'Humane Killing Of Animals' Bill Got Killed; Gas Chambers Will Prevail
The House Government Operations Committee decided to kill the SB56 bill for humane killing of animals, which proposed abolishing the use of carbon monoxide gas chambers in animal shelters and instead rely only on poison injections to euthanize animals. The bill had earlier passed the Senate with 19-7 votes and support of animal lovers.
However, the bill was rejected after a 4-4 verdict in the Operations Committee. The bill was opposed by Jim Tracey, Utah County Sheriff, who testified that elimination of the choice of using gas chambers may create a havoc while handling wild animals. He further explained that handling these animals and euthanizing them with injections may pose health risks for the staff, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Pete Knudson, Senator, R-Brigham City, who was the sponsor of the said bill, tried to gather support by exemplifying the case of non-usage of gas chambers in Davis County animal control shelter. However, Sheriff Tracey opposed it by saying that administering injections every time to kill an animal may affect the mental health of the officers, and it seems his argument was supported by half of the committee members.
According to a recent published Nature article, every year commercial pest controllers and government agents capture and kill hundreds of racoons, rabbits and wolves in the name of human safety and protecting the agricultural yield. It was also highlighted that the use of gas chambers and coagulant-based poisons is inhumane and these animals should also be given the same consideration that is given while euthanizing domestic animals.
Sara Dubois, chief scientific officer, British Columbia Society, who works for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Vancouver, Canada, proposed a new set of guidelines that should be adhered to while killing non-native pest and feral animals. The guidelines that were published in the Conservation Biology journal are mostly similar to the ones already followed by the American Veterinary Medical Association but had a few modifications in it.
Many believe that the topic of humane killing of animals is itself controversial. Abolishing the use of gas chambers and using coagulant-based poisons may be more humane to the animals. However, they may come with potential health risks to children and pet animals, especially in the event of accidental ingestion. As of now, finding a more humane way of killing animals without compromising the physical and mental health of human beings is yet to be discovered.