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Time to ban gassing of animals

Euthanasia is defined as a "good death," one that is free from pain and suffering ("Use of gassing challenged," by Lisa Sorg, Aug. 8). A properly administered lethal dose of the drug sodium pentobarbital results in the most humane death for cats and dogs. The drug is an anesthetic and death is caused by an injectable anesthetic overdose. Death occurs in seconds, versus the minutes required in a gas chamber.

All nationally recognized authorities confirm that a lethal injection of sodium pentobarbital is the most humane way to end an animal's life. It is important to note that no recognized authority recommends carbon monoxide as the preferred method of euthanasia. In fact, to the contrary, 13 states have banned gas chambers.

Veterinarian Ralph Houser seems to be the only person promoting the use of gas chambers. One must ask if his motivation is compassion for the unfortunate animals or if it is the money he makes from making and selling the gas chambers? And don't forget the money from the gas chamber training he sells to various counties. Houser has a vested interest in gas chambers. He has a financial, moral and ethical conflict of interest and should not be allowed to train government employees at taxpayers' expense.

Political pressure and lobbying to support the use of gas chambers has taken place. Houser, the gas chamber maker, lobbied for the continued use of gas chambers. Local government officials and animal control employees have lobbied for that permission. In many cases, they are doing this because Houser's training reportedly was inadequate and their employees are not capable of changing to humane lethal injection.

The legislature must act now to ban the use of gas chambers in North Carolina. If animals must be killed, let's kill them with kindness.

Peter MacQueen III
President, The Humane Society of Eastern N.C.
Southport

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