Politely ask that she: "approve HB3494B as written OR let the bill die. If amended to allow vocal cord surgery as behavior intervention under any circumstance, the law would condone an act of animal cruelty. Oregon is better than that."
GOT ANOTHER MINUTE? Call Senate President Peter Courtney's office, (503) 986-1600, during regular business hours.
Thank Sen. Courtney for voting for HB3494B, which gives dogs and cats real protection from devocalization AND
Politely say you want the bill to pass in this form or not at all.
You MUST say the"B" following the bill number when you voice your support for the bill; "B" designates the version that shuts the door on devocalization. An earlier version did not.
AMENDMENTS THAT HURT ANIMALS ARE RARELY OBVIOUS. HERE ARE SEVEN. These and other sneaky provisions can be added at any time--and will HURT MORE animals than having no law. That's why HB3494B MUST pass as written or not at all.
1) "Allowable as a Last Resort/Final Alternative to Euthanasia" (or "Allowable if Behavior Modification Fails") is Unenforceable, Baseless and Encourages Devocalization. Why?
Vets can't possibly know--and some won't ask--if devocalization is a last resort or a first one. Clients are unlikely to tell their vet that they don't provide the exercise, companionship and mental stimulation dogs (AND cats) require--and will ask for by barking/meowing if deprived. Even receipts from a trainer don't mean the advice was followed. Training takes time and effort. Having an animal’s vocal cords cut is easy for lazy owners, profitable for vets. Only the animal suffers.
NO vet is forced to cut healthy vocal cord tissue OR kill a healthy animal because a client says to. It's a choice. Shelters say rehoming is the humane "final alternative." Many are now "no kill," and unlike some breeders, who recommend devocalizing the animals they sell, all responsible shelters work with animals to resolve behavior issues.
Devocalized animals are convenience-euthanized and surrendered despite--some because of--their altered voices. Devocalization masks the symptom but doesn't relieve the underlying problem, typically boredom, loneliness or other distress. That gives animals little choice but to act out in more destructive ways, such as biting or house-soiling--the top reasons dogs and cats are surrendered or convenience-euthanized. Some devocalized animals are euthanized when owners can't or won't pay for costly surgery to remove scar tissue from their airways.
Some dog AND cat breeds are more talkative than others. "Final alternative" allows their vocal cords to be cut for the benefit of people who buy, adopt or breed them despite this genetic predisposition.
"Final alternative" encourages devocalization by legitimizing this act of cruelty as acceptable under the law. Should vets amputate dogs' and cats' legs for jumping on the sofa? Devocalization ("bark softening," "voice reduction") is just as cruel and far more lethal!
2) "Allowable for Medical Necessity" is a Loophole UNLESS Defined As “to treat a PHYSICAL illness, disease or injury or correct a congenital abnormality causing or which may reasonably cause the animal physical harm or pain.” That is the current wording of HB3494B. It should NOT be changed because:
"Medically necessary (or beneficial)" without the definition is open to interpretation, enabling vets to perform elective voice-altering surgery without any restriction.
Removing the word “physical” lets vets claim the animal has a so-called “behavioral” illness. That's absurd: Barking/meowing are not pathology. They're communication that only becomes problematic when an owner doesn't provide responsible care--including sufficient exercise, mental stimulation and companionship--or keeps too many animals. Even anxiety can be managed humanely with medication-facilitated behavior modification under the guidance of a veterinary behaviorist.
4) Banning Devocalization But Allowing "Bark Softening,” “Voice Reduction” Or Other Euphemism is a Loophole. Why?
They're the same thing!No matter what you call it, the soft tissue of the vocal apparatus must be cutto alter the voice. That's dangerous regardless of the surgical route, through the open mouth or an incision in the neck; the amount of tissue cut; or the instrument used, even laser.
Lifelong misery or horrific death are common consequences. There's NO way to prevent scar tissue from developing in the throat, which can cause the anguish of relentless coughing fits, chronic throat inflammation and impaired breathing--or a terrifying death from choking on food.
Damage to the larynx, another risk, can cause the animal to inhale food, liquids and even vomit into the lungs. That's not just painful and frightening: It can lead to fatal pneumonia.
4) Substituting "Pet" or "Companion Animal" for "Dogs and Cats” Leaves Those Used for Breeding With NO Protection. These animals—devocalized so they'll be quiet in kennels or the show ring—are not considered pets.
5) Applying the Law ONLY to Breeders is a Loophole Too! Under this proposal, only people who breed animals would not be allowed to have them devocalized. BUT…
There is no certain way to identify breeders who wish to skirt the law by claiming they're “just” pet owners—breeders aren't licensed.
Even worse, this proposal would encourage more devocalization by legitimizing it as an acceptable option for pet owners under the law.
6) Applying the Law ONLY to Puppy Mills is a Loophole. Puppy mills are just a small segment of those who have animals devocalized. A law this narrow would leavenearlyALL dogs and cats UNPROTECTED
7) Applying the Law ONLY to Landlords is a Loophole. This legislation simply prohibits landlords from requiring devocalization. Like most empty laws, it sounds good at first blush. BUT…
Lease requirements are an insignificant cause of devocalization. The real reason dogs and cats are subjected to voice-altering surgery is for the benefit of irresponsible pet owners, whether in apartments or single-family houses; breeders who like to profit from but not hear their many animals; and research labs that test on dogs and cats. Landlord-only laws do NOT protect these animals.
The recourse for landlords is to disallow all pets. So what would this law accomplish? Nothing--except reduce the likelihood that lawmakers will pass a real devocalization ban in the future.