There's Nothing Humane About Gas Chamber Euthanasia

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Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

While banned in some states, this barbaric method of euthanasia is still in effect in parts of the U.S.


Spending the last minutes of your life scrambling for air in a mass of writhing and desperate limbs is nothing short of an horrific nightmare. Yet, for the animals slated to be euthanized by gas chamber, which is still allowed in some states, it's the last reality they leave this world with.

For a period of up to half an hour, the unfortunate dogs and cats fit into these hot boxes are forced to fight for what remaining air they can gasp, as it's replaced with carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide [1].

The phrase "gas chamber" isn't exactly comforting, and it shouldn't be. Despite a categorical ban on such methods in 27 states, gas chamber euthanasia is still practiced in a few, including Utah, Wyoming, Missouri, and Ohio. Bowing to pressure from animal rights advocates, commissioners in Branch County, Michigan, shut down the state's last suspected gas chamber in 2016, giving hope to efforts in the remaining states where the nightmare continues to play out.

In Utah, the fight to ban animal gas chambers has reached the highest halls of state government. But while the state senate was given the opportunity to leave this barbaric option behind, SB56 supporting the ban failed to get enough votes to pass.

Votes against the bill came from senators who claimed the costs of switching to lethal injection methods was too high for their constituents. However, nonprofit groups like the Humane Society of the United States and others offer financial assistance in the form of grants to cover the expense [4].

Sandy City Council member Kristin Coleman-Nicholl offered firsthand testimony of the results of switching in an interview with the Salt Lake City Tribune in early 2017.

"The change definitely was easier than anyone thought it would be. The staff has embraced the policy and has adjusted very well," Coleman-Nicholl said. "Our level of service has not gone down, and we still handle wildlife. None of our employees has reported any injury or incidents."

The same compassion for animals can easily be replicated in the few remaining Utah animal facilities that still use the gas chamber for euthanization. With the help of informed and active citizens, the torture can be brought to an end.

Sign this petition to tell Utah's Senate Government Operations Committee and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food: Animal Industry Division that legislators need to be made aware of the nightmare they're allowing to continue, and ban animal gas chambers for good.

[1] The Humane Society of the United States, Bringing an End to Inhumane Euthanasia. Retrieved May 17, 2017 from http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/facts/end-inhumane-gas-chambers.html

[2] Animal Sheltering, Eliminating gas chambers. Retrieved May 17, 2017 from https://www.animalsheltering.org/page/eliminating-gas-chambers

[3] Cheryl Hanna (2017, March 6) Bill to ban gas chambers in Utah for animal shelters failed. Retrieved May 17, 2017 from https://petrescuereport.com/2017/bill-ban-gas-chambers-utah-animal-shelters-failed/

[4] Lee Davidson (2017, February 7) Bill seeks to outlaw animal gas chambers. Retrieved May 17, 2017 from http://www.sltrib.com/home/4913932-155/bill-seeks-to-outlaw-animal-gas

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The Petition:

Dear Utah Senate Government Operations Committee and the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food: Animal Industry Division,

The people of the United States no longer tolerate the uninformed reasoning that allows gas chambers to be used for animal euthanasia in Utah. This practice needs to be banned immediately, and the equipment destroyed.

There is no use for gas chambers in civilized society. Their existence harkens literal terror, and the darkest times of human conflict. While SB56 has been shot down more than once in Utah's senate, the fight to ban gas chamber euthanasia cannot be given up.

Spending the last minutes of your life scrambling for air in a mass of writhing and desperate limbs is nothing short of an horrific nightmare. Yet, for the animals slated to be euthanized by gas chamber, it's the last reality they leave this world with. For a period of up to half an hour, the unfortunate dogs and cats fit into these hot boxes are forced to fight for what remaining air they can gasp, as it's replaced with carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide.

Alternatives to this barbaric practice, including lethal injection, are widely accepted at other animal facilities, yet Utah senators refuse to consider the welfare of animals, or the opportunity to join the rest of the civilized world. Nonprofit groups like the Humane Society of the United States and others have even been incentivizing the switch with grants to cover any added expense.

I implore you to inform your fellow legislators of the financial assistance available to facilities that switch from gas chamber to lethal injection and make the decision to ban gas chambers once and for all. The only compassionate decision is to make these methods history, and I truly hope you make that decision in haste.

Sincerely,

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