To folks like Lydia Sattler, state director for The Humane Society of the United States, Mississippi has come a long way in animal protection laws, but she says there's still a long way to go, especially when it comes to a specific form of animal euthanasia.
"It's really a horrific way for an animal to die," said Sattler.
Sattler and a group of animal advocates are hoping a piece of legislation making its way through the state capitol will put a stop to allowing gas chambers as a method of euthanasia. The process uses carbon monoxide to suffocate animals which many folks, like Michelle Lombus, call inhumane.
"Banning gas chambers for the state of Mississippi is just a huge step forward as far as humane legislation," said Lombus.
Currently 21 states have already outlawed using gas chambers as a form of euthanasia. While gassing animals is still an option for shelters in Mississippi, only a small amount actually still use the process. Sattler says even one shelter gassing animals is too many.
"There's much more advanced methods for euthanasia that are quick and painless versus a gas chamber which an animal can take five to seven minutes, even up to 20 minutes to die," said Sattler.
With over populations and illnesses common at shelters across the state, advocates for a ban understand the role of euthanizing animals but point to more humane methods like lethal injections, which are more common.
"Unfortunately euthanasia is a hard reality," said Lombus.
If passed, advocates hope legislation would make that reality a little more humane. The bill banning the gas chamber method was introduced by Senator David Blount of Jackson. The bill passed the senate unanimously and now heads to a house committee for consideration before going to the full house.
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