Bill to ban gas chambers in Utah for animal shelters failed

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A bill to ban gas chambers to euthanize pets at animal shelters in Utah failed at the end of last week. The House Government Operations Committee killed SB56 on a tie 4-4 vote. The legislation had previously attracted a majority of votes as it passed in the Senate 19-7 with animal advocates rallying in popular support of the more humane way to end the life of pets at Utah shelters using euthanasia by injection (EBI) to be the only acceptable and humane means of euthanasia.

According to the Salt Lake City Tribune, Utah County Sheriff Jim Tracey opposed- citing he was against the “elimination of choice.”

“We do euthanize with injection, and we also euthanize with the chamber based on the issue of the animal” and how difficult the animal is to handle”, Tracy stated.

In addition the sheriff added that holding an animal and injecting it with a needle to put it to death is riskier to the safety of his staff, and harder on their mental health – meaning it is safer and easier for staff to place animals in  dark, gas chambers.

Senator Pete Knudson (R-Brigham City) refuted Tracey’s claims of safety factors to his staff after reading a letter from Davis County where gas chambers are no longer used and injections were given to euthanize hundreds of raccoons, skunks, feral cats and dozens of injured or hard to handle dogs with no injuries to workers or staff members. In addition no staff members left their jobs since 2014; stating it was more humane to use injections than the slow deaths animals suffer in gas chambers.

According to the Humane Society of the United States, animals are placed in a small box (gas chamber) that is full of the smells of the animals who came before them—many of whom may had urinated or defecated before they died. When animals are placed in the chamber together, they may  fight out of fear and desperation. For several minutes they are wide awake, terrified, clawing, barking, meowing and whining for a way out. They may struggle for air or begin convulsing before finally losing consciousness. In the best of circumstances, the procedure takes minutes, but if the gas chamber has not been properly calibrated, in the cases of shelters with limited resources, the very young, very old, injured and stressed can linger on for longer periods of time and remain conscious in excruciating pain while their bodies slowly shut down.

The American Veterinary Medical Association states euthanasia by injection is the most humane way to end an animal’s life. Even in rural animal shelters, staff members can still show compassion and provide a quiet room, a soft embrace from someone who cares, and a gentle, painless sleep induced by a trained technician. When an animal is injected with proper euthanasia drugs, he loses consciousness in as little as 3-5 seconds.

To contact Sheriff Tracy and respectfully help him understand the horrors of the antiquated gas chambers for defenseless animals, he can be reached at Make sure to also thank Senator Peter Knudson and Representative Lee Perry for sponsoring the bill and ask them to continue their fight to remove all gas chambers in the state. Email and

(Photo of animal gas chambers supplied by the American Humane Organization)

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29 replies
    • pennysdachshund says:

      How RIGHT YOU are… the Mormon’s are death on alcohol… can’t even purchase alcohol in a great portion of the state! Yet they turn the head’s when it comes to the Bigamy Issue that is running rampant in the Utah, with many having far more than three or four wives even!!! the hell with the animal’s they have total disregard.. A young woman who escaped Utah and was hiding in a state neighboring to keep from being married off to a man 25 years older than herself, with 8 other ‘ wives’ told me horror stories about how much disrespect dogs, cats, were given ! Why because they are not a necessity!!! This is sad indeed… death in the Chamber is worse than Torture!!! Three guesses what religion the 4 voting against banning the Gas Chamber ARE!

      • stacy says:

        This is about animals not the Mormon’s belief on marriage. Let’s not go of the track!!!!!! Gas chambers are used in many other states.

  1. Tracy Whitcomb says:

    This is total BULLSHIT!!!! This needs to STOP!!!! No animal deserves to be treated like this. This needs to be stopped!!!

  2. Debbie Dearmore says:

    Sorry sobs number 1 murder should never be allowed but to put it where they are in excruciating pain is inhumane. One of these days someone will put the sheriff in a gas chamber. This really tears at my heart. Poor babie

  3. Barkley's Mom says:

    Talk about inhumane, The House Government Operations Committee should all be stuffed into one of these chambers and see what it’s like! Their reasoning is way off base!

  4. pennysdachshund says:

    Mormon’s are like the Amish as far as I am concerned and they don’t have a lot of compassion for animal life or death!! So what would One Expect out of them in having compassion… NOT

    • pennysdachshund says:

      To STACY: It was stated to show the Character’s of the type of individual’s making this decision : Sorry Lady you don’t have to read what I think if you are that Pious : thank you, an education individual is very aware that upbringing, ethics, compassion, integrity , ALL have a very large part of how a person will treat another human or an animal … my dear!!

  5. Red says:

    I can not believe the ban on gas chambers failed. MAKE ALL THOSE GOVERNMENT IDIOTS go assist in a mass murder of the gas chamber. Let them see the FEAR, see the poor animals shaking…. hear their screams as they convulse.


  6. Dorothy Faye Reynolds says:

    Gas this MFer and get him out of office. he is not an animal lover, he is an abuser and to the safety of the staff, if you do not know how to do your job as if you did’nt how an animal may feel when it is injected with a needle, you need to find another job not dealing with animals. i would love to see you gased.

  7. Mikki says:

    such horror! such unnecessary pain & misery! why not the humane way? the excuse given is ridiculously preposterous

  8. Wemdy says:

    To condemn animals to a slow terrifying painful death for no reason shows there are monsters living in Utah. Surely the people of Utah will not stand for this ? ????

  9. Linda Szymoniak says:

    Every legislator who voted against the ban should have to WATCH a gas chamber in action. Let them see how the animals suffer. Make them watch multiple times and see if they still agree with allowing these torture chambers to remain.

  10. Leeann ivie says:

    Unbelievable. You people are soulless. I hope when you leave this earth you get to suffer like the animals you have decided lives didnt matter .I hope your hell is what you caused for them .

  11. Nancy Raymond says:

    Depending on the issue of the animal????? What kind of asswipe statement is that? Gas chambers are for criminals, not innocent animals – exactly what is wrong with Jim Tracey – did he get a lobotomy? If not, he sure needs one – apparently the state of Utah does not care how cruel gas chambers are – just kill the animal, who cares if it suffers? Obviously Jim Tracy doesn’t.

  12. Solveig Pettersson says:

    Stop this murder on this beautiful animals (dogs) Its a horribel things to do ????????????????????????????????????????

  13. Bette says:

    That is sick
    You make these poor animals scared and they suffer a slow death
    Wtf is wrong with people..i had to recently put one of my cats down because he was very sick. Once they injected my cat he went to sleep within seconds. That’s the proper way to.put animals down
    .if I heard animals clawing. Meowing or anything I would stop it right them and there. They don’t need to suffer like that. Just saying

  14. Robin Summeril says:

    To say it’s easier on the worker, is so freaking wrong. It should be all about the animals. If you can’t take it, you’re in the wrong field. You can show compassion for the animals in the last minute of there life. This is just wrong. I understand you need to do this for a few, but all, is wrong . We are better humans than that.

  15. Bunny Peters says:

    I think these chambers are absolutely disgusting (& especially cruel)……

    I don’t think they are appropriate to use for innocent animals (whose only “crime” is to “exist and be unwanted”….. I would LOVE to see them banned throughout this country!!!


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  1. […] Bill to ban gas chambers in Utah for animal shelters failed – A bill to ban gas chambers to euthanize pets at animal shelters in Utah failed at the end of last week. The House Government Operations Committee killed SB56 on a tie 4-4 vote. The legislation had previously … […]

  2. […] Bill to ban gas chambers in Utah for animal shelters failed – A bill to ban gas chambers to euthanize pets at animal shelters in Utah … County where gas chambers are no longer used and injections were … […]

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