Bill Banning Gas Passed in New York


A lot of killing goes on in shelters. It’s a necessary evil, especially now that many shelters are overcrowded. We like to use words like “euthanasia” so that the act sounds less horrific, but killing is killing no matter how you sugar coat it, no matter how nice the shelter and its staff are.

Progress is being made in New York to ensure that unadopted shelter animals receive humane treatment at the end of their lives. A law was recently passed in New York state, prohibiting the gassing of shelter and stray pets, and requires that they be euthanized via injection. There’s much still that needs to be done, but it’s a small step forward toward an eventual goal of 0% euthanasia in this country. Here are the details from the ASPCA:

Victory! NY Bans the Gassing of Stray Pets

An especially challenging political climate in the New York State Legislature has slowed the progress of a variety of pro-animal welfare bills this year. However, hard work by legislators, committee staff, the ASPCA and New Yorks animal advocates brought the humane euthanasia bill (NY A. 999B) over the finish line!
Introduced in January, the bill sat dormant until the ASPCA, working closely with Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, Senator Suzi Oppenheimer and staff, helped revive it and secure passage in the Legislature in the fall. On October 9, it was signed into law by Governor Paterson.
The new law, which goes into effect in one year, will:

  • Prohibit carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide poisoning (gassing) of stray and shelter animals (effective in 90 days).
  • Require that the euthanasia of stray and shelter animals be performed by injection.
  • Require that such euthanasia be performed by a certified euthanasia technician, licensed veterinarian, or licensed veterinary technician.
  • Prohibit intracardiac euthanasiaa painful injection right into the hearton unsedated shelter animals.
  • Require that veterinarians who perform intracardiac euthanasia on unsedated animals not under the care of a shelter do so only if it is the most humane option and that they document the event and rationale.

The ASPCA recognizes the necessity of humane euthanasia as a last-step option to spare animals further suffering, says Debora Bresch, Esq., ASPCA Legislative Liaison to New York State. We thank the bills sponsors, Assemblywoman Paulin and Senator Oppenheimer, for their tireless efforts to assure that animals receive humane treatment at the end of their lives, and look forward to the day when euthanasia of unwanted animals is an infrequent occurrence.”

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