In a stunning course-correction, PETA has actually agreed with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) in its assessment that homeowners should humanely kill green iguanas on their own property whenever possible. The FWC website describes the overly-abundant creature as “an invasive species in Florida and are not native to our state. They can cause considerable damage to infrastructure, including seawalls and sidewalks. This species is not protected in Florida except by anti-cruelty law.”
As one might imagine, the encouragement to kill the invasive species was met with an uproar from the animal rights crowd, including a petition claiming, “The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is calling for a mass public slaughter of Iguanas.”
National animal rights groups have also gotten in on the act. Humane Society of the United States president Kitty Block issued a statement saying the policy was an irresponsible directive that could lead to the killing of other reptiles, according to an article in the Miami New Times.
Perhaps the most puzzling response came from PETA – who sent a letter to the FWC urging the Commission to provide public instruction on the humane methods of killing iguanas. ““If the Commission insists on urging inexperienced and untrained homeowners to kill iguanas, it must first provide accurate and detailed explanations of the methods of killing them that are acceptable as well as those that are not,” the letter stated.
While the PETA letter was fairly well-reasoned, it was a serious departure from the animal rights group’s stance of animals before humans. Actually, “all other animals before humans” would be more accurate. The question is, why? Is it a nod to their own miserable history in running kill-shelters for dogs and cats, or is there really a glimmer of common sense beginning to emerge? Only time will tell – any bets?