States Wrestle with Issue of Humane Euthanasia
Legislation Ends the Use of Gas Chamber for Shelter Animals
The issue of humane euthanasia—the least cruel ways in which to end the life of an animal in a shelter, pound or even a veterinarian’s office—has been the subject of debate for some time. This year a number of state legislatures are reviewing their regulations and proposing changes that will affect thousands of companion animals in local shelters each year.
The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has guidelines that were the basis for standards of care for many years, but that is changing around the country. While the AVMA discusses a variety of methods for animal euthanasia, the only method endorsed by most humane societies is the administration of a lethal injection of sodium pentobarbital on an individual basis by a veterinarian or veterinary assistant. Gas chambers are not recommended by humane organizations, although they are still in use in many states across the country.
It is this method of euthanasia, specifically the use of carbon monoxide chambers, which is under attack in half a dozen states this session.
To see if your state has a law or legislation regarding humane euthanasia, go to AnimalLaw.com. If there is legislation in your state, please call your legislators to let them know where you stand on these issues.
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