The Georgia Department of Agriculture has been found to be in contempt for allowing gas chambers to kill unwanted animals at the Cobb County Animal Shelter.
The judge in the case said he will remove the citation if the Department of Agriculture rescinds its approval of the gas chamber used at the animal shelter.
The 1990 Georgia Humane Euthanasia Act bans the use of carbon monoxide gas chambers to euthanize animals. Animal shelters are required to use lethal injection, with the exception of specific counties with low population and shelters already using gas chambers.
PETA first filed a lawsuit against the Agriculture Department in March for violating the state law by approving the use of gas chambers at the Cobb County Animal Shelter. They went after the state agency instead of local governments to cause changes among shelters statewide.
A PETA spokeswoman said the Agriculture Department was not enforcing the 1990 law and that many shelters throughout the state were unaware of the legislation.
According to Stopping Pet Overpopulation Together Inc., more than 80,000 pets were killed in shelters in 17 metro Atlanta counties in 2005. Shelters in the metro Atlanta area euthanize more pets than all of Great Britain.
A veterinarian who has worked with the Cobb County Animal Shelter said some shelter managers say gas chambers are the most humane and cost effective way to euthanize animals.
“You talk to these shelter managers, who say, ‘It is the most economical thing to do. We don’t have much of a budget. We don’t have skilled employees and we have all these animals who nobody is getting,’ ” he stated.
He also added lethal injections could also be inhumane if the poison wasn’t injected directly into the animal’s vein.
Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution