Politics & Government

House OKs bill to outlaw gas euthanizations of animals

The Georgia House of Representatives approved a bill that would outlaw the use of gas chambers to euthanize pets at animal shelters in Georgia.

House Bill 788, which cleared the House of Representatives in a 115-46 vote Tuesday, would require that any animals put down be killed by lethal injection.

The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Tom Knox, called gas chambers, which use carbon monoxide to euthanize pets, “pretty gory” and described how animals gasp for air as they die. The Republican from Cumming said lethal injection is more humane.

Knox said only 10 or 11 counties in the state still permit the use of gas chambers. Macon used to use the gas-chamber method, but the city destroyed its gas chamber last year and moved to lethal injections.

State Rep. Gene Maddox, a veterinarian from Cairo, argued against the bill saying that, for wild or feral animals who are not used to being handled by humans, carbon monoxide chambers are the most humane way to put an animal down.

Knox’s bill still must pass the Senate and be signed by the governor to become law.