AVMA modifies its stance on the use of gas chambers

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The Animal Law Coalition is reporting the American Veterinary Medical Association has modified its stance on the use of gas chambers as a method of euthanasia.

To date the AVMA has called the use of carbon monoxide gas chambers “acceptable” as a method of euthanasia. Now, in a new 2011 proposal, the organization is stating the following – (from the Animal Law Coalition website) –

[T]here is substantial risk to personnel (hypoxia) if safety precautions are not observed. Consequently, carbon monoxide is conditionally acceptable for use in institutional situations where appropriately designed and maintained equipment and trained and monitored personnel are available to administer it, but it is not recommended for routine euthanasia of cats and dogs. It may be considered in unusual or rare circumstances, such as natural disasters and large-scale disease outbreaks. Alternate methods with fewer conditions are recommended where feasible.”

So the key phrase here is “not recommended for routine euthanasia of cats and dogs.” I wish they gone to full distance here and called for an outright ban. But this is, no doubt, a positive move forward by the AVMA.

A vast majority of shelters in my home state no longer use gas chambers. They have proven that animals – even those deemed dangerous – can be euthanized safely without the use of a gas chamber.

We must understand that being with self-awareness and a state of consciousness suffer both physical and emotional pain and suffering. Because we know this to be fact, we also know that locking a dog or cat in chamber and turning on the gas must be traumatic.

Of course, once again I need to be sure to strongly state that any loss of life for any homeless that is not suffering is a tragedy. And fault for these cases where healthy pets are dying in shelters lies at the feet of the entities and individuals who are creating homeless pets – including people who allow their pets to breed freely, puppy mill operators and greyhound racing.