NC House Ag Committee Passes Pro-Gas Chamber Bill | Animal Law Coalition

Thursday, 7 May 2009
NC House Ag Committee Passes Pro-Gas Chamber Bill Animal Law Coalition

Update May 7: The North Carolina House Agriculture Committee has voted to pass HB 27.
The original bill was re-written, and the final language was withheld from the public until after the vote. Go here for a copy.
The secrecy was probably to limit protests. This bill now sanctions the use of CO gas for killing all shelter animals. In fact, use of CO gas chambers is now one of 2 methods that must be used in killing shelter animals. CO gas chambers would be elevated by HB 27 as not only an acceptable means of killing shelter animals but one sanctioned and even preferred by the state. This bill will mean it is less likely that North Carolina shelters will stop using gas chambers.
The other method of euthanasia allowed is intravenous or intraperitoneal injection of sodium pentobarbital or an equivalent drug.
HB 27 does not indicate one method is preferred over the other, meaning the state would sanction both equally. Even the AVMA and NCVMA recognize lethal injection is the humane, preferred alternative.
It is not clear why proponents bothered to pass the bill other than to ensure the continued availability of CO gas chambers. The bill does nothing for animals and makes no changes regarding other methods of killing that are not already addressed by the state Dept. of Agriculture rules regarding euthanasia.
Under HB 27 a veterinarian, certified euthanasia technician or a probationary CET working under the supervision of a veterinarian, has complete discretion to choose the method of killing: CO gas chambers or lethal injection. A log must be kept of the method of killing used for each animal, the identity of the person performing the killing and the reason for the particular method.
This move to entrench the use of CO gas chambers by public shelters should probably come as no surprise. Ralph Houser, DVM, manufactures gas chambers and also sells them to North Carolina shelters and instructs them on their use. He sits on the North Carolina Animal Rabies Control Association. For more on Houser, go here. Houser together with North Carolina Veterinary Medical Association, Farm Bureau, North Carolina Association of County Commissioners and the state Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services, worked on HB 27 to assure the continuation of CO gas chambers in North Carolina's animal shelters.
There is an anti-gas chamber bill, Davie's Law, that has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Hoyle as SB 199. The bill is stalled, however, and it is important that you contact Sen. Hoyle and urge him to keep his campaign promise and pass the bill he has introduced, S.B. 199, Davie's Law. Go here for more. Act now because the bill must pass the Senate before the May 14 crossover date!
Also, HB 27 now goes to the Judiciary II Committee. There will be a vote on this bill shortly before the May 14 crossover date so act now! PLEASE write and call the members of the and ask them to OPPOSE House Bill 27.


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