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Easter: Animal rights groups protest dyeing chicks (VIDEO)

The dyed chicks look like Easter candy come to life, but animal rights groups say dyeing them is cruel.
Dyeing chicks illegal animal rights groupsEnlarge
Chicks, that are dyed with artificial colors, are sold at a street market in Beirut on March 28, 2012, to celebrate the Christian occasion of Easter. Animal rights groups are protesting the repeal of a law that banned dyeing chicks in Florida. (JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)

Dyeing eggs has long been an Easter family tradition, along with egg hunts and the mass consumption of neon-colored, animal-shaped marshmallows.

Animal rights groups are up in arms about another kind of dyeing... dyeing live chicks.

The New York Times reported that Florida recently passed a bill overturning a 45-year-old ban on dyeing animals, causing outrage among animal rights groups.

Don Anthony of the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida, told The Times, "Humane societies are overflowing with these animals after Easter every year," referring to little chicks that are dyed pastel and jewel shades, either by injecting the dye into an incubating egg or spraying the hatchling. Poultry farmers claim the practice is safe and doesn't harm the chick, whereas critics say the dyes are toxic and the process is stressful.

The retired legislator who proposed the ban in Florida in 1967, Elton Gissendanner, said he did so because many animals were not surviving the dyeing process, according to The Sun Sentinel.

"Since 1967, I've never had one complaint about this law. It has not been touched till now," he said.

More on GlobalPost: Florida man Reginald Owen Sear to get 2 years for killing bunny rabbits with his hands

The Republican state senator, Ellyn Bogdanoff, who tacked an amendment lifting the ban on to an agriculture bill did not realize it would also allow bunnies and chicks to be sold when they were just days old, according to The Sun Sentinel. Her legislative aide said, "Oops. That's an unintended consequence. We had no clue."

Daphna Nachminovitch, the vice president of cruelty investigations at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, said, "The fact that these animals are going to be dyed like Easter eggs makes them more likely to be bought on impulse and then discarded," according to The Sun Sentinel.

At least 19 states, including New York and California, have outlawed the dyeing of animals, according to PETA officials.

It is undeniable, they are adorable.

Do you think people should be allowed to dye chicks and bunnies if it's proven to be safe? Is it fun or cruel?