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June 1, 2009

2009 Marks the End of the Gas Chamber for Cats and Dogs in Illinois

The Humane Society of the United States

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Humane Society of the United States, on behalf of its more than 448,000 supporters in Illinois, commends the state's General Assembly for passing legislation at the close of the session banning the use of carbon monoxide gas chambers in shelters and animal control facilities. The new law also bans the use of carbon monoxide gas as a form of euthanasia statewide, so puppy mills will no longer be able to use makeshift gas chambers using engine exhaust. 

"The Illinois legislature has spoken clearly that in those unfortunate situations where an animal must be euthanized, they deserve that it be done humanely," said Jordan Matyas, Illinois state director for The HSUS. "The use of the gas chamber is less humane, more expensive, and more time consuming than the use of lethal injection. While we work towards the day when euthanasia of healthy animals is no longer necessary, we are grateful to state Representative John Fritchey and Senator Heather Steans for their commitment to this important issue."

This legislation has been debated for two years, and was passed with the support of more than 40 shelters and rescue groups across the state.  After extensive negotiations, the final bill includes a provision that allows veterinarians to conditionally use the gas chamber with strict limitations.

For more information and resources on euthanasia methods, visit The HSUS' online resource library at animalsheltering.org.

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The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

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