Ban Gas Chamber Use in Utah

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S.B. 50 - Animal Shelter AmendmenEuthanasia by Injection, sponsored by Sen. Knudson

 

For the fourth year in a row, we will be supporting a bill to ban the use of gas chambers for animal euthanasia. Utah is one of four states where a handful of animal shelters are still using the outdated and inhumane method of gas chamber euthanasia.

 

 

End the use of CO gas chambers for animal euthanasia!  

Both the Humane Society of Utah (HSU) and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) have been working together to help the eight Utah animal shelters that are still utilizing a gas chamber to euthanize animals make the transition from carbon monoxide gas to euthanasia by injection (EBI) only.

Some shelters that still use a gas chamber will argue that it is better for their employees to reduce compassion fatigue. Everyone who works in animal sheltering is susceptible to compassion fatigue and report that they feel better using EBI knowing that it is more compassionate and humane. Training is available to help workers safely use EBI on fractious, aggressive animals and wildlife. 

Carbon monoxide is an extremely hazardous gas that poses safety and health dangers to personnel. Repeated exposure to CO, even at low levels, can result in many serious long-term effects including, but not limited to, cancer, infertility and heart disease. 

FACTS:

  • Utah is one of four states in the U.S. that still uses a gas chamber to euthanize animals. 

  • Out of the 57 animal shelters HSU tracks, eight have a gas chamber -- two of which have decided to voluntarily remove theirs this year.

  • Euthanasia by injection (EBI) is comparable in cost, faster, painless and safer for personnel.

  • In regard to employee safety, carbon monoxide is extremely hazardous, toxic, and explosive in high concentrations.

  • EBI takes 3-5 seconds to lose consciousness and 2-4 minutes for death to occur. Gas Chambers can take up to 30 minutes, and some animals survive the terrifying process. The uptake of CO cannot be accurately measured in a shelter setting, especially if more than one animal is inside, the animal is too young, old, ill, injured, or has mental stress or physical abnormality.

  • EBI is the ONLY PREFERRED method by every major national veterinary and animal welfare organization.

 

Read below for additional information about euthanasia by injection (EBI) vs. carbon monoxide (CO) gas chamber euthanasia.

Bringing an End to Inhumane Euthanasia (good links included throughout article)

Comparing the cost of EBI and gas chambers (2009 research study) 

American Humane Association EBI Myth vs. Fact Sheet

Gassing of Shelter Animals - Euthanizing shelter animals by carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide is inhumane to animals and harmful to humans

General Statement Regarding Euthanasia Methods for Dogs and Cats

Euthanasia Guidelines: The Gas Chamber Debate

 

There are 50 Utah animal shelters that already use EBI only (even in rural areas). An estimated eight shelters still use gas chambers:

  • Carbon County
  • Draper - uses for wildlife - in the process of removal
  • South Jordan 
  • Utah County (North) - in the process of removal
  • Utah County (South)
  • Weber County
  • West Valley/Taylorsville 
  • Summit County - uses for wildlife

Remember: Most people enter shelter work because they care about animals. We understand that they may not have the tools, information or support they need to make the switch to EBI only. When advocating, approach your shelter and officials with the goal of understanding what their challenges are, and figure out how we can help them meet those challenges together. Please show respect and professionalism when advocating on behalf of the animals. The Humane Society of Utah does not condone harassment, criminalization, slander or libel of our fellow animal control services.

We recently learned that Summit County has a gas chamber. They are not represented on this map.

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