Heart jab illegal in New Mexico
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2004:
ALBUQUERQUE–“You asked whether it is a violation of [New
Mexico] anti-cruelty laws to use intracardiac administration of
euthanasia on a conscious animal in an animal shelter or humane
society facility,” attorney general Patricia Madrid wrote to New
Mexico senate president pro tempore Richard M. Romero on December 8,
“In my judgement,” Mad-rid said, “this procedure–which
causes immediate trauma and death and which is not preceded by
medication that anesthetizes or puts the animal to sleep first–is
Madrid quoted the applicable law to Romero, underlining the
phrase “tormenting an animal.”
“I am aware,” Madrid wrote, “that my legal opinion may
economically adversely impact the majority of animal shelters and
humane facilities in our state. It is not my intention to overly
burden these facilities or portray them as inhumane institutions.”
Madrid said she would be pleased to support a bill that
specifically bans the so-called “heart jab” method of killing animals.
“We believe a case could be made under the animal cruelty
statute,” clarified Samantha Thompson, spokesperson for Madrid,
speaking to Isabel Sanchez of the Albuquerque Journal. “However, it
is not explicit under the law, nor is there legal precedent.
Therefore, it is advisable to clarify the law.”
Romero promised Sanchez that a specific prohibition of
heart-jabbing would be “the first bill we introduce” during the 2004
New Mexico legislative session.
The issue arose as result of lawsuits filed by activist Marcy
Britton against Albuquerque Animal Services and two other New Mexico
animal control agencies.
Madrid’s legal opinion closely parallels an opinion rendered
in January 2002 by California attorney general Bill Lockyer and
deputy attorney general Gregory L. Gonot, at request of California
senate president pro tempore John Burton.
The Illinois legislature banned heart-jabbing in 2001, and
reinforced the original act with HR 648, signed by Governor Rod
Blagojevich on December 30, 2003.