Sen. Kirk Watson's legislation to enact a statewide ban to the practice of using gas chambers to euthanize pets at animal shelters has sail out of the Senate. Passing unanimously, Sen. Watson's facebook update about SB 360 has been shared over 250 times. No one testified against the Senate version.
Companion legislation HB 858 is being carried in the House with 10 sponsors & cosponsors and has already passed unanimously out of the Environmental Regulation Committee chaired by Rep. Patricia Harless.
Karen Brooks Harper, DMN: I was talking to one of the House sponsors of companion legislation about it, and he said there's been a little blowback by some in the rural shelters who say it's easier and more efficient for them to use the gas over the injection. But a growing national trend to ban the gas is based on studies showing it's cruel, not to mention expensive. Pennsylvania and Louisiana have both banned gas chambers, and 30 Texas cities have opted not to use them, either. That includes Dallas, lawmakers say.
While it may be true for some shelters in farther flung parts of Texas who still haven't gotten breeding or feral pet populations under control, it's time for this practice to end.
Interesting note- what was it like before the Texas Euthanasia Act passed in 2003? According to the analysis posted by the DMN:
“Prior to the Texas Euthanasia Act of 2003, Texas shelters were killing dogs and cats by drowning, shooting, clubbing, strangling, and by carbon monoxide poisoning from truck and car exhaust systems hooked up to makeshift plywood boxes. The 2003 law prohibited most of these methods, limiting shelters to two methods: carbon monoxide gassing or sodium pentobarbital (euthanasia by injection/EBI).”
Growing up in the Hill Country, I remember hearing about cases of pets in sacks getting drowned or clubbed or shot. At the very least there was an attitude that it was generally acceptable, something that feels to have been replaced by a more humane attitude.
Click here to read our previous coverage of this legislation on Burnt Orange Report.