In Utah, state Rep. Carl Oda (R-Clearfield) has authored a bill that, if passed, will enable residents of the state to kill feral animals, including cats, "by shooting, clubbing or decapitating" them. (Source) Not surprisingly, Oda has been bombarded with emails from animal rights activists recently. Of the 500 such emails he's received in recent days, about 50 of have been "nasty, vile and vicious." As Oda revealed to the Salt Lake Tribune:
Some e-mails were on the edge. Some said ‘I’d rather see you dead than a cat.' They didn’t say they were coming to hurt me, but that they’d rather see me dead. These are the same people that want to put animals above human beings, who really would want to see a human being dead rather than an animal dead.
Blogger Amy Boshnack, who "is not an animal rights activist by any stretch of the imagination," put it best when she explained the ultimate significance of this law:
This proposed law is over-the-top, especially since the animal doesn't even have to be noticeably aggressive or sick to be shot. It just has to be considered, by the shooter, to be feral. It seems terribly dumb to give rights to every person in the state to shoot or kill these animals by way of clubbing, decapitation, or a bow and arrow. Yes, you read that correctly. I mean, if you can't afford a gun you should be able to participate too! (Source)
The good news is that Oda's bill has triggered a firestorm of criticism. Even the moderate Ogden Standard Examiner editorialized:
Davis County state Rep. Curt Oda is simply not qualified to make decisions as to how feral animals should be killed. His proposal to change Utah animal cruelty laws to allow feral animals to be quickly killed -- in a violent manner -- should die in the Legislature for lack of oxygen.
We can only hope this bill dies. But I am familiar enough with Utah to know that this bill stands a good chance of passing. This is the same state whose Supreme Court in 2006 overruled a ban on students bringing guns onto the University of Utah's campus. (Source) Alas, allowing Utahns to be animal-murdering vigilantes can't be that far off.