Topics: 83rd Legislative Session, Sodium Pentobarbital, Animal Shelter Facilities, Gas Chamber, HB 858, Euthanasia, Carbon Monoxide
Over one hundred thousand homeless pets are euthanized every year in Texas shelters. Despite the overwhelming stance that euthanasia by carbon monoxide is cruel and inhumane, unsafe for workers and costly, it is still used to end their lives in approximately thirty shelters in this state. Representative Eddie Lucio III (D) recently filed a bill (HB 858) to end shelter euthanasia of dogs and cats by carbon monoxide and it is time Texans tell their legislators that using carbon monoxide in a shelter is unacceptable.
There has been a recent nationwide trend to get rid of this outdated method of euthanasia. Virtually every shelter agency agrees that euthanasia by injection (EBI) is the preferred and humane method for euthanasia. U.S. Congressman Jim Moran (D-Va) introduced House Resolution 736 in July of 2012, which opposes the use of gas chamber euthanasia and supports state laws that replace them with lethal injection. Pennsylvania banned gas chambers in October 2012 and Louisiana did so as well in January of 2013. In fact, over thirty Texas cities have stopped the use of carbon monoxide euthanasia within the last five years ranging from larger cities like Sherman ending gas chamber euthanasia in March of 2012 to small cities like Terrell, ending in 2010. This switch from carbon monoxide to sodium pentobarbital with Texas cities large and small demonstrates an overwhelming change in attitude towards shelter euthanasia.
The word euthanasia means "good death" and death by gas chamber does not meet this definition. With the continued advocacy of our THLN members, we can put an end to this outdated method and help restore the name.
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