Animal shelters kill 3-4 million animals every year, and some of them do it with gas chambers.
That’s right: gas chambers.
Pennsylvania recently became “the twentieth state to ban the use of gas chambers in animal shelters and animal control facilities,” The Sacramento Bee reports. The federal government is also considering a resolution to ban gas chambers, as Alicia Graef reported on Care2. It was referred to committee in the House of Representatives in July.
Lethal injections are believed to cause less suffering to the victims than gas chambers do, which explains the growing movement to outlaw the chambers.
The Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) “believes that the use of carbon monoxide for individual or mass companion animal euthanasia in shelters is unacceptable due to significant humane, operational and safety concerns.” The Association lists a number of reasons gas chambers are inhumane (setting aside the fact that killing innocent, healthy animals is inhumane however it is done).
Some shelters argue that other, more humane methods of destroying homeless companion animals are too expensive. On the contrary, the ASV says studies have shown that gassing is actually more expensive than lethal injection, and HSUS agrees.
Some say there is nothing inhumane about gassing animals. You be the judge (WARNING–this video contains disturbing content):
There are plenty of objections to using gas to kill animals, as the ASV explains. Many of them have to do with the fact that “[a]ny gas that is inhaled must reach a certain concentration in the lungs before it becomes effective.” The time it takes to reach that concentration isn’t precisely known and varies among dogs, which can cause a number of problems:
Carbon monoxide has drawbacks besides the amount of time it takes for animals’ lungs to fill up with enough of the gas to knock them out:
Gas chambers can also pose risks to the humans who operate them.
Lethal injection does not pose these risks.
The 19 states that banned gas chambers before Pennsylvania are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, according to HSUS.
Please sign the petition below to ask your federal representatives to support the bill to ban gas chambers nationwide.
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