February 17, 2011
Animal Advocates Lobby Georgia Lawmakers for Legislation that Protects Children and Animals
The Humane Society of the United States urges support for H.B. 40,“Chief’s Law”
Citizens from across Georgia participating in Humane Lobby Day 2011 will meet with lawmakers Thursday at the state capitol to urge them to pass HB 40, or “Chief’s Law,” which would require that antifreeze sold in Georgia include the addition of a bittering agent to prevent children and animals from being poisoned by the sweet-tasting liquid.
Ethylene glycol is a toxic, colorless and odorless liquid found in antifreeze with a sweet taste. It takes a very small amount of ethylene glycol for poisoning to occur and can lead to kidney failure in children and death in animals.
In 2008, a constituent approached Rep. Tommy Benton, R- District 31, after her 90 lb. German shepherd, "Chief," died after being intentionally poisoned with antifreeze. After watching her beloved dog die a painful death, she was determined to stop this from happening again in Georgia. The bill has passed the House the last two years, but has yet to make it to the Senate floor for a vote.
“It is time for Georgia’s children and animals to be protected from the harmful effects of antifreeze poisoning,” said Laura Bevan, eastern regional director for The Humane Society of the United States. “Fourteen other states have enacted this legislation and it is time for Georgia to do the same.”
Many Georgians remember the case of Lynn Turner, a 911 operator who was convicted for the murder of police officer Glenn Turner and firefighter Randy Thompson after she poisoned both men with antifreeze. Glenn Turner’s family supports HB 40 and hope for its passage during the 2011 Georgia General Assembly. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta is also supporting HB 40.
Georgia is currently ranked number 27 in the country on animal welfare issues, according to a 2010 annual survey. The HSUS works with animal advocates and state legislators to enact laws protecting animals from cruelty, combating animal fighting, halting wildlife abuse and more.
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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.