New Mexico ends gassing just ahead of big gamecock bust
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2009:
SANTA FE–New Mexico Gov-ernor Bill
Richardson on April 7, 2009 signed a bill making
New Mexico the 18th U.S. state to ban gassing
dogs and cats.
The bill allocates $100,000 to help the
last four shelters in the state that use gas
chambers convert to using lethal injection.
Richardson also endorsed a bill that will
permit state-licensed euthanasia technicians to
buy and use euthanasia drugs. The technicians
need not be veterinarians and need not work in
the presence of a vet.
Richardson signed both bills on the same
day that Doña Ana County animal control
supervisor Curtis Childress disclosed that his
staff had killed 618 chicks, hens, and roosters
who were seized from seven sites in a series of
raids on suspected cockfighters.
Four men were arrested. The suspects
surrendered the birds to the county.
Albuquerque animal advocate Marcy Britton
questioned the killing. Britton contended in a
handwritten letter to ANIMAL PEOPLE, accompanied
by supporting documents, that efforts to enforce
the 2007 New Mexico ban on cockfighting are
taking resources away from other humane law
enforcement priorities, including bringing
shelter management up to par.
Many of the birds seized in cockfighting
raids are believed to have been dosed with drugs
which under U.S. law may not be given to animals
meant for human consumption. Childress told
Diane Alba of the Las Cruces Sun-News that the
USDA would not allow such birds to be adopted
out, lest some might eventually be eaten.