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August 31, 2009

Gas Chamber Euthanasia of Pets Ends 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 Gov. Pat Quinn for signing legislation Friday that effectively bans the use of carbon monoxide gas chambers in shelters and animal control facilities. The new law also bans outright the use of make-shift gas chambers using engine exhaust, so large-scale puppy mills will no longer be able to use these devices to kill dogs inhumanely.

The bill, S.B. 38, was championed by state Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, and Rep. John Fritchey, D-Chicago.

"The General Assembly has spoken clearly: when animals must be euthanized, it must be conducted as humanely as possible," said Jordan Matyas, Illinois state director for The HSUS. "The Humane Society of the United States thanks Senator Steans and Representative Fritchey for their commitment to this important issue and hope there will come a day when healthy and treatable animals are no longer euthanized."

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. While functioning as a de facto ban on the procedure, this new law does include a provision that allows licensed veterinarians to use gas chambers in limited circumstances.

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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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