SF Mulls Ban on Releasing Butterflies

Butterfly releases at weddings, funerlas may have environmental cost.

By Chris Roberts
|  Tuesday, Dec 3, 2013  |  Updated 4:20 PM PDT
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SF Mulls Ban on Releasing Butterflies

AP

Monarch butterflies gather on a tree branch.

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The next ban in San Francisco could be on butterflies.

It has been common practice since the 1990s to release some monarch butterflies or other species of butterfly at weddings or other events.

However, activists for butterflies say that the practice is "inhumane" and have called for its immediate cessation, according to the San Franciso Examiner.

"They are not creatures to be owned. They are not party favors for the human circus," said Liam O'Brien, a lepidopterist who has worked since 2008 to put a ban on the practice.

The Commission on the Environment could vote as early as Tuesday to ask the Board of Supervisors to halt the practice, the newspaper reported.

Among the things banned in San Francisco, according to the Examiner: public nudity, Segways on sidewalks, soda vending machines (but only on city property), Styrofoam containers, declawing cats, and feeding the Telegraph Hill parrots.

The North American Butterfly Association and the Bay Area’s Bay Nature Institute both support a halt to butterfly releases, which is being opposed by butterfly breeders who supply the creatures.
 

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