Update on gas chambers in North Carolina animal shelters


An emotional debate is pitting some animal control agencies against animal rights advocates in North Carolina.

The House Agriculture committee is considering "Davie's Law", a bill to ban gas chambers as a form of euthanasia for all shelter animals.

Instead, animals, whether domestic or ferrell, would be put to sleep by injection or ingestion of sodium pentobarbital.

43 county animal shelters use carbon monoxide as their primary method to put down unwanted animals.

Yet two-thirds of the shelters have moved on to euthanize only by injection, a process advocates say is more humane.

Opponents say gassing is a scientifically approved, safe, cost effective method of controlling the animal population.

Both sides are lobbying lawmakers as they consider the ban under House Bill 6, as well as another version. House Bill 27, that allows the use of gas chambers under certain provisions.

The NCVMA remains neutral on the issue, but association member Dr. MaryAnn Sheets says lawmakers need to consider changing drug regulations first so shelter workers have all the tools they need for the job.