New rules for using gas chambers for euthanization

Reported by Kristy Ondo - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Several area gas chambers used for euthanizing animals are shut down for now, but will likely open again soon.

Some animal advocates say there's no reason to use gas chambers, but animal control workers beg to differ.

State agencies issued warnings to 21 animal shelters with gas chambers that either haven't been inspected yet, or don't meet a new set of regulations designed to protect the workers and help the animals.

The new law says workers are suppose to make sure the carbon monoxide hits a certain percentage within two minutes to make it quicker for the animals.

Animal advocates say injection is more humane, but animal control directors in Brunswick and New Hanover both say gassing is used as a last resort for feral or aggressive animals - to protect their workers from being attacked.

The New Hanover County director added she hopes the focus will turn to spay and neuter programs to keep animals out of the shelters, instead of focusing on how they're euthanized.

Gas chambers are not allowed to be used until they meet the new rules and regulations.  Chambers in New Hanover and Brunswick Counties are expected to pass inspection within a few weeks.

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