Idaho will scrap shredders in 2018, state officials announced Thursday, a move that officials hope will help reduce health and safety risks to its residents and visitors.
The Idaho State Department of Health and Welfare will also suspend shredding programs for public holidays, and will begin removing shredding equipment from state parks.
The move comes as the state faces rising health and respiratory threats, according to a news release from the department.
The state’s health department said shredding operations are no longer allowed at state parks or in the city of Boise.
“Shredding operations, which have been an integral part of the Idaho experience for generations, are no more,” said the release.
Shredders have been banned in other parts of the country for years, but Idaho officials say Idahoans’ health and wellbeing are being harmed by the activities.
Shredders shredding is a tradition in Idaho and the state has long been home to a large number of them.
But the shredding program was removed by the state’s medical examiner, who said it is not a viable alternative to public health measures.
“The medical examiner determined that the shreddings are not medically effective,” the release said.
The medical exam concluded that the “risk of adverse health outcomes is high.”
The shredding of small pets has become a hot-button issue as some people argue that it is cruel and inhumane.
Idaho’s legislature recently passed a bill banning the activity, and a federal appeals court ruled last year that the state cannot ban it.
Idaho lawmakers are now reviewing the case.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction,” said state Sen. Paul Clements, a Democrat from the Boise area.
“But I do not know how the legislature will actually do this.
There are no legislative leaders willing to take this on.”