Euthanasia and Eagles

This was brought to my attention last night at a chapter meeting of the Michigan Vet. Med. Association. Apparently there is a link between the improper disposal of euthanized pets and the death of eagles and other wildlife that may consume the pets later on.

At the same time there comes the proposal of Davie’s law. From just skimming the bill it appears that this law would require injectable euthanasia of shelter pets in place of using gas chambers or other means. I don’t disagree with that law for shelter pets only, and if they are being properly disposed of. However, at the vet meeting they suggested a similar law would expand to require injectable euthanasia of all animals. I don’t see that ever happening due to rights of owners to do what they want with their own pets. I can’t find any information on such a proposal so I suspect the vets were overreacting to Davie’s law. Obviously such a requirement would make the incidence of accidental deaths more common and could ridiculously affect the safety of our food supply.

In any case – please be aware of this issue. I know it isn’t pleasant to think about but it obviously happens and could be prevented.


4 thoughts on “Euthanasia and Eagles

  1. Jean

    Does this also cover livestocks you need to put down? Where do you draw a line between a pet or a livestock? Does this also cover using firearm to quickly dispose of them? Could it be as simple as teaching people HOW to properly dispose of carcasses? What is the difference between those that died from “natural causes” or assisted-die? Or it is only those animals that has been drugged that causes couple eagles to die also? If so, why not banning these drugs for unlicensed use? Why not for the vet to also supervise the burial to be sure it is done right? Your post only stirred many questions and not enough answers.

  2. Everydaywoman

    Jena,How sad. Doesn’t it all come down to proper disposal of pets that have passed, not in what manner they were euthanized, if that was the case?Our animals on our farm are part of our family, of course, and we’re sure that they get a proper burial, when their time comes. I’m sure many pet owners would be outraged if their pets were not properly disposed of when they leave the euthanization to professionals.I’ll have to check out more of your links. Thanks for bringing this to everyone’s attention.

  3. Jena

    I’m sorry that I don’t have more answers to all of these questions, I just wanted to share what I knew. If this issue touches your heart then by all means, do some more research.My understanding of the “Davie’s law” is that it would apply only to shelter animals and at this point, only in North Carolina. The goal of that particular proposal is to stop the use of gas chambers as a way to euthanize animals, making injectable pentobarbital the only acceptable method.The problems with wildlife only occur when animals injected with pentobarbital are consumed by that wildlife and enough pentobarbital is ingested to kill that wildlife.It definitely could be as simple as teaching proper disposal of injected animals, and that was the point of my post. If you are unfortunate enough to have an animal euthanized either take proper measures (usually burial or incineration) on your own or leave the animal with your vet and inquire about their disposal procedures.I am quite sure that pentobarbital is only available for licensed use either by a veterinarian or a shelter. As a vet clinic employee I certainly don’t want to be supervising all burials. When people leave animals with us they are cremated in a very respectful manner. If an owner chooses to take their pet home it becomes their responsibility. All we can do is educate them on this issue, and of course that is going to be a touchy subject at the time.As I said in my post, I couldn’t find any information on proposals that threaten to extend this requirement to all animals (i.e. livestock). That was simply the fear of the vets at this meeting, and frankly, I think they are overreacting. I just wanted everyone to <>be aware<> that such issues exist and be prepared in case they ever come up on the ballot.Ruth, I’m glad you are doing it right on your farm.

  4. Jean

    Thank you for taking time to attempt to clear up questions! I think I now see where this situation is. I don’t live on a farm but grew up on “hobby” farm not far from Owosso, MI. So, all family farms holds a special spot in my heart.


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