Jul 28, 2014
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Pending Legislation Would Ban Gas Chambers at Michigan Animal Shelters

Plus other companion animal protection bills the Michigan Legislature is currently considering.

Pending Legislation Would Ban Gas Chambers at Michigan Animal Shelters
Animal advocates across the state are lobbying Michigan lawmakers to pass a number of important companion animal protection bills.

Senate Bill 354 would ban the "gas chamber" as a method to euthanize animals.

"Gas chambers are not a humane approach to euthanization and is not an acceptable practice among animal welfare organizations," said Elaine Greene, executive director of the Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter.

Euthanasia by injection is also safer for workers, and costs less than using a gas chamber, according to the Dearborn Animal Shelter's website.

The bill passed the Senate by a vote of 37 to 0 and is now awaiting a hearing in the House Committee on Local Government. 

Senate Bill 560 has four components. If passed, it would:

  • Require breeders with more than 15 female breeding dogs to register with the State of Michigan and create humane guidelines, such as requiring breeders to vaccinate their dogs and treat them for parasites.   
  • Require that when euthanasia is necessary at a shelter, pet store or large-scale breeding facility, the procedure must be performed in accordance with American Veterinary Medical Association guidelines.
  • Limit commercial breeders to keeping no more than 50 breeding female dogs.
  • Reduce the hold period in shelters for animals who are not owned to make it easier for shelters to place animals into new homes quickly and serve additional animals in need.

Two other pieces of legislation being considered,  Senate Bills 285/286, would increase penalties for deliberate cruelty, including for cases involving large numbers of animals and for breeders and pet stores.  

"The Friends For the Dearborn Animal Shelter is grateful that our legislators recognize the importance of humane treatment of these animals in our state," said Greene. "We support these bills."

Do you think the use of gas chambers in animal shelters should be banned in Michigan? Share your thoughts in the comment section below. 

You can also contact your state Representatives at  house.michigan.gov, or your state Senators at  senate.michigan.gov, to let them know whether you support these bills.

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