H.Res. 736 (112th): Expressing opposition to the use of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, nitrous oxide, argon, or other gases ...

...to euthanize shelter animals and support for State laws that require the use of the more humane euthanasia by injection

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Jul 19, 2012 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

IV

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. RES. 736

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

July 19, 2012

submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture

RESOLUTION

Expressing opposition to the use of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, nitrous oxide, argon, or other gases to euthanize shelter animals and support for State laws that require the use of the more humane euthanasia by injection method.

Whereas 6,000,000 to 8,000,000 cats and dogs are placed into the care of between 4,000 to 6,000 local animal shelters each year in the United States;

Whereas nearly half of these animals are euthanized each year because adoptive homes are not able to be found for them;

Whereas to be considered humane, a euthanasia technique must expeditiously cause painless unconsciousness, followed by respiratory then cardiac arrest, and ultimately death;

Whereas animals euthanized in gas chambers are often forced into confined areas with several other animals, causing unnecessary stress and aggressive behavior;

Whereas the use of gas chambers can take over 30 minutes to end an animal’s life and sometimes does not result in the death of all the animals inside;

Whereas the use of gas chambers can cause a loss of consciousness and brain function in an animal only after the animal’s vital organs shut down, resulting in prolonged suffering and distress;

Whereas old, pregnant, neonatal, and injured animals are often biologically unable to absorb the gas as readily as larger or healthier animals, which can prolong the stress and trauma they experience before death;

Whereas highly toxic carbon monoxide, the most common chemical used in animal gas chambers, is the leading cause of accidental poisoning in the United States, and, even at low levels, can result in many long-term effects including impaired memory, breathing difficulties, muscle weakness, heart irregularities, and brain damage;

Whereas gas chambers threaten the safety of animal shelter workers, causing the death of at least one human and severely injuring several others in recent years;

Whereas a viable and cost-effective alternative to the use of gas chambers exists in the form of euthanasia by injection using sodium pentobarbital;

Whereas the use of euthanasia by injection causes animals to lose consciousness and brain function before their vital organs shut down, decreasing suffering and resulting in rapid clinical death;

Whereas the use of injectable euthanasia agents is considered the most reliable and preferable method of animal euthanasia by the American Humane Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the National Animal Control Association, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and the Humane Society of the United States; and

Whereas at least 18 States and the District of Columbia either have laws banning the use of gas chambers or choose not to use the method to euthanize shelter animals: Now, therefore, be it

That the House of Representatives—

(1)

expresses disapproval of the use of gas chambers to euthanize shelter animals;

(2)

supports the enactment of State laws requiring the use of euthanasia by injection with sodium pentobarbital as the standard method of euthanasia for all animal shelters; and

(3)

encourages States to allow licensed shelters to purchase necessary euthanasia drugs, such as sodium pentobarbital, subject to appropriate training and certification.