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ASPCA, THLN Welcome Texas Law Banning Animal Gas Chambers

Gov. Perry signs bill prohibiting the inhumane use of gas chambers to euthanize animals
May 13, 2013

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) and the Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN) today commended Texas legislators and Gov. Rick Perry for enacting a new law to prohibit the cruel practice of euthanizing animals via gas chambers. Sponsored by Sen. Kirk Watson (D-14), the new law bans the use of gas chambers and is also designed to protect shelter workers from exposure to dangerous working conditions that stem from the use of carbon monoxide.

"We applaud Governor Perry for signing this bill into law and for adding Texas to the list of states where gassing is no longer allowed. We mobilized our membership and focused on this legislation in hopes that we would see the day when Texas would end the use of this cruel device," said Deborah Foote, state director of ASPCA Government Relations for Texas. "We are grateful to Senator Watson, the Texas Humane Legislation Network (THLN), and the advocates who have worked so hard to ensure passage of this law."

Prior to the enactment of this legislation, the Texas Humane Euthanasia Act allowed for euthanasia to be administered one of two ways: via a sodium pentobarbital injection, also referred to as euthanasia by injection (EBI), or by commercially compressed carbon monoxide gas. This new law will limit the approved methods to injection only, which is more humane than gas as it takes effect faster, acts more reliably and causes less pain and trauma than gas. In gas chambers, animals may suffer extensively and claw to get out of the chamber before succumbing.  The ASPCA and THLN successfully worked together in a joint partnership to help pass this bill this session.

"Now every Texas shelter can give homeless dogs and cats a peaceful end to life," said Shelby Bobosky, vice president of the THLN. "This new law will prevent unnecessary suffering of animals throughout the state, and we thank Texas lawmakers for passing this critical legislation."

The ASPCA believes it is critically important that any euthanasia is administered with compassion and care, which gas chambers do not provide. When performed properly, euthanasia by injection of sodium pentobarbital is the safest, most humane method, and the least stressful to the animal. Historically, the lack of access to these drugs has been an issue for shelters that want to transition away from gassing.

For more information on the ASPCA and to join the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade, please visit www.aspca.org.