Success: Gas-Chamber Euthanasia Banned

Animal Shelter

Target: North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Steve Troxler

Goal: Applaud ban on inhumane carbon monoxide euthanasia in animal shelters

Carbon monoxide euthanasia is cruel, unnecessary and more costly than euthanasia by injection (EBI). Thanks to a recent ban, only 10 states in the U.S. are currently known to have active gas chambers. North Carolina has become the 25th state to officially ban the use of gas chambers for euthanasia in animal shelters. A previous petition on ForceChange called for an end to gas-chamber euthanasia in North Carolina.

The ban will take effect in February 2015. The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) describes the gas chambers used to euthanize animals as small, dark boxes full of the smells of animals that died before, some urinating or defecating in the process. Sometimes multiple animals are put into the same box, causing them to lash out aggressively from fear and panic. Their last moments are spent in panic and fear.

Thanks to the efforts of activists and groups like the HSUS working to improve conditions and standards of professionalism in animal shelters in the state, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services issued a new policy statement placing a complete moratorium on the use of this inhumane practice. State officials finally agree with what activists have known all along: EBI isn’t just more professional and humane, it is also safer and cheaper than gas chambers.

Shelter employees are at a greater risk of injury when forced to handle frightened, panicking animals in gas chambers than when using EBIs, which don’t frighten the animals nearly as much and make it far easier to comfort and calm them.

Support this important move toward more humane and professional treatment of shelter animals by signing the petition below.


Dear Commissioner Troxler,

North Carolina’s ban on carbon monoxide euthanasia is a huge step toward eradicating the use of gas chambers for euthanasia in American animal shelters. With the moratorium, North Carolina has become one of 25 states that recognize this practice is inappropriate and cruel. Only 10 states currently have active gas chambers and every ban gets us closer to saving shelter animals from unnecessarily suffering.

EBI is safer, kinder and more cost effective than carbon monoxide chambers and has been endorsed as the most humane euthanasia practice currently in use. Shelter animals deserve as much respect as pets who have found their forever home, and should be treated that way.

I commend the decision to end inhumane and cruel gas-chamber euthanasia in North Carolina.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Dave Parker via Flickr

Original petition: Ban Gas Chambers in North Carolina Animal Shelters

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One Comment

  1. Gas chambers are used primarily to kill animals in quantity, and hands-free – the killers don’t have to look that cat, dog or other animal in the eye when taking their life.

    Thank you, North Carolina, for making homeless animals’ lives less horrifying.

    Take some of the funds saved and use it to prevent cats and dogs from overpopulating – Spay and Neuter!

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