Dyeing Chicks Legal in Florida? Not in Time for Easter

By Andrew Chow, Esq. on April 04, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A legal dogfight could soon be hatching in Florida, where state lawmakers repealed a decades-old ban on dyeing animals. But don't expect a deluge of brightly dyed chicks this Easter.

Florida's governor must still approve the repeal of the state's 45-year-old ban on dyeing animals, which would then be lifted July 1, UPI reports. So Florida's chirping chickadee population can still expect a dye-free Easter this weekend.

Come next Easter, however, animal-rights activists fear Florida could see a boom in brightly dyed chicks, along with other animal breeds. But don't expect activists to roll over and "dye" so easily.

The Animal Rights Foundation of Florida is asking the governor to veto the animal-dyeing bill. In addition to allowing animal dyeing, the law would also lift a ban against selling baby animals as pets, according to the Foundation's website.

The drive to repeal the animal-dyeing law wasn't even related to Easter chicks at first. It was a dog groomer who complained the law prohibited dog owners from entering their pets in beauty contests, UPI reports.

"This law has protected thousands of animals from neglect and abuse, and it shouldn't be lifted on the whim of one dog groomer who wants to dye poodles purple," the Animal Rights Foundation's spokesman said.

Still, poultry farmers who sell dyed Easter chicks insist dyeing isn't harmful. Chicks shed their dyed fluff in a few weeks, clearing the way for normal-colored feathers to grow in, The New York Times reports. About half of U.S. states allow animal dyeing, but a similar number make it illegal, The Times reports.

Yes, feathers have been ruffled in Florida, but there are ideas to revise the animal dyeing law -- to allow dog dyeing, but not poultry, for example. But until lawmakers peck at those revisions, the fate of brightly dyed Easter chicks and other animals in Florida lies in the governor's hands.

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