Friday, February 8, 2013

The Sky Is Falling!!! - CAPA Drama

It seems fitting that on the day CAPA was introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives (H.F. No. 391), Delaware was yet again paying the price for this awful piece of legislation.  I'm sure most of us remember the story of Chicken Little, and that seemed to be tone of the day here in Delaware.  No-Kill activists contacting the governor's office, legislators, and who knows who else.

Gas Chamber Panic Sets In

On Wednesday, No-Kill Delaware posted the following on their Facebook page.

Hours later, Kevin Usilton emailed No-Kill Delaware that gassing was still legal, and as a result of CAPA.  While he was in part correct that a section of the old Chapter 80 language was removed that referenced decompression chambers, and that gas chambers are legal in Delaware, both sides are incorrect in their analysis of the legislation.

In fact, CO2 gas chambers have never been banned in Delaware for animal shelters.  No shelters use them, but that was done by choice, not by legal mandate.  Apparently someone in Washington DC knew this (HSUS), but there seems to be a disconnect in Delaware when it comes to reading legislation.

The key issue here was that decompression chambers are not the same thing as a CO2 gas chamber.  Both sides merely needed to read the through the AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia that was listed under the legislation.  Actually, they didn't even need to read it.  They could have simply searched the document for chamber and decompression as I did, and they would have found that decompression chambers are considered an unacceptable method of euthanasia, and that CO2 is listed as acceptable under certain conditions.  That would have given them some hint that a decompression chamber is not the same as a CO2 chamber.  And because decompression chambers are listed as unacceptable under the AVMA Guidelines, they are in essence still banned, even under CAPA.  Since I know Mr. Usilton has brought up the issue at one of the task force meetings, and it wasn't clarified by the writer or legislators.  So it appears that the decompression chamber ban is still in place despite the language removal under CAPA, and that it was not by design, but merely by blind luck.

(c)                 Euthanasia Method and Procedure.
(i)                   The Department shall promulgate regulations regarding acceptable methods of euthanasia and regarding sanitation and ventilation of euthanasia areas.  The methods included shall be approved or conditionally approved by the most recent AVMA Guidelines on Euthanasia.
(ii)                 Any animal shelter performing euthanasia shall have a current policy and procedure manual regarding euthanasia.  The policy and procedure manual shall set forth the shelter’s equipment, process, and the procedures for individual separation of animals.
(iii)                Euthanasia must be performed by:
                                                           (a)      A licensed veterinarian;
                                                           (b)      A nationally certified euthanasia technician; or
                                                           (c)      A person certified by a licensed veterinarian, after passing both a written and practical examination, as proficient to perform euthanasia.  Training and certification requirements may be established by regulation.
(iv)               Following their injection, animals shall be lowered to the surface on which they are being held and shall not be permitted to drop or otherwise collapse without support.
(v)                 The trained staff member performing the euthanasia shall remain in attendance between the time procedures to euthanize the animal are commenced and the time death occurs, and shall verify death has occurred using methods to be determined by regulation.”
Section 4.  Amend the newly designated §8006, Chapter 80, Title 3 of the Delaware Code by deleting the phrase, “Use of decompression chamber to be prohibited;” in the title thereof, and by deleting subsection (a) and redesignating the remaining subsections accordingly.

Taxpayers Dollars At Work Spinning Wheels

So once the panic had truly set in, it was time to start yelling "the sky is falling, the sky is falling!!"

The posts telling people to contact every level of state government began.  Below are some of them.

No-Kill Delaware Blog Post 2 - More on Kent County SPCA, Gas Chambers and CAPA

Based on the posts, it seem that alot of state man hours were lost in various agencies today as a result of yet another CAPA drama.  Legislators and their aids, state workers in the governor's office, and the Department of Agriculture are all listed on these posts. No wonder the governor needed to make the temporary tax increases permanent.  

Sadly, wouldn't the Dept of Agriculture's time been better spent keeping our food supply safe?  Wouldn't the governors office and legislators have been more productive creating policy that would bring decent paying jobs into the state.  No, in the world of CAPA, everyone was and probably still are, investigating an issue that doesn't exist. 

And on a side note, keep in mind, that No-Kill Delaware and the Pro/Con page are the same pages that consistently claim that they have investigated an issue, and know better than the rest of us what our laws say. That have said that both Mr. Usilton and I were wrong about Title 9 humane care standards being mandated under dog control, but then whoops it turned out we were correct.  And amusingly, they have lamented that the press does not take them seriously.  Maybe the press has just grown tired of being fed incorrect information, and no longer see them as credible.  I'm sure the press can see that if KCSPCA was performing euthanasia by injection before without a ban on CO2 gas chanbers, that No-Kill Delaware's fear mongering has no credence.

I'm hopeful that Minnesota will see the light and not pass CAPA. If they do, every page of this blog regarding CAPA will eventually be their future.