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We the people ask the federal government to Take or explain a position on an issue or policy:

ban the use of gas chambers for killing shelter companion animals. They are inhumane, expensive and dangerous to humans.

Created by A.O. on October 02, 2011

The term euthanasia is from the Greek meaning "good death." Carbon monoxide gas chambers are definitely not a "good death", as animals slowly suffocate to death, sometimes taking 45 minutes and multiple gassings in order to die. Animals cry, bite one another, and bleed out of their cavities, all while fully conscious. Although some states have already banned the use of these cruel chambers, this archaic practice should be banned on a national level. It is inhumane, more expensive than Pentobarbital injection and most importantly, dangerous to shelter workers. Companion animals have been bred for the purposes of bringing mankind joy, and they deserve a respectful death. "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated" - Ghandi.

Response to Petition

Humane Euthanasia for Shelter Animals

By Rebecca Blue

Thank you for using a petition on We the People to speak out on the important issue of animal welfare.  The Obama Administration believes that the humane treatment of animals reflects the values of our nation.

It is important to note, however, that the federal government’s authority in this area is limited to enforcing laws passed by the U.S. Congress regarding animal welfare. Under the Federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates entities that breed certain animals for commercial sale, use them in research, exhibit them to the public, or transport them commercially. These entities must provide their animals with humane care and treatment that meets certain standards. Among other things, they must provide their animals with veterinary care - including, when necessary, using humane and painless methods of euthanasia in accordance with the American Veterinary Medical Association’s (AVMA) Guide to Euthanasia. 

The AWA does not currently extend jurisdiction to the care of animals in state, municipal, or private pounds and shelters unless the shelter conducts AWA-regulated activities such as selling animals to research facilities or dealers.  Animal pounds and shelters typically fall under state and local jurisdiction, and states and localities have the authority to create and enforce their own humane treatment regulations.  According to the AVMA, while some states allow the use of carbon monoxide chambers, most states require the injection of sodium pentobarbital or a similar agent.  Information summarizing state laws on euthanasia is available on the AVMA website.

You should be aware of a few other recent actions by the Obama Administration to promote animal welfare:

Improving the Regulation and Oversight of Commercial Breeders

Ensuring the Humane Treatment of Horses

Humane Care and Management of America’s Wild Horses and Burros

Working to Conserve and Sustainably Manage Sharks

Developed Stiffer Penalties for the Practice of Horse Soring

We appreciate and share your concern regarding the humane treatment of animals.

Rebecca Blue the Deputy Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs at the U.S. Department of Agriculture

Tell us what you think about this response and We the People.

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