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October 25, 2012

The Humane Society of the United States Applauds Gov. Tom Corbett for Signing Ban on Gas Chamber Use at Animal Shelters

The Humane Society of the United States applauds Gov. Tom Corbett for signing HB 2630 into law. The law bans the use of carbon monoxide chambers at animal shelters and allows shelter personnel to procure the drugs necessary to euthanize animals in a humane manner. The bill was championed by Rep. John Maher, R-Allegheny and Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-Chester.

“Euthanizing dogs and cats is a tragic outcome for homeless pets and it needs to come to an end through aggressive spaying and neutering and adoption programs. Until that time comes, it’s a positive step forward that Pennsylvania’s animals will no longer suffer a gruesome and painful death in a gas chamber,” says Sarah Speed, Pennsylvania state director for The HSUS. “The Humane Society of the United States applauds Governor Corbett for signing this bill and Pennsylvania’s legislators who favored the reform, especially Representative Maher and Senator Dinniman for leading the effort to protect pets.”

The new law bans gas chambers and also provides animal shelters with meaningful access to the drugs needed to help ensure that, when animals must be euthanized in shelters across the Commonwealth, the procedure is conducted as humanely as possible. It also imposes penalties for violations of the act.

“I’m delighted to have worked with my colleagues in the legislature to make the tragic euthanasia of cats and dogs by gas chambers a thing of the past in Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Maher. “I also want thank the animal protection community for its help in ensuring the passage of this bill.”

“This is a good day for dogs, cats and the people of Pennsylvania because after all the way we treat our pets is indicative of the way we treat each other, and when we stand up for all God’s creatures, we stand up for our own humanity,” said Sen. Dinniman.

HB 2630, also known as Daniel’s Law, passed both the Pennsylvania House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan support.

Facts:
•    The new law allows animal shelters across the Commonwealth the ability to procure euthanasia drugs themselves, at a lower cost – both financially and emotionally – over operating a carbon monoxide chamber.
•    The animals euthanized in shelters are often old, young, ill or injured; none of these animals can be euthanized without pain and suffering in a gas chamber. Even healthy adult dogs and cats will suffer stress just by being placed in a gas chamber, making their death inhumane.
•    Gas chambers pose great physical and psychological harm to shelter employees. Staff must handle, transport and place animals into the chamber, putting them at risk of bites and scratches. Animal care workers have also been injured and killed by carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless and tasteless toxic gas.
•    Studies have proven that it is more expensive to operate a gas chamber than it is to purchase and use euthanasia drugs. 

For more information on animal welfare legislation in Pennsylvania, please visit humanesociety.org/pennsylvania.

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Media Contact:
Raúl Arce-Contreras: 301-721-6440 rcontreras@humanesociety.org                           

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