Virginia has Banned Gas Chambers!

Update February 22, 2008: Governor Kaine has signed the bill banning gas chambers in Virginia!!

Update February 13, 2008: The Virginia Senate has passed by a vote of 40-0 the bill to ban gas chambers in Virginia!

Click here to contact Governor Tim Kaine and urge him to sign this legislation, H.B. 5.

For more on this bill, read the reports below.

Update January 28, 2008: The Virginia House has unanimously passed a ban on animal gas chambers. Now called H.B. 5, the bill will next be considered by the state Senate.  

As Lillian Clancy of Virginia Voters for Animal Welfare put it, "This is the bill to outlaw gas chambers forever in Virginia….This is the year it will happen."

Click here to read a copy of the bill.

Talking Points

Gas chambers are dangerous to the operator. Carbon monoxide is cumulative and builds up in the system and has been the cause of at least one death of chamber operator (in Tennessee which then outlawed gas)

Operators often have been given insufficient training in using gas, particularly when using it in a closed room, or when opening the chamber after use because "certification" of the gas chamber is done by a mish-mash of "experts". There is little reason to be certain chamber isn’t leaking.

Gas chambers are inhumane to the animals. They are frequently dragged into the box and forcibly stuffed in illegally (i.e., when animals are put in together with no separation). The animals struggle to get free and attack each other; this has happened in Virginia even in 2007. Though the chamber is to be manufactured and capable of being cleaned between uses, they are frequently made by hand of cinderblock or wood which defies being suitably and compliantly cleaned, meaning the next animal dies in the box with urine and feces from previous animals.

EBI (euthanasia by injection), when done in accordance with Virginia law, is less expensive than using gas following the steps required by the state, each gassing cycle requires about 45 minutes, and is one dog (possibly two cats) per cycle;  EBI, even with a sedative followed by the lethal injection, takes far less time calculations of the cost based on much shorter time for EBI and approximate pay of animal control officer doing either gassing or EBI confirm; some places contract for EBI at approximately $7.00 per animal. Using animal records information from the State Vet, it can be shown that, in some jurisdictions, about 50% of an animal control officer’s time – HALF the working time – is spent gassing animals – if Virginia law is being followed.


4 thoughts on “Virginia has Banned Gas Chambers!”

  1. I do hope that this finally passes and will do what I can.
    I only wish a National Law would be passed to eliminate these torture chambers everywhere, for once and for all. Sadly there are too many states (like Ohio) that just don’t seem to care about this. Anyone who has witnessed these in use knows first hand the HORROR of Gas Chambers.
    I know..because I have.

    …and we call ourselves civilized…how sad.

    Doc Wheeler

  2. It’s not just Virgina that need’s no kill shelter’s we need them all over the united states. How about taking money from the needless war and put that money to great use. There killing are USA troop’s and there killing are dog’s and cat’s. However when you go in to the Gas Chamber the lung’s start to burn and then you die, what was that cat or dog’s name? Then there just thrown again like a used rag. THIS NEED’S TO STOP. It’s time for all of us to join together and unite to stop this Needless killing. Were paying for prisoner’s they get 3 hot’s and a got, let’s build more no Kill shelter or give 1 animal to each in mate and let them take resonabilty for that animal and that is 3 hot’s and cot for them. Plus help’s prision be responsible for something then just sitting there on there butt’s doing nothing. Let’s make are law’s enforce 2 bird’s with one stone

  3. of those in the gas chamber. If you do not think animals know when death is near, then you are not living in the real world. Watch a dog struggling, see the fear in his eyes, pleading not to push him into that chamber. Or, watch that sweet older dog, an owner surrender because she was no longer wanted–walk into the chamber without resistence–then listen to her screams and cries of pain. Gassing is backward and inhumane compared to all developments that have taken place since the introduction of this outdated method. Shelter personnel are rarely technically proficient and competent, and often show little compassion when gassing shelter animals. Many states, including New York and California, have outlawed gassing of dogs and cats. Now it is time for Virginia’s legislature–representatives of a state that has produced more Presidents, Generals and leaders in the free world than any other state–to finally step forward and outlaw gassing in our shelters.

    Norma Cunningham
    Alexandria, Virginia

  4. Of course, gas chambers need to be banned nationwide, for obvious reasons. I find it insane, however, that we are having spirited discussions about “the better way” to kill an animal, when there is NO “good” way to kill an animal! Killing healthy, friendly dogs, cats, puppies and kittens is wrong. Period. No discussion required.

    The topic we SHOULD, and MUST, be discussing is how we can make affordable, accessible spay/neuter available nationwide so that there is no need for killing millions of animals every year.

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