Protecting animals from antifreeze becomes law in Maine!

In March of 2007, Maine Friends of Animals sponsored a bill entitled, “An Act to Protect Household Pets and Other Animals from Poisoning,” which addressed the effects of animals ingesting car antifreeze.   

L.D. 758 Bill Summary (Sponsor: Rep. Emily Cain):  “To reduce the risk of poisoning of household pets and other animals, this bill requires that engine coolant or antifreeze that contains  more than 10% ethylene glycol or propylene glycol must include an aversive agent that makes it taste bitter so that it is rendered unpalatable.”  

Without the bittering agent, the antifreeze liquid is sweet; by some estimates, nearly 10,000 dogs and cats in America are poisoned annually by ingesting even very small amounts of antifreeze; many wildlife also die agonizing deaths ingesting the liquid. The cost to add the bittering agent was minimal, but the industry, led by the Consumer Specialty Products Association, lobbied against the bill. The bill did pass, but with a caveat that three other Northeastern states must enact a similar law first. 

On January 2011, Massachusetts will sign an antifreeze bill into law. In recent years, 12 states have passed antifreeze legislation, including New Jersey and Vermont, equaling the three states in the Northeast and therefore requiring Maine to enact L.D 758. A pleasant surprise, knowing Maine helped lead the way in this legislation which may ultimately become national law. 

 

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