Ban on Killing Animals Using Carbon Monoxide

Ban on Killing Animals Using Carbon Monoxide

by Michael

The State of Pennsylvania is joining 19 other states of the United States in banning carbon monoxide as a means of destroying unwanted animals. There seems to be a gradual shift towards more humane treatment of animals in the USA. You can almost feel the general shift in opinion and I think this rather low key piece of draft legislation is a good indicator of what is happening and will happen in the USA over the years to come. If I am correct declawing will be banned one day and god forbid maybe sport hunting too (100 years from now!).

One aspect of this new law that may be a point worth making is that its introduction may also be designed to help protect the people who kill animals. Carbon monoxide is hazardous to people wheres drugs in containers are not directly hazardous to the people administering them. That may be one reason why the new law is proposed. I don’t think that has been mentioned elsewhere.

You can read the bill (which is draft law in discussion – a proposed Act or Statute) on the following page if you like. It is actually easy to read: Senate Bill No. 1329 Session of 2011. Here are some short extracts from the bill:

Section 5 of the act is repealed: It reads as follows: Section 5. Use of carbon monoxide systems. (1) Carbon monoxide gas may be used to destroy animals seven weeks of age or older…

Note: this repealed section looks archaic today even though it was written in 1983. Things have moved on considerably.

Section 5 referred to such grizzly things as attaching a pipe to a car exhaust (this section is the one that has been repealed (thrown out and changed):

If an internal combustion engine is used, a means of cooling the gas to a temperature not to exceed 115 degrees Fahrenheit at the point of entry into the cabinet and not to exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit at any point in the cabinet as determined by temperature gauges permanently installed at point of entry and inside the cabinet. (viii) If the gas is generated by an internal combustion engine, a means of removing or filtering out all noxious fumes, irritating acids and carbon particles from the gas before it enters the cabinet. (ix) If an internal combustion engine is used, a means of substantially deadening the sound and vibration transmission from the engine to the cabinet, by placing them in separate rooms or soundproof compartments connecting them with flexible tubing or pipe at least 24 inches in length, so that the noise level within the cabinet shall not exceed 70 decibels…

The horrible gas chambers where the carbon monoxide killed the animals have to be destroyed under this proposed Act:

..Any humane society organization or any other similar organization which, on the effective date of this act, has in its possession a chamber or device, the use of which is prohibited by this act, shall, within 30 days of the effective date of this act, dismantle and render inoperative the chamber or device… Hurrah!

The new method for killing unwanted animals (with exceptions – isn’t that always the case?) is as follows:

Required method.–The required method of destruction shall be by the administration of an overdose of a barbiturate, barbiturate combinations, drug or drug combinations approved for this purpose by the Federal Drug Administration and in accordance with guidelines established by the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

Note: as mentioned the bill has some exceptions one of which is… “Nothing in this act shall prevent a person or humane society organization from destroying a pet animal by means of firearms”. — not all straightforward then. No idea why that section is in the bill.

Also under the proposed new law, where the animal poses a danger to the person administering the killing drug, alternative methods of destroying the animal can be used except carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide poising in a chamber is obviously highly distressing for the animal. That must be the main reason why this bill is being discussed. It would seem that the concentrations of carbon monoxide used to kill unwanted animals is not high enough to kill quickly (and cause unconsciousness quickly) which leads to great distress and discomfort for the animal while dying.

Now..what about another bill to create some obligations on humans to care for their animals in a more responsible manner…!


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