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Brady backs off pet gas chamber bill

Thursday, Feb 25, 2010

* After two years of negotiations, the Humane Society of Illinois succeeded in passing legislation to ban the use of gas chambers to kill several dogs and cats at once. From the June, 2009 press release

The Humane Society of the United States, on behalf of its more than 448,000 supporters in Illinois, commends the state’s General Assembly for passing legislation at the close of the session banning the use of carbon monoxide gas chambers in shelters and animal control facilities. The new law also bans the use of carbon monoxide gas as a form of euthanasia statewide, so puppy mills will no longer be able to use makeshift gas chambers using engine exhaust.

“The Illinois legislature has spoken clearly that in those unfortunate situations where an animal must be euthanized, they deserve that it be done humanely,” said Jordan Matyas, Illinois state director for The HSUS. “The use of the gas chamber is less humane, more expensive, and more time consuming than the use of lethal injection.

Sen. Bill Brady voted against the legislation.

Two days after the February 2nd primary, Brady introduced a bill to re-legalize mass euthanasia via gas chambers. I told subscribers about this situation yesterday, and the Sun-Times and Lee Newspapers picked it up today. From the Sun-Times

The GOP’s likely nominee for governor, state Sen. Bill Brady, came under fire Wednesday from a leading animal-rights group for pushing legislation to allow the mass killing of stray shelter animals in gas chambers.

Brady (R-Bloomington) introduced the legislation sought by an animal-control facility in his district on Feb. 2, two days after the GOP gubernatorial primary that he now leads. […]

“I have no idea why Sen. Brady introduced a bill that would allow as many animals as you want to be put into a gas chamber and they’d be exposed to one another,” said Jordan Matyas, the Humane Society’s state director.

“Under his legislation, you could have 10 dogs in one box, gasping for air, at the same time fighting, at the same time fearing for their lives,” said Matyas, whose group has more than 400,000 members in Illinois. “Even if the animals are separated, you still have to run the gas chamber 20 to 40 minutes, which takes a lot more time than an injection.”


Brady said a veterinarian in his district asked that lawmakers consider making the change. But Wednesday, Brady moved to shelve the legislation.

Brady, the possible GOP candidate for governor, said he wanted to have a debate over how to tweak the plan but pointed criticisms from the Humane Society have killed that possibility.

“It’s not ready,” Brady said of the legislation. “And the political games were distracting from the discussion.”

Since my story appeared, Brady has filed an amendment to shell out the offending language and handed off sponsorship to Sen. John O. Jones.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 54 percent of Illinois households own a pet. That works out to almost 2.5 million households. Average Illinois household size is 2.63, so that means about 6.5 million people have a family pet. That’s almost twice the number of people who voted in the 2006 gubernatorial general election (about 3.5 million).


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:08 am:

    This should be an interesting election.


  2. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:09 am:

    lol. Ya think? Both major party candidates are absolute gold mines.

  3. - Bill - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:10 am:

    Gassing dogs is worse than pulling the plug on grandma. This guy better get a clue or at least hire somebody who has one.

  4. - tominchicago - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:10 am:

    Pat Quinn will no doubt begin to flash his PetSmart discount card at every opportunity now.

  5. - Downstate weed chewing hick - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:10 am:

    Brady needs to promptly get used to being at the other end of the microscope.

  6. - Small Town Liberal - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:11 am:

    I hope whoever wins puts their campaign manager in a high ranking staff position, because their competency is going to be proven by that time.

  7. - Anon - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:12 am:

    I can already see the campaign ads now- “Bill Brady voted to gas your puppy!”

  8. - Stones - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:14 am:

    Speaking as resident of Illinois….I think we’re all Scr***ed

  9. - Democratic Yoda - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:18 am:

    Bill Brady - definitely NOT a compassionate conservative. Instead, he is an advocate for the mass killing of our furry little family friends. Why? Because a veterinarian in his district asked him to do it? Alrighty then……

  10. - Bill - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:19 am:

    These two guys make George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich look like Henry Horner and John Peter Altgeld. It is amateur hour here in the great state of Ill-a-noise.

  11. - cassandra - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:20 am:

    Well, there went my vote. I can’t vote for Quinn–he’s a prisoner of the Machine and the unions. And now I can’t vote for Brady either.

    Stones is right.

  12. - dupage dan - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:23 am:

    These candidates better understand that simply passing gas will result in furious scrutiny.

    I wonder why the HSUS cares about the cost and time consumption of the process? They aren’t footing the bill for this, are they? Wouldn’t anyone running such a “business” want it to be as simple and cost effective as possible? This is quite a sensitive subject especially considering many people think of animals/pets as deserving the same rights as humans. Maybe the HSUS wants pets to have due process rights hearings prior to any euthanasia. Brady should run away as far has he can from this one. Any legislation he introduces will be picked over by a fine toothed comb.

  13. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:30 am:

    Whoops. Sometimes the political instincts fail. This one’s like bad sketch comedy.

  14. - dupage dan - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:31 am:

    Reading some of these comments only proves my case regarding how people feel about their pets. Since euthanasia of these animals is a fact of life I wonder how this could be done properly? The image evoked by learned that certain facilities use vehicle exhaust(!?!?!) is beyond horrific. Comparison with images from the past are inescapable.

    Ideally, it wouldn’t be necessary at all but it is a fact. This is maybe off point so I should be told to shut up. Just wonderin’.

    BTW, I have 2 cats, a bird and a dog. Grew up with pets and have had to put some of them down when their suffering became clear. Even knowing it was the compassionate thing to do didn’t make it easier.

  15. - Aldyth - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:37 am:

    Governor Brady’s first official act would be to declare the year to be 1911. His thinking is certainly in line with what was popular a century ago.

  16. - Capt. Illini - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:37 am:

    The irony is that some reading this story would say to themselves how cruel it is to gas pets, when some would just rather shoot them in their back yards.

    Politically, Brady doesn’t have a clue if he blindly supported legislation like this without thinking about negative reactions, but then this isn’t the first election he’s been through, just the first one he’s almost the front runner for the party…

  17. - just sayin' - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 9:41 am:

    I’m no fan of Bill Brady. But “Bill Brady wants to send cute puppies to the gas chamber.” Seriously? Is that what it’s come to? Really?

    What’s next, he once went hunting and killed Bambi by firing squad?

  18. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 10:02 am:

    The ad will start with a shot of puppies frolicking in the grass. As the voice over talks about Brady’s plans to gas orphan puppies, the color scene will morph into black and white with dark red highlights before it fades to black. The words on the closing screen “If he’s willing to gas puppies, what will he do to kittens?”

  19. - LincolnLounger - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 10:03 am:

    Brady is Not Ready for Primetime quite obviously. He should do his campaign a favor and just stop introducing legislation until after the election. For example, what was the point of introducing legislation to ban gay marriage in Illinois? It’s not on the verge of passing, Bill, and you already have all the votes of the people would would favor it. Meanwhile, another point to make you look too extreme to suburban voters. Downstate may have delivered you the nomination, but ask Topinka if they can elect you in November.

  20. - Vandalia - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 10:06 am:

    Governor Whitney sounds better everyday!

  21. - Irish - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 10:07 am:

    So that’s how Cheney got so powerful in the GOP he went hunting and didn’t shoot a birdy he shot a friend. OMG

  22. - Vote For The Puppies! - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 10:15 am:

    Jerry Clarke has his work cut out for him. He will have to hold Brady’s hand every step of the way and maybe carry a muzzle for when Brady begins barking about something he shouldn’t.

  23. - zatoichi - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 10:24 am:

    Glad to see the Brady camp shows such a deep and immediate understanding the ripple effects of what they say or propose. The small stuff bites as bad as the big stuff. Seems like lots of SNL material coming.

  24. - UI Chancellor - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 10:30 am:

    I see Brady is working hard to improve his 6% with Chicagoland voters… It seems like every suburban family has a dog or cat.

  25. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 10:37 am:

    You Ain’t Gassin’ My Hound Dog

    You ain’t gassin’ my hound dog
    it takes up too much time.
    You ain’t nothin’ but an underdog
    come Election time.
    Well, if that’s you bill Brady
    then you ain’t no friend of mine.

    When they said you was compassionate,
    well, that was just a lie.
    When they said you was no dingbat,
    well, that was just a lie.
    You claim to be prolife and all that,
    but you really are out of your mind.

  26. - Amuzing Myself - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 11:00 am:

    Where was Senate staff when they saw this bill? I mean, really?! Who would read this and thinks it’s a good idea?! Do they not advise their members when something is so obviously a bad move?! No wonder they’re so hopelessly destined to stay the minority party in the Senate.

  27. - Justice - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 11:04 am:

    We have massive debt, we’re losing jobs, our highways and transportation system is falling apart, and we have Bill Brady putting forth legislation to go directly against caring professionals in the field of how best to treat animals humanely. Top that with he is against All abortions and is against civil unions.

    And he is going to lead us out of this fiscal crisis by uniting the state behind him? This man worries me….a lot!

  28. - dupage dan - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 11:44 am:

    =how best to treat animals humanely=

    Just how should we do that, Justice? You don’t even say “put down” or “euthanize”. A local vet sought this legislation. Could a vet be considered to be humane towards pets? Suggest a “humane way”. Look at the cold facts of that process. Then declare it as humane, publicly.

  29. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 12:12 pm:

    ==Where was Senate staff when they saw this bill?==

    They are on leave to work on the campaign side. This is an election year. (Read the blogs from Tue. & Wed., LOL)

  30. - it's true - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 12:15 pm:

    You know Kirk Dillard has gotta be saying right now, “How did I lose to this guy?!?”

    Or, maybe more likely, “When I was Jim Edgar’s first chief of staff, there were no mass gassings of puppies. Barack Obama and I are in agreement on this issue.”

  31. - My Opinion - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 12:20 pm:

    Brady scares me. . . and my daughter’s puppy!

  32. - Dominique - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 1:13 pm:

    Each and every animal cause I donate to sent out a mass e-mail asking all supporters not to vote for Brady yesterday afternoon. May not be game ending but certainly won’t be helpful. They are a passionate group of people

  33. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 1:15 pm:

    Dominique, could you forward me some of those emails please? Thanks. I’ll of course keep your identity confidential.

  34. - Dominique - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 1:32 pm:

    Yes. I am however a techno idiot which is while a loyal fan I rarely post. Meeting with a CapFax regular at 3:30 and will have her assist

  35. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 1:36 pm:


  36. - Moving to Oklahoma - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 2:34 pm:

    This has more than likely sunk the Brady campaign.

  37. - Justice - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 2:35 pm:

    Sorry about that Dupage Dan. I meant to say “how best to treat animals humanely.” Ever own an aging, sick pet?

  38. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 2:40 pm:

    === I wonder why the HSUS cares about the cost and time consumption of the process? ===

    === Since euthanasia of these animals is a fact of life I wonder how this could be done properly? The image evoked by learned that certain facilities use vehicle exhaust(!?!?!) is beyond horrific. ===

    @dupage dan

    The reason the humane society is concerned with how long it takes is that pets SUFFER when you take 20 to 40 minutes to kill them in a gas chamber.

    There is a more humane way - lethal injection - and I’ve got to wonder about who the “veterinarian” is that thinks gas chambers for puppies are a good idea.

    It should be noted that over 100 years ago, animals were considered “mere” property, and if you wanted to beat them, torture them, maim or mutilate them, that was your right.

    The Humane Society changed that.

    Then, they led the fight to repeal the notion that children were mere chattel of their parents, to be be beaten and abused without recourse.

    Hats off to the Humane Society.

  39. - Ghost - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 2:59 pm:

    So the GOP is handed all kinds of political gifts from the blag impeachment to the quinn and Hynes bloddy campaign…. all gifts to help them rebuild.

    And the best they can come up with is Brady? who views gas chambers as a good plan and opposition to gas chambers for pets as a political game? Quinn should play the lottery, with his luck he should win the powerball with one quick pick.

  40. - Loop Lady - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:02 pm:

    Put my beloved pet to sleep three years ago, by lethal injection…it worked instantaneously and she suffered no pain…I had to be sedated, (just joking)and I still miss her everyday…I hate to bring up a sad chapter of history, but the Nazis chose this way of dealing with their camp prisoners as part of their final solution…there’s a bumper sticker in the making in this post somewhere…

  41. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 3:55 pm:

    In a perverse way, I don’t think this hurts Brady as much as you might think.

    Think about it: is it possible to produce a legitimate negative politial spot about gassing puppies? It’s so over the top, no one would believe it. There might even be a backlash.

    It must have been a hilarious “braintrust” meeting at Brady HQ today. Harold Ramis, Ricky Gervais and John Cleese couldn’t have written the script.

  42. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 4:05 pm:

    ===is it possible to produce a legitimate negative politial spot about gassing puppies?===

    Targeted direct mail.

  43. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 4:06 pm:

    Oops. Wait. I forgot. Quinn doesn’t believe in direct mail. Nevermind.

  44. - Whizbang - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 4:13 pm:

    Hey Rich. Remember the old Alice Cooper Song “For Veronica’s Sake?” Add in early release and somebody has a campaign tune.

  45. - Anonymous Coward - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 6:46 pm:

    HSUS Defends Wilkes County Massacre

    February 21, 2009 by Nathan J. Winograd

    Earlier this week, rescue groups throughout the country pleaded with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Wilkes County officials not to put nearly 150 dogs and puppies seized from a dog fighting raid systematically to death. Instead, they asked that the dogs be individually assessed and even extended offers of assistance, support, and resources. But HSUS refused, arguing that all the dogs should be killed, including puppies who were born after the seizure and posed no threat to public safety. Not content to simply embrace the killing, HSUS then one went step further. John Goodwin of HSUS attacked the animal lovers, claiming that they were “clamoring for media attention” and expressing annoyance that, in his view, no one is raising a “fuss” over the other 3,000 dogs this particular community unnecessarily kills each year.

    Across the country, animal advocates, No Kill shelters, and rescue groups, as well as everyday dog lovers condemned the killings and Goodwin’s callous retort about it. Even those outside the humane movement were moved enough to share their overwhelming sadness and anger at the decision. Websites and blogs devoted to photography and other non-animal pursuits interrupted their focus to share their grief over the fate of all those dogs and puppies.

    HSUS Sued for RICO Violations

  46. - Wumpus - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 6:54 pm:

    They are dogs…stray dogs people car emor eabout animals than people. I had to put my dog down last year, so don’t call me unsympathetic, as it won’t work.

    Let’s give Quinn’s convicts a job killing stray/wild animals

  47. - (618) Democrat - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 7:56 pm:

    Bill Brady INTRODUCES a bill. A law. That allows people to kill dogs or cats by the tens, hundreds, thousands,what ever they feel like that day. This in my opinion is just Wrong.

  48. - jaded voter - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 8:02 pm:

    Brady can get gaffes out of the way now when nobody is watching. He will have a good routine down by Labor Day when people tune in.

  49. - Southern Illinois Voter - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 8:34 pm:

    Stones - I have one thing to add to your 9:14 a.m. comment - “again”.

  50. - Leatherneck318 - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 8:50 pm:

    Gotta love the irony of it all…Bill Brady is not going door-to-door playing Whack-A-Mole with Scruffy and Muffin. Nor is he proposing legislation to create a Canine Auschwitz-friendly Illinois. The irony here is that the people clamoring the loudest about SB2999, which gives disgression to the attending vet which method is used, are the same people who support the “right to choose” re: abortion.
    Grand scheme of things, “ideas” like these from constitiuents/contributors get no traction. Best case scenario: it makes for good political theatre. As T.O. would say, “Getcha popcorn ready…

  51. - Amalia - Thursday, Feb 25, 10 @ 11:46 pm:

    Brady, you heartless, thoughtless person. this makes me sick. it is such an inhumane way to put down creatures who only want to give love. this ices it for me. if Brady is the nominee for the Republican party I’m going way beyond my usual work for a gov. candidate.

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