Until recently, my definition of euthanasia included someone holding and petting an animal, while another person administered injections. But not everyone delivers a kill shot the way a shelter employee explained the procedure to me a decade ago â€“ and not all shelters use such injections.
â€œCarbon monoxide chamberâ€ was a puzzle to me at first, a clinical-sounding term my imagination connected with animals curling up and going to sleep. Incorrect. Such chambers can be dangerous to operate, animals can panic and death may take up to 45 minutes, according to a fact sheet for Illinois House Bill 4844, sponsored by Representative John Fritchey. (Rep. Fritchey also sponsored the Pet Protection Act which passed in 2007.)
In addition to banning carbon monoxide chambers, HB 4844 would reshape Illinois humane laws in several ways, including changes to euthanasia technician licensing. For example, the bill would prohibit a person convicted of specific controlled substance violations from receiving a license. Any method may fail if incorrectly administered, so the bill requires euthanasia technicians to renew their certificates every five years, with proof they have attended a class or seminar related to euthanasia techniques or guidelines.
HB 4844 would also extend euthanasia restrictions to commercial breeders, and stop the use of homemade gas chambers by private enterprises according to Ledy VanKavage of the ASPCA as quoted in the Pantagraph.