(Mar. 7, 2008) — OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington lawmakers have approved a bill that will save countless animal lives and reduce the number of childhood emergencies with the state Senate's passage today of Substitute House Bill 2996 by an overwhelming vote of 47-0. The House of Representatives had previously passed the bill, by a wide margin of 96 to 1 in February.
The bill is now headed to the Governor's desk for her signature.
The bill, which requires an aversive agent be added to antifreeze products, was championed by Rep Liz Loomis (D-44), and has been endorsed by the Humane Society Legislative Fund, The Humane Society of the United States and the Consumer Specialty Products Association.
"Poisoning occurs with this product because it is often inadvertently spilled in our driveways or left in open containers in our garages," said Sara Amundson, executive director of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. "In addition to these accidents, we know of numerous cases, including one in Spanaway in 2006, where an individual deliberately left out a concoction of chicken and antifreeze that resulted in the death of three of her neighbor's cats."
The bill would require that engine coolant/antifreeze that is more that 10 percent ethylene glycol must also contain denatonium benzoate, the world's bitterest known substance, to render it unpalatable. Hundreds of children and thousands of animals, including companion animals and endangered species, are accidentally poisoned each year from ingesting antifreeze. Its sweet taste attracts them, but less than a teaspoon can be fatal. One survey found that two out of three veterinarians see at least one accidental ethylene glycol poisoning each year.
"We're very grateful to Representative Loomis for her leadership on this important piece of legislation," said Inga Gibson, Washington state director for The Humane Society of the United States. "It will help prevent many unnecessary deaths every year."
Media contact: Martin Montorfano: 301-258-3152
The Humane Society Legislative Fund is a social welfare organization incorporated under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code and formed in 2004 as a separate lobbying affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. The HSLF works to pass animal protection laws at the state and federal level, to educate the public about animal protection issues, and to support humane candidates for office. On the web at www.hslf.org.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 10.5 million Americans, or one of every 30. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.