"As good as new" doesn't quite cut it for animal rights activists. There was confusion as to whether a gas chamber recently purchased by the Brunswick County Animal shelter was "new." Turns out, it was refurbished. Before the chamber arrived at Brunswick County it belonged to a shelter in Reidsville. But it was sent back to the manufacturer in between. New or used, animal rights activists said this gas chamber should never have been purchased by the Brunswick County Health Department. Animal Rights activist Margarete O'Leary said, "My concern is that they didn't even consider switching to euthanasia by injection, which is the preferred method, of all the major Humane societies." Instead, the county chose to replace their old gas chamber with a refurbished one. But not before putting the issue on the agenda at a recent county commissioners meeting. Brunswick County Health Director Don Yousey said, "If people had concerns about that agenda, they could have asked to have it pulled off the agenda, and it could have been discussed." "There was nothing in the paper, nothing in the media or on the news to say 'oh by the way this is going to be on our agenda.' So it left it up to the individual citizens to go online and see what's happening," said O'Leary. Twelve thousand dollars later, the chamber was purchased from a manufacturing company called Cutting Edge Fabrication. The chamber used to reside at a shelter in Reidsville. Cutting Edge replaced some parts, and said they reviewed it with a fine tooth comb before selling it to Brunswick County. According to the manufacturer, the county's decision to purchase a "refurbished" model saved them more than $20,000. The deal included a year-long warranty to replace any faulty parts. "Now that they have the chamber, they made the decision, and now it's their responsibility to make sure that it is up to specs, as much as possible. The company has warrantied it, that's the best you can do to assure safety of the employees and the proper euthanasia of the animals," said O'Leary. Yousey added, "The newest state law requires that we have all the state inspections, and to make sure that it meets all the state requirements." On Friday, an industrial hygenist inspected the chamber, and found a valve that needed replacing. That will be taken care of before the chamber is put to use.
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