Animal instincts fill Senate
Naming a hoary bat or monk seal as the state mammal. Making it illegal to eat cats, dogs or horses.
Animal issues prowled the state Senate floor yesterday.
Republican Sen. Gordon Trimble accused the Democrats of "cultural insensitivity" by pushing Senate Bill 3146, which would make it a misdemeanor to consume a cat, dog or horse.
"This measure makes us culturally insensitive at best, and blatantly discriminatory at worst, to other cultures and other people," argued Trimble (R, Downtown-Waikiki).
He and Sen. Paul Whalen (R, Milolii-Waimea) were the only no votes on the bill that was passed to the House for further consideration.
Another Republican, Sen. Sam Slom, tried to get attention for a forgotten state mammal, the Hawaiian hoary bat.
Slom (R, Diamond Head-Hawaii Kai) said SB 2465, which would make the monk seal the state mammal, was confusing because the state has already designated the humpback whale as the state marine mammal and the seal also swims in the ocean.
The bat, however, Slom said is a true Hawaiian land animal and deserved recognition.
"Who speaks for the hoary bat, Madame President? I do," said Slom as he unfurled a poster of the bat named for the frosted color of its hair. Slom then voted for the seal bill, which also was sent to the House.