Gas chambers in Utah animal shelters soon to be banned

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It’s been eight long years in Salt Lake City that animal advocates have been battling to end gas chamber deaths in animal shelters. It now appears the Utah Legislature passed the bill, which regulates shelters to only allow “humane” methods of euthanasia for cats and dogs.

SB108 does not prohibit gas chambers from being used to kill other types of animals that may be housed in shelters. According to KslNews, the bills was introduced by Senators Mike McKell and Karianne Lisonbee. Animal advocates say it can take from 20 to 30 minutes for an animal to die in a chamber; during that time they experience fear and pain.

The bill passed the Senate unanimously, and in the House passed 61-9. It is expected to be signed by the governor.

The Humane Society of the United States, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, the National Animal Control Association and all other national animal welfare organizations agree that direct injection of approved euthanasia drugs where the animal loses consciousness without experiencing pain or distress is the most humane method of euthanasia. In most cases, the animal loses consciousness in three to five seconds and dies within five minutes.

American Humane Org

The use of carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide gas chambers, that never provide peaceful or a stress free death and painless death, should never be used in shelters. In these barbaric methods, the different physical conditions of the dogs and cats – young, old, sick with circulatory issues or other medical conditions, can delay the effects of gas making these animals suffer. Neonatal animals can live longer without oxygen – making the gas chambers ineffective. In addition, dogs and cats have all been put together in the gas chambers and may become panicked, fight with each other and try desperately to escape.

Gas chambers also pose risks to humans. Staff members have to handle frightened and panicky pets; both the physical danger and the emotional impact on the workers can be huge, and what happens if the chambers malfunction?

And with all that apparent known suffering, the gas chamber euthanasia is still used at animal shelters in Ohio, Wyoming and Missouri, while only 28 states have passed full or partial bans on the practice according to the HSUS.

HSUS photo via blog of gas chamber being removed and destroyed.

The Humane Society of the United States has offered assistance to any shelter committed to converting from the use of gas chambers to EBI.

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook for the latest animal related news.

Mother dog carrying her baby to safety.
Bear tries to enter house.

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